Birth, Marriages and Deaths
from 1837 to 1910
The recording of births, marriages and deaths (BMD), began on 1st July 1837. Like the church records, the BMD was probably another way of keeping an eye on the population, for religious and tax purposes but for us they have become a valuable source of information. When the National Registration system was set up it was partly ignored and it wasn't until 1875 that it became compulsory to register all births, marriages and deaths. Unfortunately as with all the other records (church and census), they have gaps despite the fact it was a legal requirement to register all BMD.

We have yet to find the exact date of the death of Godfrey Simmonett. He died somewhere between 1871 and 1881 so it does fall in that grey area. However, a nephew born in the 1980s is missing from the books, so even modern registration is lax.

The original books are held in London and can be accessed. Each book is the size of a tabloid newspaper and weighing about three or four pounds – fascinating to look at but heavy on the arms – after the first dozen or so! Thankfully, they are now available on the internet.

What's available
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