In 1858, Richard Barrett of Kidderminster was working on the construction of the Paris to Cherbourg railway when he made the mistake of not registering the birth of his son to the authorities within the time allowed. Here is a translation of the resulting entry in the registers.

1858 Civil Register of the commune of Houesville, La Manche, France

No 7
Birth, William Barrett, Born the second of January, one thousand eight-hundred-fifty-eight which birth registered on the present record, by virtue of judgment rendered by the Court of first instance of valognes, the seventeenth April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, transcript below, by us mayor of houesville, undersigned

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The year one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, the sixth of May, at three o’clock of the evening, we Frigoult de Liesville, Alfred, Alexandre Anicet, Mayor and officer of the civil registry of the commune of Houesville, Canton of Sainte Mère Eglise, Département of La Manche, proceeded to the transcription of the judgment, the content of which follows, which was transmitted to us by Monsieur Le Procureur Imperial of the municipality of Valognes, and which reached us today two hours after midday:----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Napoleon by the grace of God and the National Will, Emperor of the French, to all present and to come, Greetings -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== The Court of First Instance of the municipality of Valognes (Manche) assembled at its ordinary place of its meetings, gave the following judgment at its hearing on Saturday, seventeenth April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight -------------------------------------------------------------------
======== To Monsieur President of the Civil Tribunal of Valognes. -------------------------------------------
======== The Imperial Procurator has the honour to set out what follows: ---------------------------------
======== Mr. Richard Barrett, English worker, aged forty one years, born in Kildemnister Worcestershire, employed in the work of the Chemin de fer de l'Ouest, came before the Mayor of Houesville on the fifth February, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, to declare that on the second

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of January last, his wife Hélène Malcommick, aged twenty-six years, born in Dundea (Scotland) was mother of a child of the male sex, to whom was given the forename of William. ---------------------------
======== Mr. Barrett alleged with all appearance of good faith, that the provisions of French law concerning births were completely unknown to him. --------------------------------------------------------------
======== He proved, moreover, his State of Indigence by certificates [which were] in order, in the form prescribed by the law of tenth December one thousand eight hundred and fifty, article six, these certificates are attached to the file. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== A judgment is necessary to order the inscription in the registers the Act of birth of the child Guillaume Barrett, which was not entered there in time within the delay allowed by the law ------------
======== In consequence, whereas the State of indigence duly noted of Mr. Richard Barrett. --------
======== Having regard to the opinion of the Council of State of twelve brumaire year eleven. -------
======== Having regard to article seventy-five of the Act of the twenty fifth day of March one thousand eight hundred and seventeen. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Having regard to the articles eight-hundred-fifty-five and following of the code of civil procedure. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== The undersigned finds, may it please you Monsieur le Président, to appoint a Judge Rapporteur, to be, by the judgment to be pronounced

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ordered that the Act of birth of the sieur Guillaume Barrett, declared as being born the second of January, of the marriage of Richard Barrett and Helen Malcommick, having not been entered in the registers of acts of civil status of the municipality of Houesville, the judgment will serve as a birth certificate and that said judgment will be transcribed in the same registers ---------------------------------
======== To the public prosecutor in Valognes, the sixteenth March one thousand eight-hundred-fifty-eight. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== For the Proceureur Impérial, signed, Ed. Gallemond, J.S.------------------------------------------
======== We are appointed to report on the hearing tomorrow. ----------------------------------------------
======== The President of the Tribunal. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Signed: L. Guerin --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Acceding to the application, by Monsieur le Procureur Impérial, heard the report of Monsieur Guérin, President, the public Ministry hearing, after having deliberated on it in secret. --------------------
======== Whereas it appears from documents produced by the public Ministry and by Barrett, that a male child, born of Richard Barrett, workman of English origin, and Hélène Malcommick, his wife, the second of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, at houesville failed

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to be enrolled on the registers of civil status of the commune because it was only on the fifth of February, following, that the father, doubtless ignorant of the French law, made the declaration to the Mayor, and he announced the intention to give to this child the first name of William. Whereas it is important to repair that omission. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Having regard, moreover, to the documents which establish the paucity of the spouses Barrett ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== On these grounds the Court ruled that Guillaume Barrett was born at houesville, the second January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, of the marriage of Richard Barrett, aged forty-one years, born in Kildemnister Worcestershire (England) and Hélène Malcommick aged twenty-six years, born in Dundea, (Scotland), that it is by omission that it has not been registered on the state registers of houesville, and that the present judgment will hold for this deed for William Barrett, --------------------
======== Directs accordingly, its transcription in the standard registers of the municipality of houesville, with note, in the margin, at the date of the second of January, one thousand eight-hundred-fifty-eight. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Thus judged publicly, at the hearing of said court, where were in session, Monsieur Guerin, President Knight of the legion of honour, Letrecher and Popart, Knight of the legion of honour, judge haffacome, Imperial deputy public prosecutor,

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and ???,Assistant, Clerk, signed:???. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Registered free at Valognes, on the twenty-fourth April one thousand eight hundred fifty eight, folio eleven, case eight, on the production of two certificates of indigence, of the fifteenth and twenty-eighth February, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, signed: Em. Proit. ---------------------
======== We summon and command all bailiffs requested thereto to execute this judgment, Procureurs Généraux and prosecutors at the courts of first instance to enforce it, and all Commanders and Officers responsible for public order to assist when legally required to do so, in witness whereof the present judgment has been signed by the pesident and by the assistant to the clerk of the court -----
======== Certified true and issued to Monsieur Le Procureur Impérial of its requisition by us Clerk of said court, undersigned ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== Signed --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
======== And of this transcription, We drew up the present Act, which we signed ----------------------
A F de Liesville