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Centenary of the General Register Office

    Naturevolume 140pages5657 (1937) | Download Citation

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    Abstract

    AN exhibition which opened on July 1 at the General Register Office, Somerset House, Strand, London, W.C.2, for a duration to be announced later, marks the centenary of the establishment of the general registration of births, deaths, and marriages in England and Wales, by illustrating the work of the Office, as well as the character of the records which are in its charge. Although the system of civil registration was established only one hundred years ago, its origins in England go back no less than four hundred years. Such statistical material relating to the population, outside the parochial records, as was recorded before 1837 was transferred to the custody of the Registrar General under the Marriage and Registration Acts of 1836. The earliest form of record, the parochial register of baptisms, marriages and burials, was established by Thomas Cromwell in 1538 ; but so long ago as the sixteenth century the value of demographic data and the inadequacy of the parochial system for this purpose were appreciated.

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    https://doi.org/10.1038/140056c0

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