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Thread: Death certificates

  1. #1
    Member Vicky the Viking's Avatar
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    Death certificates

    Just a quickie... anyone know if you needed to have a death certificate to bury someone in 1862?

    Wondering if there's something fishy going on here. I have the burial, from parish registers, and a newspaper announcement TWO WEEKS after the death (Usually deaths were reported within days) From this, I know the actual date and address. Almost as if they didn't want anyone to know. His wife had committed suicide about 18 months earlier, leaving two small children, and his father had died three months earlier, having insulted him in his Will.

    Can't find any sign of a death registration, and I've tried all sorts of variant spellings on both FreeBMD and the GRO.

    I'm on the point of going to the local register office to see if they can help (they aren't generally too happy unless you can supply a reference) as I'm thinking this might be one that never made it to the GRO.

    Any ideas?
    Vicky

  2. #2
    It was possible to bury someone without registering the death before 1875. One of the reasons the law was tightened up was to try to prevent murders going undetected and another was to prevent fraud, that is, claiming someone had died and registering the death in order to claim insurance. The law tightened up so that all deaths had to be certified by a doctor (medical certificate of death) and burial could not take place until that death had been registered (certificate of registration of death).

    OC

  3. #3
    Member Vicky the Viking's Avatar
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    Thanks OC, I had a feeling you could but didn't know when the law requiring a certificate was changed.

    I'm thinking this could have been another suicide and they just didn't want the publicity of an inquest.

  4. #4
    maybe a report in the newspapers??

    Val

  5. #5
    You would expect a death to be registered, but experience and research tells us that some just didn't get recorded in civil registers yet burials did take place. Both the 1836 B&D Act (s27) and the 1874 Act (s17) did make allowance for burials to take place without registration so long as the registrar was notified within 7 days.

    It is a bit of a myth (that often gets repeated) that deaths always have to be registered before burial....they usually are, but it still isn't legally the case now. As a registrar I registered quite a few deaths after the funeral had taken place. What is required is a "certificate for burial/cremation", also known as "form 9" or the "green form" which isn't the same as a death certificate and which can be issued by a registrar, or more often the coroner, before the death has been registered.

    If it was a suicide, which would have been referred to the coroner, then the chance of that going unregistered would be very much less likely than if it were a "normal" death at home.
    Last edited by AntonyM; 16-10-19 at 19:48.
    I am a professional researcher, and ex- deputy registrar, based in Buckinghamshire - please contact me for any help/advice or research via PM or my website www.chalfontresearch.co.uk
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    A cousin had not been able to locate a death certificate for an ancestor who died in 1864 via the GRO, so she followed it up at the local CRO (Herts) with success. I have just checked the online GRO Death Index, and there is no sign of the death entry there.

  7. #7
    Member kylejustin's Avatar
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    I have an ancestor who doesn't have a death registered, nationally or locally in 1862. Have the burial record. So yes, it does happen.

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    and there are also mistranscriptions on the register.
    Carolyn

    Researching:Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon
    Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
    Plant, Skinner - Lincs ....all moved to London
    Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

  9. #9
    My GG grandfather died in 1862 and is also missing from the death registers. I know when he died as I have his burial. Have also sent for 3 wrong certificates!
    Anne

  10. #10
    Member Vicky the Viking's Avatar
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    Thinking out loud here - just wondering if it's worth a punt ordering this one? I hate wasting money on certs.

    I'm looking for Henry Nield. Lived Ashton under Lyne. Was 46 when he died.

    I've found an entry in the GRO for a Henry O'Neil age 46 registered in Manchester.

    It's not that far way, and I know he did travel a lot. His wife's family were from the Liverpool area. I'm thinking if he died alone the person registering the death might not have been sure of his surname.
    Also, he died on the 14th, according to the newspaper report, but wasn't buried till the 20th, which struck me as quite a long delay for those times.
    Vicky

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