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Useless Irish Death Certificates!

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    Useless Irish Death Certificates!

    I've spent hours trying to trace some of my Brady family spouses/childrens' death certificates only to discover that any who died in a Hospital or a Hospice the information is so limited.

    In the case of a woman it just says Married, Widow or Spinster suffering from dementia. How would an old woman with dementia remember if she had been married or not? My Dad had dementia for a short while but even he thought that a coloured photo of his gt grandaughter was me! (only black and white when is was small.

    Then you have- wife of a Labourer, Painter etc. No home address in most cases. No mention of husband's name either!

    Likewise with children, son or daughter of a Labourer, Painter, etc. You would think a Hospital would have recorded the name of at least one of the parents!
    teresa

    #2
    I can't believe how little information there is on the older records. I found a marriage record for a name corresponding with one of my GGGG Grandfathers in Ireland only to find that his new bride was referred to simply as "Peggie" (I guess the person who wrote it down knew perfectly well who she was so why bother recording her surname). And other cases where Irish births were recorded with the infant's name only, no parents. Such records are next to useless really as you can never be sure if the person is related to you or not.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't think it is just Irish records. I have seen quite a number of English baptisms where the vicar was clearly writing them up at a later date and just couldn't remember the parents names! There is just a blank!
      Anne

      Comment


        #4
        I don't understand the comment about not knowing if you were married or not because you had dementia. Whoever gave the information on the death certificate, it was not the deceased!

        OC

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by kathsgirl.48 View Post
          I've spent hours trying to trace some of my Brady family spouses/childrens' death certificates only to discover that any who died in a Hospital or a Hospice the information is so limited.

          In the case of a woman it just says Married, Widow or Spinster suffering from dementia. How would an old woman with dementia remember if she had been married or not? My Dad had dementia for a short while but even he thought that a coloured photo of his gt grandaughter was me! (only black and white when is was small.

          Then you have- wife of a Labourer, Painter etc. No home address in most cases. No mention of husband's name either!

          Likewise with children, son or daughter of a Labourer, Painter, etc. You would think a Hospital would have recorded the name of at least one of the parents!
          Have you looked to see if there was probate granted?
          http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genea...ntary-records/

          My Irish family from co Kerry had some useful info there.

          The certificates vary.......any certificate is only as useful as the knowledge available to the informant. I have Irish death certs which were quite informative....on the other hand, my grandmother's (Australian) death certificate is full of errors because the informant was not a family member. Add to that, my grandmother was coy about her age, her place of birth and her given name, so while I was chasing a Johanna Ryan, born (as Dad declared) in co. Clare, she eventually turned out to be Judith Ryan, born in co. Tipperary.

          Generally, I prefer the information provided on marriage certs as at least the parties concerned provide it, but in Grandma's case, she declared herself to be Johanna Margaret on marriage and on electoral rolls. Dead and buried as Judith, I thought I had the wrong body except she was buried with Grandad. Mum and Dad disagreed all their lives as to whether she was Johanna or Judith, so no help there....but I did eventually discover a baptism and an emigration record which favoured 'Judith'.

          Beverley



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            #6
            Originally posted by Olde Crone Holden View Post
            I don't understand the comment about not knowing if you were married or not because you had dementia. Whoever gave the information on the death certificate, it was not the deceased!

            OC
            On that one, it was the Hospital who gave the information and registered the death. The deceased was in her 90's. It's no wonder people can't find the correct death for their ancestors!
            teresa

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Macbev View Post
              Have you looked to see if there was probate granted?
              http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genea...ntary-records/

              My Irish family from co Kerry had some useful info there.

              The certificates vary.......any certificate is only as useful as the knowledge available to the informant. I have Irish death certs which were quite informative....on the other hand, my grandmother's (Australian) death certificate is full of errors because the informant was not a family member. Add to that, my grandmother was coy about her age, her place of birth and her given name, so while I was chasing a Johanna Ryan, born (as Dad declared) in co. Clare, she eventually turned out to be Judith Ryan, born in co. Tipperary.

              Generally, I prefer the information provided on marriage certs as at least the parties concerned provide it, but in Grandma's case, she declared herself to be Johanna Margaret on marriage and on electoral rolls. Dead and buried as Judith, I thought I had the wrong body except she was buried with Grandad. Mum and Dad disagreed all their lives as to whether she was Johanna or Judith, so no help there....but I did eventually discover a baptism and an emigration record which favoured 'Judith'.
              Johanna/Judith equate to each other! I only know that because I had a Judith from Tipperary and cousins in the USA were insisting it was Johanna!! OH also has a Judith, known as Johanna!! You just never know with Irish names!!

