On 22nd July 1862, the Registrar General received an unsatisfactory report from Alfred List, The Examiner of the Southern District concerning the registers at Aharacle
Examiner of the Southern District To the Registrar General
Along with the Duplicate Register Books of the District of Acharacle for the year 1861, I have transmitted the Register Books of Births and Deaths for the year 1862 that you may be enabled to take cognisance of their condition.
I did not think it necessary to do the same with the Books of Marriages, as they are unoccupied. I found, however, two schedules, the first, dated Feb 5th relative to the marriage of Charles McInnes, Dorlin, the second, dated June 30th relating to the marriage of John Cameron, Shepherd, Gasgan.
In examining the Registers of 1861, I was much struck with the general shortness of the interval between the dates of the events and the dates of registration. I also observed that the marks were in high proportion being above 50 per cent in the case of both Births and Deaths. This I should not perhaps have deemed of much significance, had I not, at the same time, noticed a want of correspondence between the marks of the same persons in the old Books. Such was observed to be particularly the case with regard to Deaths Nos. 16 & 23, where the marks in the Book left in the Dt. bear a strong resemblance to those in Nos. 11 & 18 of the Deaths for 1862, which I here noticed merely for the sake of comparison. The absence of marks in the unfilled Register Books for 1862 seems to explain the peculiarity.
The general condition of the Books of 1861 indicate inattention to the Regulations and the Example Sheets.
Considering that the summer is the time invariably selected for the examination of Argyllshire and that intimation is regularly sent sometime beforehand, the sense of absolute security felt by the delinquents in that County while under inspection fills me with astonishment.
Signed, Alfred C.C. List
On 25th July 1862, WP Dundas, the Registrar General reacted and reported to those with the power to prosecute on the gross irregularities and clear violations of the Act in Aharacle
P Dundas, Registrar General, Edinburgh
Sir, I enclose herewith a copy of a letter which I have just secured from the District Examiner respecting the way in which the business of registration has been conducted by the Registrar of Aharacle during the present year. The case is of a much more serious character than that of Kilninian & Kilmore referred to in my previous communication, inasmuch as the Duplicate books both of Births & Deaths appear to have been left utter blanks, with the exception that, in some instances, the signatures of the informants have been obtained.
This practice of allowing parties to sign bland entries is of itself a gross irregularity but it does not fall under the 61st sect. The omission to make the entry, however, seems a clear violation of the Act. The reports which I have received from many Parishes in the County of Argyll this season are so unfavourable that I cannot allow such a state of matters to continue unchecked, and I think that the knowledge of your having made enquiry into one or two of the worst cases will have a good effect, whether a prosecution should be resorted to or not.
In the meantime, I shall retain the Registers, but, if their production should be absolutely necessary they can be afterwards transmitted to you.
I am Sir
On 4th August 1862, a response was made to an enquiry at the Registrar General's office as to Mr List's current whereabouts
From General Registry of Births &c., 4th August 1862
I am Sir¼. etc (signature indecipherable)
On the next day Mr List was reported by the Procurator Fiscal in Tobermory to be contactable at a Poste Restante address at Tarbert
To General Registry of Births &c., Edinburgh 5th August 1862
I am Sir
On 22nd August, a schedule of criticisms and some of the inconsistencies in the Aharacle Register was produced
22d August 1862
Found no entry in Duplicate Register of the birth of male child of Mary MacNaughton, wife of Alex Cameron, Labourer, on 28 Dec. 1861
Do. as to the birth of male child of Janet Cameron, wife of John Cameron, Arivegaig on 10 January 1862
Marriage of Charles Macinnes, Dorlin and Marjory Macdonald, Dalnambreach 5 Feby. 1862
Do. no entry in Duplicate Book of birth of male child of Ann Macdonald, wife of Dugald Macdonald, Blain, 23 March 1862
Do. as to the death of Angus Macdonald, Kinlochmoidart 8 June 1862
information on a separate sheet:
10 Jany 1862
Janet Cameron, wife of John Cameron, Arivegaig - male child
5 Feby 1862
Chas McInnes, Dorlin, Marjery M'Donald Married
Ann Macdonald, wife of Dugald MacDonald, Blain Moss(?) - male child
8 June Angus
McNeill. Kinlochmoidart died - Schedule B - Duplicate Register -