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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Accurate Birth Records by Country?
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Accurate Birth Records by Country? Reply with quote

I have been trying to collate some more accurate birth data for some research recently (AA only). This got me thinking about which countries routinely record the time of birth on their birth certificates?

Living in Scotland I am rather fortunate in dwelling in the only part of the United Kingdom that routinely records birth time on the birth certificate. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland astrologers have to rely on the vagaries of Hospital records. The only exception being twins who do have their separate times of birth recorded. I think this practice originated for inheritance reasons.

So what about the rest of the world?

So far I only know of the following from Steven Forrest's piece:

France (1792)
Belgium (1793)
Netherlands (1793)
Scotland (1855)
Denmark (1862)
Italy (1866)
Germany (????)
Switzerland (1876)
Austria (1939)
USA (since 1968)

http://www.forrestastrology.com/where-to-order-birth-certificates


According to this short piece by Steven Forrest all birth certificates in the USA since 1968 must have time of birth recorded. However, I understand the practice of this is not uniform even now. Before 1968 practices varied across the US states. In that earlier period in the USA , the state agencies often have a record of the birth time, even if it's not on the birth certificate. Sometimes the county seat of the birthplace may have a record if the state agency doesn't. Usually, the certificate is only available to the person it concerns and not a third party unless they have authorization to act as a legal representative. Quite frustrating for astrologers!

Does this mean though that astrologers will no longer struggle for modern natal data in the US?

Steven Forrest also lists the situation in several other countries on his site:

Quote:


Thanks to Lois Rodden and AstroDataBank, we can tell you when the following countries started recording birth times:
Austria, Jan 1, 1939
Belgium, 1793
France, Sep 22, 1792
Denmark, 1862
Germany, Jan 1, 1792
Frankfurt 1851
Preussen 1974
Italy, Jan 1, 1866
Kingdom Naples and Sicily, 1820
Netherlands, 1793
Scotland, 1855
Switzerland, Jan 1, 1876
Geneva Oct 22, 1798
Lausanne Jul 1, 1821
Neuchatel Mar 1, 1854

FRANCE: Our contact says: Go to or telephone the town hall (la mairie) of the town where you were born. Give the name and date of birth, and ask for the birth time. Sometimes they give you the information by phone and sometimes you have to write them a letter.

GREAT BRITAIN AND COLONIES don't record birth time on the registration unless the birth was twins (because the oldest one is the legal heir). As of 1998, there was no officially recorded birth time in Ireland, Wales, Australia, Canada or British India.

MEXICO: We hear that that the best place to get accurate birth information if you were born there is from the hospital where you were born. One of our site visitors told us that her mother said one time, her birth certificate said another, but the hospital records were accurate for both her and her own child, whose birthtime she did know!

TURKEY: Contact the hospital where you were born, and / or the attending doctor, and of course your family. Hospitals record birth times. There is a birth certificate. But the hospital gives it and it is not registered with the government; the doctor signs it. Our contact doesn't know when this practice first started, but guesses it's within the past 10-20 years.


I wondered if our members could help improve on our understanding of the situation in their countries?

I am rather unclear about the situation in Germany regarding time of birth on birth records. I suspect because the situation was historically rather complicated. The list provided on Steven Forrest's website is probably not entirely accurate since there was no unification of the German states and principalities until 1871. The 1792 date may just refer to the application of Napoleonic laws to the German Rhineland for a while. Following that we have several shifting regimes to consider such as Imperial Germany the Weimar Republic, the Nazi regime, DDR (Communist East Germany) and Federal Republic. Could any German members offer more information on how birth recording practices varied across German history?

Does anyone know of any other parts of the world that record birth times on birth certificates? If so what year was that enacted?

Mark
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‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lunlumo



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
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Location: Münster, Germany

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Germany Reply with quote

Hi Mark,
during the years of Napoleonic rule there were parts of western Germany that started some kind of official birth registering. However, it might be difficult to find out the exact details. Apart from this that was a short episode.

More important - official birth registers since:

Febr. 1st, 1870: Grand Duchy of Baden
Oct. 1st 1874: Prussia
Jan. 1st 1876: the entire Reich

From then on birth registering was a part of the duties of the so-called Standeamt (plural: Standesämter) = registry office.
The birth time had to be registered, usually the full hour, plus the quarters.
Some time in the 60s or 70s of the last century the offices started to register the precise minute.
In the times preceding the dates given above births were entered into the "Kirchenbücher", i.e. registers kept by the churches - partly the time of birth was given, differing from place to place and from time to time.

LL
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Lunlumo



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Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:55 pm    Post subject: Germany Reply with quote

cont.:
Registers were first kept by Protestant churches - shortly after Luther's Reformation.
Catholic churches started registers after 1563.

However, quite often (if not as a rule) only the day of baptism was recorded. There are numerous "prominent" cases where the birthday is unknown - e.g. Beethoven.

