This is a worked case study related to What "hidden" clues are there in the GRO Indexes of births and deaths?
Nicholas Tabb's WWI Draft Registration card lists his birth date as 31 Oct 1887 and his birth place at Slapton, Devon, England.
Searching for Nicholas on findmypast turns up the following records:
- a birth registration in 1887 Q4 in Kingsbridge Registration District, Vol 5b page 194 (FreeBMDs transcription agrees with this)
- 1891 Census: Ven Cottage, Stoke Fleming, Kingsbridge, Devon, England; Nicholas (aged 3) is the son of the head of household, born in Stokenham
- 1901 Census return, Week Cottages, Dartmouth, Totnes, Devon, England; Nicholas (aged 13) is the son of the head of household, born in Stokenham
A search for Nicholas Tabb in the Devon Baptisms doesn't give any results (both Slapton and Stokenham baptisms are in this record set).
The 1891 census says Nicholas's parents John and Annie are born in Slapton, and I have located them with two children in Slapton in the 1881 Census in Slapton Village.
Could Nicholas have given the Draft Registrar his parents' birthplace instead of his own? What other clues do we have?
The rest of the family in the 1891 Census:
- Walter J Tabb Son Single Male 10 1881 Scholar Slapton, Devon, England
- Lillian Tabb Daughter Single Female 8 1883 Scholar Stokenham, Devon, England
- Frederick Tabb Son Single Male 6 1885 Scholar Stokenham, Devon, England
- Ann Maria Tabb Daughter Single Female 4 1887 Scholar Stokenham, Devon, England
- Nicholas Tabb Son Single Male 3 1888 - Stokenham, Devon, England
The children in 1901 Census:
- Lilian Tabb Daughter Single Female 18 1883 House Keeper Stokenham, Devon, England
- Annie Tabb Daughter Single Female 14 1887 - Stokenham, Devon, England
- Nicholas Tabb Son Single Male 13 1888 Gardener's Boy Stokenham, Devon, England
- Herbert Tabb Son Single Male 9 1892 Scholar Stoke Fleming, Devon, England
Given the migration pattern that is revealed from the birthplaces of the older siblings, it seems likely that the family was in Stokenham in 1887 and the family moved to Stoke Fleming before census day in 1891.
So what hidden clues can we get from the GRO birth registration?
Using the method in the linked question, Nicholas' birth reg on page 194 appears to be in the Stokenham sub-district. The first two sub-districts from Kingsbridge registration district in the 1881 Census registration districts report from Histpop.org are:
- Blackawton: parish Blackawaton, Stokefleming, Slapton
- Stokenham: parishes of Stokenham, Sherford, Charleton, South Pool, Chivelstone, East Portlemouth
My question is: is it necessary to register a birth from Stokenham in Stokenham sub-district?
If a family lived close by the border of the sub-district, could they register in the neighboring sub-district, or would the GRO list the birth in the sub-district where it belonged, regardless of what office was visited?
(Note that in the US, if a person registered for the draft in WWI away from their usual residence,their draft card was forwarded to their local office.)