              Death Certs can be difficukt in the UK if person died in Hospital or workhouse. If they die at home, so much easier!

              Janet

              Comment


                #8
                I'm no expert on Irish research but having had a bit of luck with medical records for my Scottish family, I wonder if there are hospital and workhouse admission records and also Poor Law application records that might help you? Those should give more detail about the person's relatives/next of kin and in the case of Poor relief, why family could not support the individual. I would try the relevant county record offices and Dublin archives people.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by GallowayLass View Post
                  I'm no expert on Irish research but having had a bit of luck with medical records for my Scottish family, I wonder if there are hospital and workhouse admission records and also Poor Law application records that might help you? Those should give more detail about the person's relatives/next of kin and in the case of Poor relief, why family could not support the individual. I would try the relevant county record offices and Dublin archives people.
                  I totally agree - my Glasgow lot have very good poor records (from The Mitchell Library, City of Glasgow Archive). The real benefit from Poor records is the depth of detail. For example children listed and where they were born, a list of all the homes the family have lived in, details of other relatives such as uncles and aunts, details of army service, etc etc. One little detail that made me very sad was for a very poor direct relative and it said that despite her poverty she kept a clean and tidy home and that she had sold her lace curtains to help feed the family.
                  I think all to often (and I include myself) we think of family research as births, marriages and deaths but that is only the bare bones of a person. Poor records, wills, service records, newspaper articles and the like really show the person as a whole.

                  On the subject of hospital/poorhouse records - some records only record minimal details, others a day-to-day account of their lives. My great grand uncle's wife was in an asylum for over 30 years until she died - it makes fascinating reading on her tragic life.
                  herky
                  Researching - Trimmer (Farringdon), Noble & Taylor (Ross and Cromarty), Norris (Glasgow), McGilvray (Glasgow and Australia), Leck & Efford (Glasgow), Ferrett (Hampshire), Jenkins & Williams (Aberystwyth), Morton (Motherwell and Tipton), Barrowman (Glasgow), Lilley (Bromsgrove and Glasgow), Cresswell (England and Lanarkshire). Simpson, Morrow and Norris in Ireland. Thomas Price b c 1844 Scotland.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Janet View Post
                    Johanna/Judith equate to each other! I only know that because I had a Judith from Tipperary and cousins in the USA were insisting it was Johanna!! OH also has a Judith, known as Johanna!! You just never know with Irish names!!

                    Death Certs can be difficukt in the UK if person died in Hospital or workhouse. If they die at home, so much easier!

                    Janet
                    NOT necessarily!!!


                    It depends on

                    a) the informant ....... yes, a family is more likely to know the truth but not always

                    b) how much the deceased told family members about ANY part of their life


                    Witness my grandfather ........ convinced everyone that his birthday was December 25 in either 1884 or 1885 ........... his birth certificate shows it was January 9 1885, but that was not found until after he was dead and buried.

                    Or all the ones who added, removed or changed names given to them by their parents. Or who said they were married / widowed / single when they weren't.


                    In my opinion, NO death certificate can be trusted to be accurate, apart from the "current" information, ie .......

                    date and place of death
                    cause of death
                    name and address of doctor and/or coroner
                    name, address and relationship of informant



                    it was all done to confuse us :D:D
                    Last edited by Sylvia C; 05-08-17, 16:16.
                    My grandmother, on the beach, South Bay, Scarborough, undated photo (poss. 1929 or 1930)

                    Researching Cadd, Schofield, Cottrell in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire; Taylor, Park in Westmorland; Hayhurst in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Lancashire; Hughes, Roberts in Wales.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sylvia C View Post
                      NOT necessarily!!!


                      It depends on

                      a) the informant ....... yes, a family is more likely to know the truth but not always

                      b) how much the deceased told family members about ANY part of their life


                      Witness my grandfather ........ convinced everyone that his birthday was December 25 in either 1884 or 1885 ........... his birth certificate shows it was January 9 1885, but that was not found until after he was dead and buried.

                      Or all the ones who added, removed or changed names given to them by their parents. Or who said they were married / widowed / single when they weren't.