LL
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan is recording the times on the birth certificates. I can't tell you since when exactly, but at least since the earlier 60s.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lunlumo wrote:
Quote:
Hi Mark,
during the years of Napoleonic rule there were parts of western Germany that started some kind of official birth registering. However, it might be difficult to find out the exact details. Apart from this that was a short episode.


Yes. Thats pretty much what I concluded. Thanks for offering additional verification.

Quote:
More important - official birth registers since:

Febr. 1st, 1870: Grand Duchy of Baden
Oct. 1st 1874: Prussia
Jan. 1st 1876: the entire Reich


Thanks. Do you happen to know about Bavaria? I know you mentioned protestant provinces led the way on this. So was a predominantly Roman Catholic kingdom like Bavaria only recording births using Church records before 1871? From what I have read Bavaria retained a lot of autonomy after 1871 (a separate Army within German forces and Bavarian diplomatic service) so can we assume North German administrative laws were immediately applied in 1876?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Bavaria#Ludwig_II_and_the_German_Empire



Lunlumo wrote:

Quote:
From then on birth registering was a part of the duties of the so-called Standeamt (plural: Standesämter) = registry office.
The birth time had to be registered, usually the full hour, plus the quarters.
Some time in the 60s or 70s of the last century the offices started to register the precise minute.
In the times preceding the dates given above births were entered into the "Kirchenbücher", i.e. registers kept by the churches - partly the time of birth was given, differing from place to place and from time to time.


Thanks again. Do you know if these registration practices continued during the German Democratic Republic? (Communist East Germany)

Thanks

Mark
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‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
Japan is recording the times on the birth certificates. I can't tell you since when exactly, but at least since the earlier 60s.


Thanks. I had wondered why we didn't have any timed data for Shoko Asahara who was the leader of the the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out the Sarin gas attack on Tokyo underground in 1995. But I see he was born in 1955 so obviously before the date you mention birth times became recorded.

Mark
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Lunlumo



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Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: Germany - birth registers Bavaria/GDR Reply with quote

Hi Mark,
as to Bavaria: definitely official registers since 1st Jan. 1876, usually including more or less rough birthtimes.
I had a look at my grandparents' documents - they were born in the 90s of the 19th century. Their birthtimes were quite accurate. Well, that was Prussia. However, I do not think that matters were very different in Bavaria in those years...

However, it's obviously difficult to find out what was commonly practised then.
Before that there were the church registers I mentioned above - sometimes with, sometimes without birthtimes. (One may have to take into account that large parts of Bavaria are not Catholic - particularly the northern parts.)

GDR (German: DDR): I checked the laws - no word about birthtimes. Friends of mine born in the GDR had to contact the hospitals - they were usually successful in doing that.
I'll try to find out some more details - provided it's s.th. not unimportant for you.

LL
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Lunlumo



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Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: Germany - birth registers Bavaria/GDR Reply with quote

del.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
According to this short piece by Steven Forrest all birth certificates in the USA since 1968 must have time of birth recorded. However, I understand the practice of this is not uniform even now. Before 1968 practices varied across the US states. In that earlier period in the USA , the state agencies often have a record of the birth time, even if it's not on the birth certificate. Sometimes the county seat of the birthplace may have a record if the state agency doesn't. Usually, the certificate is only available to the person it concerns and not a third party unless they have authorization to act as a legal representative. Quite frustrating for astrologers!


In the USA almost all births occur in hospitals. All hospitals issue birth certificates, but they are not "official." Depending on the locale births are recorded in the county board of health or someplace in the county seat. However, almost every hospital recorded the birth time on the hospital birth certificate. This is where mine is and trust me, I was born well before 1968. Twenty years before in fact.

My children's BC issued by the county board of health both have birth times on them. My "official" birth certificate does not. Think about it: Where does the government get the birth time from? The hospital, so it has to be there.

What is odd is that the hospital birth certificate is the only one where drop dead certain proof of to whom it belongs to is recorded, i.e. the footprint. Footprints are like finger prints; they are unique to the individual. If I ever had a doubt as to my identity, I could use my hospital birth certificate to make the case, but not my government issued BC. But the bureaucratic mind is what it is.

If you were born less then 50 years ago in most places, you can obtain a hospital birth certificate if you can provide whatever documentation they require. Usually hospitals keep birth records for 50 years. Perhaps now with computerized filing, they will keep them longer.
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aglaya



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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's yet another bug and I have come across this many times with birth certificates issued in different European countries. Whilst some birth certificates did not contain the time of birth (only the date) up until the mid 70'es (or 60's, depending on the country), nowadays, in almost all countries, birth certificates have birth times on them and this applies to even to the certificates of people born before the 70'es and 60'es. My father's original birth certificate, for instance, does not have the birth time but, when he asked for a new document 10 years ago, it had birth time written on it. This technically means that the hospitals may have been giving birth times to the institutions for a much longer period however, for some reason, the exact time was not considered a relevant information. The reason could be purely bureaucratic - the old template simply didn't have that option.

