Author Topic: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates  (Read 5522 times)

Offline venelow

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Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« on: Tuesday 05 April 16 22:45 BST (UK) »
Hi Rootschatters

I would very much like the opinion of members regarding how unmarried women were documented on Death Certificates. Most researchers do not obtain a full set of BMDs for everyone in their tree and when making that choice elderly unmarried women are probably bottom of the list. Some may never have obtained the death certificate of a spinster. (Her Will would be a better use of the money.)

I have two such certificates, one from the 1860s and one from the 1950s. In both cases the women are documented under the occupation column in terms of being a daughter of Father's name plus his occupation.  The one from the 1950s states "Spinster of no occupation the daughter of father's name, his occupation, deceased".  It should be noted that she did have an occupation at one time, keeping a shop, but died at the age of 83 probably in a care home.

This linking of the deceased unmarried female with her father seems to me entirely consistent with how married women are documented as the wife or widow of husbands' name and occupation.

It has been suggested to me that the informant in the 1860s certificate had no obligation to give the name of the deceased's father and they think the name given is fictitious. Even that the real name of her father has been deliberately concealed. Of course they have another name in mind.

In the absence of a documented marriage for this particular person the name of her father is an important element in discovering who she was so I would be glad of opinions on this matter. I should also mention that the informant of the death on the 1860s certificate was the son in law of the Registrar who signed the Entry of Death.

Thanks for reading this.

Venelow
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Offline g eli

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 05 April 16 23:16 BST (UK) »
I have several death certificates for unmarried females and with one exception they were the daughter of  and father's occupation. The exception the informant was her sister so would have known. In a couple of cases the woman's occupation was also given.
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Online Viktoria

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 05 April 16 23:32 BST (UK) »
Not quite the same but it annoys me when widows are described as"relict "ie" Relict of the late Joe Bloggs" as if they were of no value on their own.

Sorry if anyone named Joe Bloggs uses RootsChat.
You have raised some interesting questions, I don`t know the answers but looking forward to reading opinions on these matters .Viktoria.


Offline pharmaT

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 07:25 BST (UK) »
This is why I love Scottish certificates. I have viewed the death records of maiden great aunts and grt grt aunts etc at scotlands people centres. Although they were listed as daughter of father(occupation) and mother. Under the occupation theur own occupation was listed apart from those who were listed as independent means.
Campbell, Dunn, Dickson, Fell, Forest, Norie, Pratt, Somerville, Thompson, Tyler among others

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 08:31 BST (UK) »
Not quite the same but it annoys me when widows are described as"relict "ie" Relict of the late Joe Bloggs" as if they were of no value on their own.

Sorry if anyone named Joe Bloggs uses RootsChat.
You have raised some interesting questions, I don`t know the answers but looking forward to reading opinions on these matters .Viktoria.

That is possible because you are looking at old terms through modern eyes.

Don't forget this term stems from a time when marriage made a man and a woman one.
They were considered one entity no longer two separate people.

When the male part died the female part was relicta or left behind, this was far from of no value on their own but rather a gentle reminder to those who inherited by primogeniture that she had to be provided for.

There  was also a very important situation if the woman had owned property before marriage, as that property would be taken as part of her husbandís estate (as they were one being) on marriage. However when her husband died she was then entitled to that property (unless it had been disposed off in her husbands lifetime).

So you see rather than the term looking at widows as if they were of no value on their own it was actually certifying that the widow had rights under law.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Beeonthebay

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 09:00 BST (UK) »
On another "female" matter (sorry to go off course) I have been doing some FreeReg marriage transcripts and these are from the WW1 years and no matter if the woman who married is a spinster or a widow not one of them has an occupation given out of the 500 or so I've done so far.  Liverpool St Peter's.

Why would that be?
Williams, Owens, Pritchard, Povall, Banks, Brown.

Offline AntonyMMM

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 09:17 BST (UK) »
I should also mention that the informant of the death on the 1860s certificate was the son in law of the Registrar who signed the Entry of Death.


Any relationship shown on the certificate  relates to the informant/deceased and is recorded to show their legal qualification to register the death.


Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 09:33 BST (UK) »
In the 1920s  when  a female teacher got married she could no longer keep her job as a teacher.    Some women teachers  may well have chosen to keep their relationship secret so as not to lose the job which they loved.
Nursall   ~    Buckinghamshire
Avies ~   Norwich

Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 09:46 BST (UK) »
venelow,

The section for Informant   will commonly have the name of the wife or husband of the deceased.

or  a son or daughter.

Or it could be a police officer or a hospital officer.

If the informant on your subject death certificate  was "Son in Law"    it probably means  the son in law  of the deceased person.
Nursall   ~    Buckinghamshire
Avies ~   Norwich