Of Board of Health.
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.
Be it enacted by, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met as follows:
Section 1, The Secretary of the State of Delaware, shall, on or before the first day of July, 1881, procure three suitable books for each county in the State, in which respectively may be recorded the births, marriages and deaths, occurring within the State, and furnish one book of each kind to the Recorder of Deeds in each County.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of said Recorders to record in said books all such births, marriages and deaths as the same may be returned, or lodged in their offices for that purpose; for which service he shall receive from the County five cents for every certificate so recorded. He shall also at the end of every three months furnish a copy of such records of births and marriages for the preceding three months to the Secretary of the State Board of Health for which copy he shall be paid at the same rate as above provided.
Section 3. The books so provided shall be separate and distinct, each from the other, and shall be respectively entitled, "The Register of Births," "The Register of Marriages," and "The Register Books of Deaths," and shall each be furnished with an index. The Register of Births shall be ruled on each page with columns from top to bottom, each column with an appropriate heading, as follows:
Full name of child, sex, color, date and place of birth ; father's name, age, occupation, nativity ; name of mother previous to marriage, age, nativity ; child's number in this family ; number by this mother ; date of certificate ; date of registration.
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the physician present at the birth of any child, or (if not present at the time of the birth of the child) who attends the case of any mother during her lying in period, after the first day of July, 1881, to report to the Recorder of Deeds for the county in which any such child shall have been born, the day, month and year of the birth, the sex and color of the child, and name of the father and mother, on the form to be furnished by the Recorder of the county, and return the certificates so prepared to said recorder on or before the first days of January, April, July and October in each year, together with the facts relative thereto; and every midwife present at the time of, or within five days after the birth of any child, where no physician is attending said case, after the first day of July, 1881, shall, within ten days after any such birth, report to the practicing physician residing nearest her place of residence, the (lay, month and year of the birth, the sex, and color of the child, and the name of the father and mother, and the physician shall make return in the same manner as if he had been present at such birth, varying only in stating upon whose information he made the certificate, for which service the physician shall receive (five) cents for each certificate so returned by him to he paid by the county in which such return has been made. Each and every birth so returned shall be registered by the Recorder under the letter of the alphabet to which they respectively belong; and the birth or births therein certified shall be recorded so as to conform to the form prescribed, as far as possible; and the record need not be a literal copy, only so that it conform to the facts certified. All certificates so returned to the Recorder shall be filed by him, according to the date of the return.
Section 5. The Register of Marriages shall be ruled with columns from top to bottom of each page, and have headings as follows: Full name of groom; age; color; nation or State; residence; occupation. Full name of bride; age; color; nation or State; residence; names and birthplaces of parents; date of marriage; number of previous marriages; name of person solemnizing the marriage; date of certificate; date of registration.
Section 6. It shall be the duty of every clergyman, and every magistrate, and of the clerk or keeper of the records of any religious society, by or before whom any marriage or marriages may hereafter be solemnized, or contracted, to make a faithful return of the same every three months by returning the certificate or certificates, in the form issued by the Recorder of Deeds of the county in which such marriage or marriages may have been solemnized or contracted to the said Recorder. If any certificate shall contain more than one marriage the Recorder shall register each marriage under the letter of the alphabet to which they respectively belong; and if any certificate be not in due form, the marriage or marriages therein certified shall be registered by the Recorder in such manner as to conform to the above form as far as practicable, so as to show the facts. All such certificates shall be filed according to their dates.
Section 7. The "Register of Deaths" shall on each page be ruled from top to bottom so as to form appropriate headings as follows: Name; age; color; nation or State; if a foreigner, how long in the United States; residence; occupation; married; single or widow; sex; name and nation of parents; cause of death and complications; date of death; date of certificate; date of registration. Whenever any person shall die, it shall be the duty of the physician attending, or of the Coroner, when the case shall come under his notice, to make out under his hand and to furnish to the undertaker a certificate of said death upon the form furnished by the State Board of Health.
