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Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS Dead!

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Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS Dead!

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:03 pm

Over the years, there have been regular queries on this page asking for help locating Death Certificates for ancestors. This query involves my 3xGreat Grandmother, Frances (k/a Fanny) HINDS, who died in Aston, Birmingham in January 1842.

Fanny was born in Birmingham in 1789 to 1790, the daughter of Valentine and Susannah SMITH. She married James HINDS of Hints, Staffordshire in St Philip’s, Birmingham on 30 March 1810. They had 3 sons, born in Middleton, North Warwickshire, between 1811 and 1818.

James was a Coachman and Groom for the family of Baron WENLOCK, whose estates ran across the Warwickshire - Staffordshire border. He worked for the Wenlocks for 41 years. At some point, James and Fanny were invited to move north to another Wenlock estate at Escrick, near York. James was killed there in an estate accident in September 1839, and buried in Escrick churchyard in a very ornate grave, paid for by the Wenlocks.

Fanny was given a pension, and moved back to Birmingham, where she appeared in the 1841 Census, living with her oldest son William and his wife. William became a GP at about this time, and his Diary is in Birmingham University’s Cadbury Research Library. In November 1841, William wrote that his mother’s house was now ready, and she would be moving there very shortly.

Fanny died on 7 January 1842, in ‘Aston Juxta Birmingham’, details specified in the papers filed to administer her small estate (Juxta: Latin for 'next to'). She left a small sum of money, and William, his brother James and Fanny's brother Edwin Valentine SMITH dealt with it. She was subsequently buried with her husband in Escrick.

Aston is a Registration District that runs round the entire eastern fringe of Birmingham. It is also a specific location on the north eastern corner of the city. The medieval Parish Church, close to present day Villa Park, is called Aston ‘Juxta’, short for ‘Juxta Birmingham’. Fanny’s parents married there, and her father died in Alms Houses close to the church in 1839.

So far, I have not found any trace of a Death Certificate for Fanny. I have tried every variation of her name, and looked at all other entries for the 3 Birmingham Registration Districts at the time, but nothing appears in the GRO Index. I have asked Birmingham Registration Office for a search, and they cannot locate it. Much later, William referred to his mother’s death in his diary, but gave no clue as to detail. Nor is there anything in local newspapers that I can find.

I know that Certificates were compulsory, but with many in the Church hostile, the rules were not necessarily obeyed early on. The family had a fair amount of admin to do, taking Fanny back to Yorkshire for burial and dealing with her estate; perhaps in all the faff, they forgot. On the other hand, William was a doctor, so knew the requirements, and they had to transport the body and bury it a long way from home.

But there is another significant omission. There is no sign of Fanny in the Burial Register for Escrick Parish Church. She is buried there without doubt, because the inclusion of her remains there is specified on the tombstone, but unlike James, there is no entry in the Parish Records. Also, the date of death is given as 24 January. Perhaps this was actually her burial date?

After years of searching, I now doubt there ever was a Certificate, and I have a couple of theories. Could the missing Certificate be because there was an Inquest, and the Registrar failed to file his report? Does the lack of any official entry in the Parish Register reflect this lack of a Certificate, thus avoiding a ‘data trail’? Or could the odd double omission be because, tragically widowed and finally alone in her new house, Fanny committed suicide? Might the burial have been allowed because James was a ‘faithful servant’ for 41 years, but without a funeral or entry in the Register?

Grateful for any theories, suggestions or advice.

Jane
Brummie on Exmoor
 
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:17 pm

Jane,
How is the gravestone/memorial actually inscribed? It could be a memorial to her, even though she may have been buried elsewhere! Read the wording very carefully, could it be interpreted in another way?
To be honest, if she was buried there, I’d expect an entry in the Parish register, which you say isn’t there, which is why I think it may just be a memorial to her.
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:51 pm

Hi Mike,

I know, it is bizarre isn't it? But the inscription is actually more than usually specific...

