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Death Certificate Mystery

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Death Certificate Mystery

Postby eurogordi » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:20 am

Can anyone help with a mystery that has been driving me crazy for several years?

When the informant is described as "OCCUPIER" on a death certificate, what does this actually mean - especially in the early years of civil registration?

My 4x great grandfather, Joseph Stump, died in 1841 and the informant was "Charles Ford, occupier". No real problem, as Joseph was known to have one or two lodgers at the time of his death so, presumably, Charles was an occupier (ie. lodger) at the house where Joseph died.

HOWEVER, another ancestor, my 3x great grandfather, Thomas Othen, died in 1840 and the informant was "Barbara Othen, occupier". Thomas's third wife was Barbara, who was 43 years his junior and outlived him by 13 years, but why would a "wife" be described as an "occupier"?

Any advice and comments would be very much appreciated. The term "occupier" may have had some other significance in the 1840's, but I need to have verification of its usage to solve this puzzle.

Thanks in advance,
Gordon
eurogordi
 
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RE: Death Certificate Mystery

Postby Guy » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:36 am

Probably due to the wording of the 1836 Act
"[size="2"]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."

Some could read this to mean only persons present at the death or an occupier of the house could register the death, therefore, if she was not prsent at the death, the qualification was occupier rather than wife.
Cheers
Guy
[/size]
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RE: Death Certificate Mystery

Postby eurogordi » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:46 am

Thanks Guy. Your explanation explains why Barbara Othen was described as "Occupier" when she registered the death of her husband. I had never consulted the original working contained in the 1836 Act before now.

Thanks again,
Gordon
eurogordi
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am


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