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Can someone exist without having/showing a birth certificate?

#1
I have been looking for the birth record of my maternal grandmother for over four years now, without success.

Her name was Florence Swain, and I have found lots of records of her existence, including:
Florry Swain (three years old, born in Nottingham) on the 1881 census
Florrie Swain (13 years old, born in Nottingham) on the 1891 census
Florence Swain (21 years old) on 1899 marriage certificate
Florence Walker (23 years old, born in Nottingham) on the 1901 census
Florence Walker (33 years old, born in Nottingham) on the 1911 census
Florence Walker (69 years old) on 1946 death certificate

However, I cannot find a Florence/Florry/Florrie Swain registered as being born in Nottingham during the three years from 1876 to 1879: there was a Florence Swain registered in Mansfield in 1878, but it was a different person - I have traced her through to 1901 on census records.

In fact, from the records I have found (assuming the ages given are accurate) I have worked out that Florence would have been born between mid-April and early October 1877 - but still no birth record.

My question is, could she have gone through an entire (69-year) life without needing to use a birth record of some kind? Would she have had to produce a birth certificate to get married? Or to register in 1918 to vote? Or for other 'official' purposes? Presumably she would have had an old-age pension from 1938, and would have needed some proof to claim it. And is there any way of tracing her birth record through these other sources?

All advice gratefully received.
 
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