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Down syndrome in ancestors

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Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby vito74 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:21 pm

My great aunt was born with Down syndrome in 1914. Her name was Emily Grimes. Would they have written it on her birth certificate. She lived with her mum Ethel/Lillian till her death in 1964. Then disappeared, can find no death for an Emily Grimes after 1964. Where would she have been sent to or lived?


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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby JMcK » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:22 pm

My first thought was that 50 was an advanced age for someone born with Down’s syndrome in those, years.
Are you SURE she survived her mother because there is a 1963 Dec registration for an Emily D Grimes
Watford 4b 337. Age 49.

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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby ianbee » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:50 am

Burial at Islington Cemetery of Emily Dorothy Grimes, 1 January 1964.
Could have been a mix up with her second name (she was Emily Lily). She and her mother lived in Holloway. Perhaps Emily died at Leavesden?
Seems that the Sep 1964 Hendon district death for mum has been confirmed by vito
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Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby brunes08 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:12 pm

In response to your first question, It is most unlikely that the birth certificate would indicate Down's Syndrome. There has never been a requirement for disabilities, impairments or health issues to be entered on a registration. Such a condition could possibly be shown on a death certificate if it was a contributory cause of death. Some census returns did require an entry concerning a disability such as being deaf or blind etc and sadly I have seen some that just said 'lunatic' - this was from 1871 to 1901 but this is of no help to you. Have you tried finding them on the 1939 Register as that might offer some useful information?
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby jaykayell » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:28 pm

In 1939 Emily L Grimes (8 Jul 1914) and her mother Ethel L Grimes (10 May 1883) were living at 7 Yeovil House, Islington. Occupations both 'unpaid domestic duties'. The record for a 3rd person in the household is closed. Hope this might help.
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby ianbee » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:08 pm

Where did great aunt Emily go?
topic14353.html#p49253
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby junkers » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:18 pm

At the time of the birth Downs Syndrome was not known as such and as has been said it would be unlikely to have been on the birth certificate (there are some exceptions to this in the records of the General Register Office), Downs is a condition and not an illness which would cause death.
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby brunes08 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:25 pm

The signs and symptoms of Down's Syndrome were fully described by John Down in 1866 but recognised long before that. Those born with the syndrome usually have reduced life expectancy, as mentioned above, plus an increased risk of such health issues as congenital heart disease and a weak immune system amongst others. In my earlier post I did not mean that Down's itself would be a cause of death but a general comment about contributing factors in general to any death. I have several death certificates where three factors were listed as contributing to the demise of the individual.
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby Lynne974 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:53 pm

The GRO birth register for Emily Lily Grimes in 1914, Islington Vol 01B pg 495 gives the mother's maiden name as Wheeler.
There is a GRO registration for a birth of Ethel Elizabeth Grimes in 1916, Islington Vol 01B, pg 425. The mother's maiden name is Wheeler.

It looks as if the 1916 birth may well be a sister to Emily, who is probably the closed record on the 1939 register.

Also the 1939 register the status of the Mum, Ethel, is W for widow. This entry is later crossed through and replaced with M for married.

I can't find a marriage for a Wheeler to a Grimes in the early 1900s.

However there is a marriage for Ethel L Grimes to Maurice S. Atkinson in Norwich 1941 Q3.

It might be worth following through sister Ethel's line. You may get more clues along the way.
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Re: Down syndrome in ancestors

Postby Lynne974 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:07 pm

To add to my previous post.

On Ancestry there is a baptism of both Emily Lily and Ethel Elizabeth Grimes on the same day 20th August 1916 at St. Judes, Grays Inn Road, Camden. Parents are John Thomas and Ethel Lily Grimes. Their address is given as 5 Crescent Place, Kings Cross, John was a coal porter.

Hope this helps.
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