endeavoring to find out if any children were born in this city February
29, it was ascertained this morning that physicians, midwives,
clergymen and undertakers pay scarcely any attention to the state law
and city ordinance governing the registry of births, deaths, and marriages and almost every
physician, undertaker, sexton and minister in
the city is liable to a fine because of laxity in this matter.
City Clerk O'Malley is supposed to be the registrar of vital statistics
of the city and he stated this morning that very little attention is
paid to the laws and ordinances. There are only one or two physicians
in town who register births and the rest rarely ever do so. Mr.
O'Malley says he
has attempted several times to get them to live up to the law but to no
Section 51 of the
ordinances of the board of health as adopted May, 1898, reads as
"Within five days after
the birth of each and every child born within the limits of the city of
Geneva, the physician, midwife or other person who shall attend
professionally at such birth, is required to make out a certificate
stating the date and place of birth of said child, with such other
facts as are required by the
laws of the state of New York on registration, and
forward the same to the registering officer. If there is no
professional attendant, then one of the parents, or the head of the
house where the birth takes place
is required to make out and attest the certificate and forward the same
to the registering officer. Blanks for the same will be furnished at
office of the board. Any person violating any of the provisions or
neglecting or refusing to comply with the provisions of this section,
shall incur a penalty of $10 for each offense, which penalty is hereby
imposed for any violation or non-compliance herewith."
Section 50 of the same
ordinance states that within five days after each and every marriage
taking place within the city of Geneva, the officiating clergyman is
obliged to make a return of the record to the registering officer.
Failure to comply with this section is punishable by a fine of $10 for
Section 43 states that every physician and undertaker who attends at the death of funeral of a
deceased person, a resident inside the limits of the city of Geneva,
shall register the same with the registering officer under the penalty
a $25 fine for each offense.
Clerk O'Malley is disgusted with the shiftless manner in which the
physicians, clergymen and undertakers disregard the law, and unless
they take heed and mend their ways, he threatens to have them fined for
every time that they fail to enter a report. He thinks that if examples
were made of a
few of the offenders, it would result in a compliance of the law.