Section 8. It shall be the duty of the undertaker or person acting as undertaker in charge in case of death, to procure from the physician in attendance, or if there have been no physician, then from the health officer, or from the coroner, when the case shall have come under his charge, a certificate, prepared according to the form prescribed in the preceding section; and in no case shall interment or other disposition of a dead human body be made until such certificate be presented to the local registrar of deaths, as hereinafter provided, and a burial permit issued by him in accordance with the rules of the State Board of Health; provided, that a transcript of the records of deaths kept by each local registrar shall be furnished at least every three months to the Recorder of Deeds for the County in which the death occurred.
The State Board of Health shall divide the state into registration districts and shall appoint one local registrar for each district, with a deputy to act in case of his illness or absence. Appointments of local registrars shall be for the term of four years. The local registrars shall promptly return the original certificates of all deaths for each month on the fifth day of the following month to the Secretary of the State Board of Health, or report that no deaths occurred in their districts; and for each certificate of death properly filled out as required by law and promptly returned, they shall receive from the Treasurer of the County in which the death occurred, upon warrant executed by the Secretary of the State Board of Health, the sum of twenty-five cents, which shall be in full for their services in making the local record, the return to the State Board of Health, the transcript to the Recorder of Deeds, and for issuing the burial permit. Local registrars shall serve until the appointment and qualification of their successors, and it shall be the duty of the State Board of Health, in addition to any other penalties provided, to forthwith remove any local registrars who may fail or neglect to properly perform their duties, and to appoint substitutes to serve out their unexpired terms. All necessary blanks and instructions, with stamped return envelopes for monthly returns and postal card reports to be used when no deaths occurred, shall be supplied by the State Board supplies of Health, and no other forms shall be used in this State.
Section 9. If any physician, or coroner, or undertaker, or magistrate, or midwife, or registrar of deaths, or clergyman, or clerk of any society by or before which marriages may be solemnized, shall neglect or refuse to comply with the duties imposed on such person by the preceding Sections of this act, he shall be fined not less than five nor more than ten dollars for each and every case so neglected or refused; to be recovered before any Justice of the Peace of the county in which said delinquent resides; the one-half thereof to the use of the State and the other half thereof to the person who shall sue for the same.
Section 10. The books of registration kept by the Recorder or a duly certified copy thereof, shall be admitted as evidence in any court of law or equity, and in any legal proceedings whatever in this State, where it may be necessary to allege or prove such birth, marriage or death: The Recorder of Deeds shall receive the sum of (thirty) cents for such certificate; and (fifteen) cents for making a search for birth, marriage or death ; to be paid by the person applying for such certificate or search; but the said register shall at all times be accessible to physicians, clergymen and lawyers without charge.
Section 11. It shall be the duty of clergymen or ministers of religion, of all denominations, and magistrates, and of the clerks or keepers of records, all societies, and of all other persons, by or before whom any marriage may hereafter be solemnized or contracted, and of every practicing physician and midwife, and of the register of births, marriages and deaths for the city of Wilmington, and of every undertaker, on or before the first day of July, 1881, and hereafter of all such persons as may occupy the position herein mentioned in this State, to report his, her or their name, or names and place of residence to the Recorder of Deeds of the county in which such person or persons may then reside; and it shall be the duty of the Recorder to have the same alphabetically registered in a suitable book to be by him provided for the purpose. In the event of any of the persons above specified removing to any other place of residence within the State, it shall be the duty of such person to notify the Recorder of Deeds of the county to which he removes, of the fact within thirty days after such removal; of removal and if any person as above mentioned shall neglect or refuse to comply with the requirements of this Section, shall be fined not less than five dollars, nor more than ten dollars, to be recovered as provided in Section 9.
Section 12. Every person who is hereby required to return a certificate of a birth, marriage or death to the Recorder of Deeds or Register of Deaths, and shall accordingly make such return shall be entitled to receive from the Levy Court of the county in which such birth, marriage or death took place, the sum of five cents for each and every return so made: Provided, such account shall have beery certified by the said Recorder or Register. The blank forms requisite to carry out the provisions of this act shall be furnished by the Recorder of each county to each person or persons who are included in Section II, and who reside in their respective counties; and all the fees and expenses and heretofore mentioned, shall, when duly certified be paid by the Levy Court of each county.
Section 13. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent herewith or supplied by this act are hereby repealed.
Passed at Dover, April 7, 1881.
Amended March 14, 1883.
Amended April 8, 1885.
Amended and approved April 15, 1909