Author Topic: Age on Death Certs  (Read 7619 times)

Offline Sueh2

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Age on Death Certs
« on: Wednesday 28 February 07 11:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

I'm trying to find a couple of deaths so that I can send off for the certificates but having searched the complete indexes can only find people of the right name with ages that are quite a lot out. I wonder whether others have found this on certs they have ordered.

 My thinking is that the person who registered a death may not really have known the age of the deceased and made a guess.

What do you think should I pay my money and take a chance?

Sue

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
E Yorks: HALL, HARLEY, HARVEY, HULLAH, PORTER, PRESTON.
Essex: HARVEY, SMITH. ONG, HUMM/HUME
Norfolk: TUCK
Lincs: ADAMS, HOLLAND.

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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 12:00 GMT (UK) »
Hi Sue,
How much is "quite a bit out"?

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline Sandy Hall

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 12:15 GMT (UK) »
Hi Sue

If you wrote direct to the Registry Office where the death took place and gave
them as much detail as you have on the person they would more than likely
let you know if it was the right person before having to pay any cost.

My own Mother's death certificate has a lot of errors on it because the informant
thought her details were as they stated.

Best of luck.

Sandy
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 Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Sueh2

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 12:24 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

By "quite a bit" I mean between 5 and 10 years.

Sue

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
E Yorks: HALL, HARLEY, HARVEY, HULLAH, PORTER, PRESTON.
Essex: HARVEY, SMITH. ONG, HUMM/HUME
Norfolk: TUCK
Lincs: ADAMS, HOLLAND.

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 12:34 GMT (UK) »
Sue- 5 to 10 years is really not that far off when you think of the ages people gave on census records (and they should have known how old they were!).
When I was 17 my grandmother died and I remember her 3 sons giving the information to the registrar for the death certificate, They kept asking me for the answers to the questions and when they got to the question 'where was her father born?' I was finally put on the phone. I said 'Liverpool' because I knew his parents had lived there. A few years later I discovered his parents had only moved to Liverpool when he was ten years old and was annoyed I'd given the wrong information. However, more recently I found that my great-grandfather was probably born in Liverpool (at a relatives' house)! Goodness knows who is listed as the informant for my grandmother's death certificate since there were so many of us on the phone that day. 
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Offline Little Nell

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 12:47 GMT (UK) »
Do you have the birth certificates for the people in question - I suspect from what you say that you don't.  Perhaps because they were born pre 1837?  So the estimates of age are based on census information? - which can be misleading.

Quote
My thinking is that the person who registered a death may not really have known the age of the deceased and made a guess.

Very true!  If the person was good at hiding their real age during their life-time, it's no wonder if the informant gets it wrong.  The person most likely to know the truth is the one who has died!  One of my 3 x gt grandmother's was most unreliable with her age.  She was never 9/10 years older with each passing census and by the time she died she was allegedly older than all previous estimates of actual age by about 5 years!

I think Sandy's approach is a good idea.

Nell
All census information: Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 13:19 GMT (UK) »
From "The Times" 21 Jan 1911.
"The Disclosure of Age"
'That is the point where trouble generally arises, if trouble there is. Women who are no longer very young and not yet very old have a traditional and unconquerable objection to saying exactly how old they are. One curious result is that the number of women who return themselves as aged from 20 to 25 exceeds at every Census the number of girls returned as from 10 to 15 at the previous Census.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Sueh2

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 14:18 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that snippet Stan......made me smile and think about those boxes you get to tick on forms. You know the ones AGE 20-25, 25-35 etc and as you pass another birthday you suddenly realise that next time you fill out a form you'll be ticking the next box!! But I'm not saying which one.

Sue

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
E Yorks: HALL, HARLEY, HARVEY, HULLAH, PORTER, PRESTON.
Essex: HARVEY, SMITH. ONG, HUMM/HUME
Norfolk: TUCK
Lincs: ADAMS, HOLLAND.

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Age on Death Certs
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 28 February 07 16:13 GMT (UK) »
This could even happen today.  I knew of a lady who according to her medical records and her son, was only about 75 when she died in 1998.  In fact it turned out she was over 10 years older than that which was not found out until her son found her birth certificate!  The funniest thing was that her son was aged about 68, but it hadn't occurre to him that his mother couldn't be only 7 years older than he was.

Liz