Author Topic: Why Doesn't Parish Burial Record Include Polly MICHELL (nee WOLCOT)?  (Read 336 times)

Offline Les de B

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There are 2 Burial Records here for Cotleigh Parish 1768.

The top record appears to be the original Cotleigh Parish Burial Record, and shows "Polly, the wife of Jas Michell, Rector, of Cotleigh, January 5th"

The bottom record is the Devon Bishop's Transcripts for Cotleigh Parish for the same period, but the burial of Polly Michell has "vanished". This record was transcribed by Polly's husband, Rev.J Michell July 7th 1768, but he's not included her. Both original and transcript records appear to be written in the hand of Rev.James Michell.

 In the transcript he does write "This is a copy of the Register Book belonging to the Parish of Cotleigh, by me". However, looking at previous and post copies he has written in this book, he uses the phrase "a true copy" or "an exact copy".

So my query is, why has he left his wife out of the transcript, and why has he written just "a copy" rather than "a true copy" or "exact copy" as he normally did?

Was this omission on purpose, by mistake, or maybe he was just  too emotional to include her? Was there any reason why he wouldn't want her death to come under notice of the Bishop?

Just wondering.............?

Les


de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Why Doesn't Parish Burial Record Include Polly MICHELL (nee WOLCOT)?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 03 May 20 16:59 BST (UK) »
There were plenty of errors and omissions in making BT copies. I have tried to use BTs to help transcription of parish registers and have been surprised at quite how many mistakes were made. My guess here is a mistake rather than anything deliberate. Making the BT must have been an irritating chore.
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Offline Les de B

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Re: Why Doesn't Parish Burial Record Include Polly MICHELL (nee WOLCOT)?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 05 May 20 06:28 BST (UK) »
There were plenty of errors and omissions in making BT copies. I have tried to use BTs to help transcription of parish registers and have been surprised at quite how many mistakes were made. My guess here is a mistake rather than anything deliberate. Making the BT must have been an irritating chore.

Thanks for your response Graham. Yes, my query was a bit of a "grey" one where a "black & white" answer would be a little hard to give.

Since submitting this post, I've found an Index indicating "Mrs Michell" was buried in the adjoining Parish of Offwell in the same year, 1768. Although my Polly Michell was married to  James, the Rector of Cotleigh, 4 of her 7 children were baptised in Offwell, so there is a connection.

Maybe the original entry in the Cotleigh register was pre-empted, and when James did the transcription in June he left her out, as that record was now incorrect. Though, you'd think he would have put a neat line through the original entry?

I can't check the original "Mrs Michell" record out at the moment as my library, which has access to Find My Past, is not opened due to the current health situation.
 
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Offline BumbleB

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Re: Why Doesn't Parish Burial Record Include Polly MICHELL (nee WOLCOT)?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 05 May 20 07:09 BST (UK) »
Here's the image for "Mrs Michell"

Transcriptions and NBI are merely finding aids.  They are NOT a substitute for original record entries.
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Offline Les de B

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Re: Why Doesn't Parish Burial Record Include Polly MICHELL (nee WOLCOT)?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 05 May 20 08:42 BST (UK) »
Here's the image for "Mrs Michell"

Thank you very much for that.

Well, that would be my Polly Michell as the burial date is correct i.e. 5 Jan 1768. Funny, to record in one church parish burial register that somebody was buried in another church parish.

So getting back to my original query, if 2 entries now indicate that Polly was buried in Coteligh, the transcript recorded some months later appears to be just an omission of the burial - whether intentional or not, is just another of many questions Family History "throws" at us?  ;D
de Belin, Swindail, Willcock, Williams, Moore, Watts, Searjeant, Watson, McCready, Reid, Spink, de Lancey, Van Cortland, and of course, Smith!