The inscription reads:

"Here lie the remains of James HINDS a faithful servant of Lord Whenlock’s family for 41 years.
He died September 4th 1839, aged 54 years.

In the same grave rest also those of his wife Frances HINDS who died 24th January 1842, aged 52 years.
"

Looks pretty clear that she is ACTUALLY there. And the family, whilst not rich, were sufficiently comfortable to be able to afford the removal of Fanny to Yorkshire, unless the Whenlocks stepped in again.

Regards,

Jane
Brummie on Exmoor
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:56 am
Location: North Devon

Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:10 pm

Hi there,

Yes, many thanks, I looked in to it. This lady was apparently 80, and there are 2 records for a Fanny HIND, aged in their mid to late 70s in the 1841 Census for Derbyshire. But more conclusively, there is a burial now available on Ancestry, of a Fanny HIND, aged 80, on 13 March 1842 in Dalbury, Derby. So I am pretty sure that this is a different lady.

Regards,

Jane
Brummie on Exmoor
 
Posts: 174
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Location: North Devon

Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:14 pm

Oops, my last post was a response to a post, now removed, about a death shown in BMD of a Fanny HIND, in Belper, in J-M 1842. I am leaving my reply, as a clarification.

J
Brummie on Exmoor
 
Posts: 174
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:23 pm

Brummie on Exmoor wrote:The inscription reads:

" In the same grave rest also those of his wife Frances HINDS who died 24th January 1842, aged 52 years."

Well, I agree, there is no double meaning there! Plain as a pikestaff :D

Another thought that also crossed my mind - did she actually arrive back in Aston? He son mentioned her house was ready for her, but doesn’t say whether she actually returned.

What if she had died on the journey back, or was taken ill and died in hospital. This could mean her death may have been registered elsewhere, somewhere you perhaps hadn’t thought of.
Mick Loney
 
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:23 pm

Re the omission from the PR - I have never been wholly certain whether the Register records burials or funerals. While the answer might be obvious, I am sure that I have read of contrary examples. Could it be that the funeral took place in another church and the burial was therefore not recorded in the Escrick register?

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Adrian
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:06 pm

Jane,
You say you've seen James burial entry in PR, where did you see it? Family search say they have filmed the burials for that period and are indexed (Films 918421 & 1068326), but there doesn't seem to be any burials indexed on either film, let alone one for James'. Sadly one can't browse these particular films, as they are locked for general browsing.

I also noticed that James didn't have his death registered, so not surprising Fanny hasn't been registered either!
Mick Loney
 
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Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:57 pm

Dear Mick and Adrian,

Yes, Fanny was back in Birmingham for certain. 1. She is in the 1841 Census, with William and his wife Marianne, living in the Parade, in central Birmingham. They are shown on the Census as HINES, and it was before William qualified as a doctor, so he was working in his previous occupation, as a Dressing Case Maker. 2. In his diary, William states (Nov 17 1839) "It gives me great pleasure that I am enabled to furnish to my mother...a permanent home...". 3. The Admon. states that she died in Aston.

The point about the Parish Record and 'funeral or burial' is very interesting. It IS possible that the funeral happened in Birmingham, before the body was taken north - I doubt that the entire family travelled up to Yorkshire, for the funeral. This might be an explanation for the lack of a record in Escrick.

Regards,

Jane
Brummie on Exmoor
 
Posts: 174
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Location: North Devon

Re: Missing Death Certificate & Burial Record: But She IS De

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:03 pm

Mick,

I went up to Yorkshire and found the entry in the Parish Records in the Borthwick Institute. Again, there is a sp. issue! He is entered as HINDE, Abode Escrick, Buried September 9th 1839, aged 54 years. The entry is now also on line. The gravestone is pictured now, in Find a Grave, too.

Regards,

Jane
Brummie on Exmoor
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:56 am
Location: North Devon

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