Author Topic: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates  (Read 5718 times)

Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #27 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 21:32 BST (UK) »
The column heading does  say

"Rank or occupation"
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Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #28 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 22:04 BST (UK) »
We do it like this because we have always done it like this.

As Mr Jobsworth  may have said.

Surely it is time  for the GRO  to embrace the 21st century.
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #29 on: Wednesday 06 April 16 23:37 BST (UK) »
I think it depends on the following

1/ Why in 1837 did the Government decide that they needed to know the occupation of bride & groom

2/ How was that information used

3/ Was the bride's occupation needed for that purpose


It's not simply a matter of collecting information.  In an area like Wales, with many people sharing a few surnames and perhaps not that many first names, the man's occupation can often help to reduce confusion.  We have all heard of Dai the Post, and many others like him.
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Offline StevieSteve

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #30 on: Thursday 07 April 16 02:46 BST (UK) »
Well, I'd say it is exactly a matter of collecting information.

In 1837 the Government decided they needed a central repository of all the marriages in England & Wales. Why?

If occupation was needed to distinguish two Evan Evans of Swansea who married in 1842, say, then it would be sensible for it to be included in the indexes. Yet it's not, which suggests it isn't.
Middlesex: KING,  MUMFORD, COOK, ROUSE, GOODALL, BROWN
Oxford: MATTHEWS, MOSS
Kent: SPOONER, THOMAS, KILLICK, COLLINS
Cambs: PRIGG, LEACH
Hants: FOSTER
Montgomery: BREES
Surrey: REEVE

Offline venelow

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #31 on: Thursday 07 April 16 05:03 BST (UK) »

Many thanks to AntonyMMM and Carol8353 who answered my question as re-stated in reply 14 of this thread.

The essence of which was quote:

"Let me clarify my question. I think that the recording of a spinster's father and his occupation was a standard procedure in the recording of an Entry of Death of an unmarried woman asked of the informant who may or may not have known. But I don't know if I am correct in this thinking. Was this a question asked from the start of Civil Registration or was it made standard at a later date?"

Antony states he has seen death certificates of unmarried women that, under column 5 headed Occupation, state the name of her father and his occupation.  Carol gave a link to further information on the subject. It is possible that some Registrars may not have recorded the father's name and occupation in all cases but it seems that on the whole the question was asked if not always answered.

As stated, my problem is that someone has asserted that such information was never recorded (at least not in the 1860s) and was using that argument to rule the information about the father on the death certificate as invalid because the informant should not have provided it. They think it is a cover-up to conceal her real father as the information contradicts the father's name and occupation on the baptism record that they have found and decided is hers.

In this case the informant was the son of the unmarried woman. If he had not known who his maternal grandfather was he could have stated "I don't know".  Since his father in law, the Registrar, lived next door he may have prompted him to get the information from his dying mother. Maybe somebody lied but that is a different problem to be evaluated. The only gain in giving false information would be to slightly enhance the social status of the woman's family. The likelihood of that also has to be evaluated.

Thanks again to Antony and Carol.

Venelow
Canada














Offline AntonyMMM

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #32 on: Thursday 07 April 16 08:15 BST (UK) »

As stated, my problem is that someone has asserted that such information was never recorded (at least not in the 1860s) and was using that argument to rule the information about the father on the death certificate as invalid because the informant should not have provided it. They think it is a cover-up to conceal her real father as the information contradicts the father's name and occupation on the baptism record that they have found and decided is hers.


When presented with conflicting evidence some find it  easier to come up with a "story" that conveniently explains it away rather than to investigate other evidence to establish the truth (if that is possible).

Venelow - I'm not sure why so many posters ignored your very specific question relating to death registration and instead started discussing the registering of marriages - which is done under different rules and comes from different legislation than births/deaths anyway !

Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #33 on: Thursday 07 April 16 08:21 BST (UK) »
How do you know the address of the registrar?
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #34 on: Thursday 07 April 16 08:22 BST (UK) »
Hi All

Thank you for your replies but they have not really covered the question I was asking. This was not a women's rights question, or a women's occupation question or about widows but rather one of the procedure used in recording spinsters' deaths. 

The problem is you are asking for specific information but are not giving enough details to give specific information.
For instance we now know that the time period of the 1860s is relevant “(at least not in the 1860s)”.
This makes a huge difference as the way deaths were recorded in the 1860s was different from the way deaths were recorded in the 1880s.
The law in the 1860s required that-
“XXV. And be it enacted, That some Person present at the Death or in attendance during the last Illness of every Person dying in England after the said First Day of March, or in the case of the Death, Illness, Inability, or Default of all such Persons, the Occupier of the House or Tenement, or if the Occupier be the Person who shall have died, some Inmate of the House or Tenement in which such Death shall have happened, shall, within Eight Days next after the Day of such Death, give Information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, of the several Particulars hereby required to be known and registered touching the Death of such Person : Provided always, that in every Case in which an Inquest shall be held on any dead Body the Jury shall inquire of the particulars herein required to be registered concerning the Death, and the Coroner shall inform the Registrar of the Finding of the Jury, and the registrar shall make the Entry accordingly.”

The wording is very important as you can see the informant may not know the person whose death is being reported.
This is also the time when it was the registrar’s duty to visit the informant rather than the informant visit the registrar to report the death

It has been asserted to me by a few people that the informant did not have to provide the name and occupation of the deceased spinster's father. They found it unusual and have ascribed it to ulterior motives of trying to cover up who her real father was.

As you can see from the above quote the informant did not have to answer any of the questions asked he/she only had to “give Information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief”

He/she may in reality know very little about the dead person beyond the fact that they died at such a time in such a location.
You must ask yourself would the people concerned in any such cover up think it worth the penalties involved for in reality no gain.

I don't want to go into the actual details of the case as it occurs in a published biography. Some people have decided she was the daughter of X because they have found a baptism that seems to fit but the father named in the baptism does not have the same name or occupation as the father stated on the death certificate.

To Anthony and Scouseboy; my remark about the relationship between the informant and the Registrar was a separate fact I discovered in the course of my research. Nowhere on the certificate are the words son in law.  It's just another little twist in this vexing case. Would the informant lie to his father in law? Would they collude to give false information?

Here we cannot answer as we do not know if your research has accurately discovered any relationship between the registrar and informant, or whether they are simply two men with the same names. I don’t mean this as a slight on your research but we are being asked something about facts we do not know and cannot check.

Let me clarify my question. I think that the recording of a spinster's father and his occupation was a standard procedure in the recording of an Entry of Death of an unmarried woman asked of the informant who may or may not have known. But I don't know if I am correct in this thinking. Was this a question asked from the start of Civil Registration or was it made standard at a later date?

Thank you.

Venelow
Canada


The facts required by law were-

When Died, Name and Surname, Sex, Age, Rank or Profession, Cause of Death, Signature, Description, Residence of Informant, When registered.

There is no way of knowing what questions were actually asked (though we can assume the types of questions asked) and we can compare what information was supplied in the same time period.
However we could only gain a better understanding by checking records of other deaths by that particular registrar to guess what questions he may have asked as each would have their own peculiarities.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Occupation of unmarried women on English Death Certificates
« Reply #35 on: Thursday 07 April 16 09:37 BST (UK) »
Well, I'd say it is exactly a matter of collecting information.

In 1837 the Government decided they needed a central repository of all the marriages in England & Wales. Why?

You sound like a conspiracy theorist.  The 'Government' was standardising and centralising what most churches had been doing for a very long time before.  They had no indexing (as far as I know) and in England had usually recorded the occupation of the head of household, or male deceased.
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