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Thread: Useless Irish Death Certificates!

  1. #11
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    Quote 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

    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 at 20:25.

  2. #12
    Member Sylvia C's Avatar
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    Quote 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 parents at my brother's wedding, March 1952

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

  3. #13
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    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 at 09:02.
    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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