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Birth and Death notifications then and now

(3 Posts)
Willow500 Sun 23-Feb-20 17:45:23

I have been sorting out a wallet full of items this morning which had belonged to my parents - not something I haven't seen before as it contains photos and Mum's 21st birthday cards (she was born in 1920) as well as other bits and pieces. It did set me thinking however when I found several letters addressed to her congratulating her on my birth (in 1954) all saying they had been watching the local paper for notification of my arrival. They had obviously been sent to her in hospital. Back then they had no phones so this would be the only way to find out. One aunt who lived 80 miles away had only found out by Dad writing to her. How different to today when a friend's daughter gave birth on Thursday afternoon and sent a photo immediately he'd been born and rang her mum whilst delivering the placenta!!

Similarly there are also condolence letters from relatives who had seen the announcement of my grandmother's death in the paper. They are all full of lovely sentiments and memories from people long gone themselves. Although I have the cards sent to me on my parents deaths with lovely messages there's something about a letter which is so much more personal.

Calendargirl Sun 23-Feb-20 18:36:11

Not my own birth in the 1950’s, but my own childrens births went in our local paper in the 70’s, as our engagement and wedding had previously.
Deaths certainly in the paper also. When my dad died in 1972, mum received cards but also several letters. As OP says, some lovely sentiments and comforting messages, often from people we hadn’t seen for years, but had seen the death in the local paper and wanted to send condolences. Gave mum a lot of comfort to know folk were thinking of her, and how well thought of dad had been.

Marydoll Sun 23-Feb-20 19:18:20

I remember when my granny died, the police came to the door to inform my mother, as granny lived forty miles away and no-one had phones. Also, I remember, that as a four year old I was terrified of the two policeman in uniform who came with the sad news.
That day out of the blue, my mother had decided to visit my granny, it took three buses and a train and it cost a fortune in fares, money she couldn't really afford.
My uncle walked us to catch the bus home , returned to granny's house and found her dead. That memory has stuck in my mind. It was as if my mother had a premonition that something was wrong.