                      In my opinion, NO death certificate can be trusted to be accurate, apart from the "current" information, ie .......

                      date and place of death
                      cause of death
                      name and address of doctor and/or coroner
                      name, address and relationship of informant



                      it was all done to confuse us :D:D

                      There is always someone that can confuse!!! I had an Irish death at home 1899, age 59, so born/baptised about 1840. Well, he married in 1855, age 15, not impossible, but highly doubtful!! After searching this brick wall for two years I eventually found a baptism of 1827! So yes, home deaths can be bad for info but still by and large they yield better info than hospital deaths. Most of my Death Certs have been accurate and many have given me extra information so probably pot luck.

                      Janet
                      Last edited by Janet; 05-08-17, 19:25.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Janet View Post
                        There is always someone that can confuse!!! I had an Irish death at home 1899, age 59, so born/baptised about 1840. Well, he married in 1855, age 15, not impossible, but highly doubtful!! After searching this brick wall for two years I eventually found a baptism of 1827! So yes, home deaths can be bad for info but still by and large they yield better info than hospital deaths. Most of my Death Certs have been accurate and many have given me extra information so probably pot luck.

                        Janet

                        Yes, I agree .......... although some of the ones that I really really wanted to provide more information didn't give it to me!

                        As far as my grandfather was / is concerned ............ my brother and I were the only grandchildren and we both eventually knew about the wrong birth date. But any other person looking for him, eg descendants of his siblings, will have trouble finding his birth records!

                        It is all confounded by the fact that he wasn't baptised until December 23 (!) 1886, at the same time as his younger sister, but there is no indication of birth date or age of grandfather on the Parish Register.

                        I figure maybe his parents celebrated his birthday on December 25 to save buying extra presents, but he did know his true birthday because he had a birth certificate hidden in a drawer ........... possibly he had to get it in WW1 when he was in the MGC and sent to India and "Mesopotamia". Is that a possibility????
                        My grandmother, on the beach, South Bay, Scarborough, undated photo (poss. 1929 or 1930)

                        Researching Cadd, Schofield, Cottrell in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire; Taylor, Park in Westmorland; Hayhurst in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Lancashire; Hughes, Roberts in Wales.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Irish birth, death & marriage certificates are identical to those used in England and Wales, so I wouldn’t get too agitated about the lack of information on them. It’s often inaccurate because people didn’t care very much about some of the information or didn't know. Names varied in the 1800s in a way they don’t today because it agitates officialdom. And informants for deaths etc often just guessed information. There was no poroof required, and in many cases none would have existed anyway.

                          People in Ireland often didn’t know exactly how old they were and so ages are wildly out. Alexander Irvine was born in 1863 in Antrim town and became a Minister living in the US. This extract from his book “The Chimney Corner revisited” perhaps explains why people often had to guess their ages:

                          “My mother kept a mental record of the twelve births. None of us ever knew, or cared to know, when we were born. When I heard of anybody in the more fortunate class celebrating a birthday I considered it a foolish imitation of the Queen’s birthday, which rankled in our little minds with 25th December or 12th July. In manhood there were times when I had to prove I was born somewhere, somewhen, and then it was that I discovered that I also had a birthday. The clerk of the parish informed me.”

                          I have attached a letter, from someone in Pettigoe, Co. Donegal in 1908 who was writing to his Minister, asking for a baptismal certificateAge doc.jpg. All he knew was that he was between “70 and 78 years of age.” He clearly had only the vaguest idea of his age and couldn’t narrow it down to within 9 years. (The reason for the letter was that the old age pension was being introduced in 1909 for people aged 70 and over. Documentary proof of age was required. Thus, probably for the first time in his life, his age became relevant to him).

                          Regarding workhouses, the surviving workhouse records for what is now Northern Ireland are all in PRONI in Belfast. (They are not on-line and a personal visit is required to see them). For the Republic of Ireland they tend to be in local county archives. You can see what exists for each Irish workhouse, and where the records are located, using this link:

                          http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Ireland/

                          From a researchers point of view, there are 2 important sets of records. One is the admission records, and the other are the Board of Guardians minutes (management meetings). Both are worth reading though the minutes can be extensive and take a lot of time if you don’t have particular date in mind.

                          Workhouse records under 100 years are closed but it can be possible to get redacted information from them by making an FOI request in the relevant jurisdiction.
                          Last edited by Elwyn; 06-08-17, 08:02.
                          Elwyn

                          I am based in Co. Antrim and undertake research in Northern Ireland. Please feel free to contact me for help or advice via PM.

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