10 July 2023
Find the answers below to the challenges, that Family Tree Academy Tutor David Annal set in the August 2023 issue of Family Tree.
1) Find out when and where the following people died and then, using websites such as Ancestry, Findmypast or FreeBMD, see if you can find death or burial records for them.
Marc Bolan died in a car crash on 16 September 1977, in Barnes, near Richmond, London. His death was registered in the December quarter of 1977 in the Wadsworth registration district (volume 15, page 1633).
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill died on 24 January 1865 at his home at 28 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. His death was registered in the March quarter of 1965 in the Kensington district (volume 5c, page 1192).
Virginia Woolf (born Adeline Virginia Stephen), died on 28 March 1941, drowning herself in the River House near her home in Sussex. Her death was registered in the June quarter of 1941 in the Lewes registration district (volume 2b, page 484).
Jane Austen died in Winchester, Hampshire on 18 July 1817. She was buried at Winchester Cathedral six days later, on 24 July 1817.
Daniel Defoe died in London on 24 April 1731. The death/burial of ‘Daniell Defoe Gentleman’ is recorded in the registers of the City of London parish of St Giles, Cripplegate. A note next to his name in the burial register reads ‘to Tindalls’. This is a reference to Bunhill Fields, the famous nonconformist burial ground in London, which had been previously been owned by a man called John Tindall (or Tyndall). The Bunhill Fields burial registers include an entry on 26 April 1731 recording the burial of ‘Mr Dabow from Cripplegate parrich burid in a single grave.’
2) What other sources of information can you think of relating to deaths that might provide additional details or perhaps help you to find an ‘official’ death record?
Church of England parishes continued to keep burial registers after 1837.
- Municipal and privately owned cemeteries began to emerge in the early 19th century and their registers can be very informative, particularly where they record details of the burial plot. This can be used to track down a gravestone or other monumental inscription.
- Many local and family history societies have compiled indexes to surviving gravestones in their areas of interest.
- Post-1858 indexes to wills (or calendars) record dates of death and the discovery of a will before that date can suggest when the testator might have died.
- Newspapers can also be an excellent source of information regarding deaths, with death notices and longer obituaries or funeral reports providing an enormous amount of detail.
3) True or False? Quakers were exempted from the terms of the 1783 Act for granting to his Majesty a Stamp-duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings.
False. Section VIII of the Act states:
Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the Provisions of this Act, with respect Register of Births, Burials, and Marriages, shall extend to the People called Quakers ; and that the Registers of Births, Burials, and Marriages, now kept by them, shall be subject and liable to the Stamp duties hereby imposed upon the Registers of Births, Burials, Marriages, and Christenings ; any Thing herein, or in any other Law, contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
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