On the other hand, many birth certificates issued for people born after the 70'es (and, again, this applies to at least a few European countries), do have birth times on them only the time itself is incorrect or provisional. This can be easily detected by round numbers - it is never 13.16 h but either 13,00 or 13,30. A few years ago I found out that, until the 80'es, many European hospitals actually kept records in this manner - they would simply make a list of all babies born within each 30 min (occasionally 60min) and send the informations containing round numbers. This way, every baby born between 13.00 and 13.30 (like I said, sometimes even between 13,00 and 14,00) has exactly the same time of birth in the certificate - 13.00h.
Even the newer certificates often have either 13.35 or 13.40, hardly ever 13.37.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lunlumo wrote:
Quote:
GDR (German: DDR): I checked the laws - no word about birthtimes. Friends of mine born in the GDR had to contact the hospitals - they were usually successful in doing that.


I noticed Angela Merkel has C rating on Astrodatabank and thought she was born in the GDR . She is often described an as 'Ostie'.
However, it seems she was born in Hamburg and her family only later moved to the GDR. Not sure why we don't have AA data for her.

I cant say I am familiar with many noteable people born in the GDR. However, those I have checked out don't seem to be on Astrodatabank.

For example the actor Florian Lukas.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0525518/

This may tell us more about the vagaries of Astrodatabank recording than birth registration practices in the former GDR!

http://www.famousbirthdays.com/birthplace/eastgermany.html

http://www.imdb.com/search/name?birth_place=East+Germany&

Lunlumo wrote:
Quote:
I'll try to find out some more details - provided it's not unimportant for you.


I really appreciate any information you can find.

Irrespective of how efficient birth recording was in Germany we also have the major issue of records that were subsequently destroyed in WWII. For example during the bombing of numerous German cities in WWII. More generally, there was the loss of former German territory in the East and the drastic effects of invasion by the Red army. Millions of Germans fled west to escape the advancing Red army. I imagine a lot of administrative records were lost in the ensuing chaos.

This is totally off topic but I don't suppose you have natal data for the German aviatrix Hanna Reitsch do you? I have tried to track it down in vain for a while. She is a controversial but nonetheless fascinating figure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanna_Reitsch

I had assumed that many of the birth records for German Silesia were lost in WWII so perhaps we will never know her exact birth details.

Mark
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Last edited by Mark on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lunlumo



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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hanna Reitsch:

I found this one - http://www.sollunari.pl/forum,28,413

from Poland - the time is given there, second paragraph. You see the chart when you scroll down. AC 10 Libra.
But - I do not understand that language. - In the text I find the word for "rectification" ... : Reaktyfikowany horoskop jest na godzinę 18;30.

I might ask a friend to translate that passage.

---------
You're right, lots of documents were lost in 1945. What is more: there were a lot of children in the eastern parts who lost their parents - or were seperated from them - and never knew the day of their birth, not to mention the birthtime. Some didn't even know the year they were born. They were eventually given a date (for official documents, passport...) - some date, any date.

--------------

I've just called a "Standesamt" (see above), the one in Chemnitz and asked them whether they had regisered the birthtimes during the years of the GDR. The answer was a definite "Yes. Here in Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt") as anywhere else in the GDR."
She added that some towns may have lost parts of the files due to the air raids, e.g. Dresden.
Anyway, she seemed to know what she was talking about.

Obviously some?/a lot?/ most? hospitals also registered the birthtimes.

LL
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Southern Cross



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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know several people born in the GDR and they all have their birthtime written down on the birthcertificate which can be aquired via the relevant "Standesämter".

One can find the birthtimes of people born in parts of germany that later became poland either via "Auslandsstandesamt" in Berlin or archives in poland. Some documents might got lost in the war but it's worth to give it a try. I found the birthcertificate of my grandmother born in 1912 in an archive in poland. Lala Happy
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Lunlumo



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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, it seems those "Melderegister" (=registrations of births ) of the former German eastern territories that survived the war were saved and usually well-kept in Poland. - I wonder what happened to the registers of the "Sudetenland" - which was German from 1938 to 1945 ?
LL
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lunlumo wrote:

Quote:
I found this one - http://www.sollunari.pl/forum,28,413

Thanks! Thumbs up

Quote:
from Poland - the time is given there, second paragraph. You see the chart when you scroll down. AC 10 Libra.
But - I do not understand that language. - In the text I find the word for "rectification" ... : Reaktyfikowany horoskop jest na godzinę 18;30.

I might ask a friend to translate that passage.


I was able to approximately translate the forum posts with Google translate. Its mostly a biography of Hannna Reitsch with some astrological analysis.

Your suggestion that the Polish word Reaktyfikowany means ''rectification'' sounds highly likely. But it doesn't translate on either Google Translate or the online Polish-English translation sites I tried. I will maybe ask one of our Polish members to look into this whole issue further for me.

Mark
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