Alexander Burt Taylor

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Alexander Burt Taylor CBE D. Litt. FRSE (6 June 1904 – 13 March 1972) was a Scottish civil servant who served as the Registrar General for Scotland.

Alexander Burt Taylor was born 6 June 1904 at Earlston, Berwickshire, Scotland. Following schooling at the famous Hamilton Academy and at Kirkwall Grammar School, Taylor matriculated at the University of Edinburgh. Graduating MA in 1925, he taught at schools in Stirling and Falkirk, Scotland, and at Columbia University, New York.[1]

New Register House, Edinburgh, headquarters of the General Register Office for Scotland

In 1933 Taylor took a position with the Scottish Education Department and at the beginning of World War II was seconded to the Scottish Department of Health and in 1947 was promoted to Assistant Secretary. In 1959 Taylor was appointed Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland, a post he held until his retirement in 1966. During his term of office he was responsible for the administration of two censuses, the Scottish full census of 1961 and the ten per cent sample in 1966.[1][2]

In 1961 Taylor was invested Commander of the Order of the British Empire and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 6 March of that year.[3]

Taylor was also a Scandinavian philologist and author of a translation of The Orkneyinga saga: A new translation with introduction and notes (1938), and British and Irish place-names in Old Norse literature (1953). He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Edinburgh. Taylor died on 13 March 1972 at the age of 67.[1]

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