Tag Archives: death certificate

Ordering the death certificate of Thomas NICHOLLS

10 Apr

I have written several times recently that I need to order the death certificate for my 4x great-grandfather Thomas NICHOLLS. This is because I need to find his age when he died and from that when he was born.

The problem is that I don’t really know enough about him and his death to order a certificate with any certainty, and please don’t take offence, but I don’t like wasting my money on other people’s ancestors.

I know he died between the 1841 census and the 1851 census, and the baptism of his youngest child was in June 1847, so in theory this narrows the date range down a bit. The fact that the place of this baptism was Blean, Kent points to two likely death registrations in the Blean Registration District.

The first is in Q1 1848 and the second is in Q4 1849. Whilst searching the Blean parish registers I found a burial on the 21st October 1849, but unfortunately the age at death was not clear. It looked like it was measured in days not years, but I couldn’t be certain.

So once again I left with a dilemma, which one (if either) of these two certificates is the one I want and when I do get one do I have enough information to be certain that I have ordered the correct one.

I guess there is only one way to find out, get out my credit card and order one of them.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 52

26 Dec

Week 52 by my reckoning must mean we are at the end of the year. I think I will save my review of the year for next weekend, but this week I will have a look at how I failed to achieve any of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year, but try not to beat myself up too much about it!

I had hoped I could get down to some serious family history last week, but that didn’t really materialise. Like the week before, I did a lot of thinking about family history but never really got around to doing anything about it. I did get the death certificate for John FAIRS ordered and received it by the end of the week, but that was about the limit of my family history.

Much of my thinking has been around what I am doing next and in the future. At the moment my research is lacking focus, I am really only working on one project at the moment (the housekeeping of my database) and that is not particularly exciting at the moment. My to-do list is growing, but I am not getting chance to explore much further. I feel I should be digging deeper and making opportunities to do more research.

This week, as well as looking back, I need to decide what I am going to try to accomplish in 2011. One plan has already had to be set back because Carlisle Record Office is now due to open in April next year, not January. I think my plan will be to continue with my housekeeping and see where that leads, but try to schedule in at least one day a month to visit an archive and clear some items off my to-do list.

With a couple of days off this week I hope I can get some more research done, but in reality I ought to be spending a large proportion of that time sorting out other non-genealogy stuff, but I will see how it goes.

Carved in stone, but that doesn’t make it correct

24 Dec

On Monday I wrote about John FAIRS, my 4x great-grandfather. I mentioned that his headstone records that he died on the 11th March 1846 and that the parish register recorded that he was buried on the same day.

I was rather suspicious of this, it seemed plausible that he died and was buried on the same day but it seemed unlikely and incredibly efficient of all the people involved, including the people who had to dig the grave.

A much more likely explanation was that one of the records was wrong, either the wrong date had been carved on the headstone or the officiating minister had recorded the wrong date in the burial register.

Given that John died aged only 41 years I felt that there could be an interesting story behind his death, so I decided it would be worth ordering a copy of his death certificate. I was astonished to receive the certificate in the post today, having only ordered it on Monday evening (excellent service from the GRO and the Royal Mail).

The certificate revealed the truth, John FAIRS died on the 7th March 1846 not the 11th March, so the inscription on his headstone is wrong.

Disappointingly the cause of death was not very exciting, the cause given is “Acute Gastritis 48 hours” according to Wikipedia Gastritis is “an inflammation of the lining of the stomach”. Not particularly exciting or unusual, Wikipedia does also say that “the main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption”, so maybe it was alcohol that caused his premature death?

Regardless of the cause of his death, this story does prove one thing, even if it is carved in stone it is not necessarily true.

Death certificate of Ann GEERING

16 Apr

It seems every month I describe a certificate I have received as the most important one for my research or the most interesting one. The death certificate of Ann GEERING certainly fits into both categories, as it has given me critical evidence about my GEERINGs.

This has been the only certificate I have ordered this month, not because of the price increase, but because I wasn’t really sure which, if any, I would need next.

I mentioned the discovery of an Ann GEERING in Lewes, Sussex in the 1841 census in a previous post. This lead me to wonder whether she was my 5x great-grandmother, the wife of James GEERING, who I had previously thought had died much earlier.

The certificate provides enough evidence for me to safely say that Ann was my 5x great-grandmother. Ann GEERING died on the 2nd May 1844 in Lewes, Sussex. The cause of death seems rather unusual to me, paralysis was the official cause, but there is no suggestion as to how this paralysis came about or whether it had been a long term medical condition.

The death was registered by Eliza GEERING of St Johns, Lewes who was present at the death. Eliza is probably my 4x great-grandmother, wife of Richard GEERING. Ann had been living with Richard and Eliza (and their children) in 1841.

The really important piece of information was her occupation, she is described as “Wife of James Geering Chemist”. I have no doubt that this is James GEERING (my 5x great-grandfather) from Hailsham, Sussex. This fact provides me with the link between the GEERINGs in Hailsham and Lewes that I have been looking for.

Now I also have an age at death for Ann, from which I can calculate an approximate year of birth, which I had previously not known. Unfortunately it also raises the question that troubled me in my previous post, why were James and Ann seemingly living apart, and were buried in separate towns? Answers on a postcard pleaseā€¦

Death certificate of Jane GEERING (at last something interesting)

25 Mar

This is the third of this month’s certificate order, actually it is for Jane GEARING, but hopefully that is close enough for me to have the right person, probably the daughter of James GEERING my 5x great-grandfather.

This is by far the most interesting of the three certificates, but like the other two it doesn’t provide the evidence that I was hoping for. Jane died on the 15th September 1874 aged 76 years. Her occupation is given as singlewoman, which matches her census entries.

The place of death is the most interesting I have seen, usually it only gives a village or town, sometimes a workhouse or hospital if I am lucky. Jane’s certificate gives a very precise place of death, Common Pond, Hailsham.

The cause of death gives more clarification, “Found drowned in the Common Pond”. Not surprisingly the informant was the Coroner for East Sussex, after an inquest held on the 16th September 1874. The death was actually registered on the 21st September 1874.

This of course opens up more avenues of research, the official coroners report (if it survived) and any newspaper reports her death and the inquest. Also it poses so many questions. Was it suicide? Was it a tragic accident? How was she found? Had she gone missing?

Perhaps I shall never find the answers to these questions, but she has provided yet another interesting story, and of course more research to add to the growing to-do list.

The good news is that Common Pond, Hailsham still exists, although the common itself has all but disappeared.

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