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Rushton - missing death cert

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Rushton - missing death cert

Postby ClareBear » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:22 pm

Hi everyone.
I am hoping that someone can help me get over this brickwall. After trying all avenues maybe someone on the forum will find the answer.

Elijah Ruston is my 3 x grt grandfather, and was born abt 1794 in Shropshire, in the area of Wellington/Ketley. He was a Miner/Collier and married Caroline Wood in 1822. They had 11 children, the last baby born in 1848. He is known as Elijah or Elisha, both names used on different baptism records of the children, census and marriage records.

The last baby born to Elijah is Uriah Rushton, born on the 8th Oct 1848 to Caroline nee Wood and Elisha Rushton (Deceased). Sadly this baby only lives to see his second birthday, and died on the 16th Oct 1850. As it's an infants death certificate, it states the father as Uriah Rushton, Collier (Deceased). (the baby's older sister Ann Maria Rushton is the informant of the death) (I have copies of both the birth and death certs).

Following on the from the info that the father Elisha/Elijah/Uriah had died, I found a burial entry in the parish where they lived for: Uriah Rushton. date: 23rd Jan 1848, aged 56, Wellington, Shropshire. I can see that Elijah and Uriah could be misheard and written as one or the other, or maybe he used the name Uriah as well (they had another son who they named Elisha in 1845).

All this fits and makes sense, and bapt entries and certificates all confirm the above - the problem I have is that I cannot find a death certificate for my 3 x grt grandfather under Elijah, Elisha or Uriah Rushton. I have searched burial entries, GRO, local GRO offices, local archives etc, using all sorts of combinations, even leaving out the first name, different spellings, but still cannot find his death.

I am hoping that someone may be able to help, or maybe this is one of those occasions where there just isn't a death record for this person and it will never be found. (Did you need a death certificate before a burial could take place?)

Thanks in advance for any help on this mystery.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby sdup26 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:05 pm

As you say, there doesn't seem to be a death entry for Elisha, who was a miner. You don't say which colliery he worked in, but there was an accident at Lodge Colliery, Shropshire in May 1848. A lift shaft broke and 8 men died when they fell. In such a case, when a man was assumed dead, but his body couldn't be recovered, would a 'burial' service be held? Would a death certificate be issued?
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby Sylcec » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:46 am

I think there would have needed to be a body for a burial to be conducted.
However, I wonder if Mr Rushton did indeed die in the colliery accident, if this would have been followed by a coronial enquiry? I think that it would have been the coroner then who was responsible for issuing the death certificates. Following from sdup26's post, it might be worthwhile having a look in the newspapers for further information.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:51 am

Interesting. My instinct is that a church could never hold a burial without a body for theological reasons - though you'd need a minister, perhaps, to confirm. So there ought to be a death certificate somewhere to correspond with that burial. But there could be discrepancies in age, name, etc due to errors.

Where I wonder is about the coroner's report and the issue of death certificates as a result. What if the mine had insufficient records to know who had been killed? Might the coroner open an inquest but adjourn it without issuing death certificates for those still missing? There may be protocols about this sort of thing but I've never had to investigate.

So the accident might explain a missing death certificate. But in that case the burial is nothing to do with him. Surely.....


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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby peter kent » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:34 am

Many deaths went uncertificated in the early days of civil registration.

The burial entry that you mention says that he lived in Ketley. Does that tie up with the other data you have?
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby ianbee » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:49 am

But Uriah Rushton was buried 23 January 1848.
So he couldn't have been killed in a colliery accident in May 1848.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby ianbee » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:33 am

Next page in the register, Martin Short, abode New St, age 6, buried 4 Feb 1848
Few pages on, Catharine Tierney, abode New Street, age 22, buried 24 March 1848
Not sure that there are GRO death registrations for them either.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby sdup26 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:46 pm

Apologies - my post wasn't clear enough. I didn't say Elijah/Elisha died in the 1848 colliery accident, but asked what would happen 'in such a case.' Clarebear has a burial for a Uriah Rushton, but doesn't know if it's her ancestor as she can't find a death record, so I wondered about a possible mining accident with no body recovered.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby ianbee » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:56 pm

Hi
Sorry, sdup. I misunderstood you.
Perhaps at that time they were a bit lax at Wellington about burying someone without seeing a death certificate.
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Re: Rushton - missing death cert

Postby peter kent » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:19 pm

Perhaps at that time they were a bit lax at Wellington about burying someone without seeing a death certificate.


Even today undertakers do not need to see a death certificate. They do need a chit from the registrar confirming that the funeral can go ahead.

In the 1840s, the person conducting the burial (eg the vicar) did not need any authority from the registrar to carry on with the burial.

What was supposed to happen was that if a body was buried without a certificate having been issued, notification was supposed to be sent to the registrar. This was a loophole you could drive a hearse through! All too often it simply didn't happen.
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