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A Death Certificate query

(53 Posts)
Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 14:09:34

I am puzzled by an entry in a death certificate.

I have many death certificates but one from 1928 naming the
informant is different to all others, it’s usually a relative or someone present at the death.

This certificate gives a surname, initials no christian names and
‘Causing the body to be buried’

Can someone give a possible explanation please ?

Pittcity Wed 20-Apr-22 14:11:46

That's intriguing Anniebach.

Maybe it was an undertaker?

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 14:13:19

How interesting. Might the deceased have been found dead and had no relatives willing to register the death, therefore it was registered by the local authority who also paid for the burial?

Chestnut Wed 20-Apr-22 14:24:44

I agree with GSM. It looks like there were no relatives there. Do you have other information about the deceased's life which might help you, like whether they had a living spouse or children nearby or not? Also, the place where they died might give a clue. Put the jigsaw together to see the whole picture.

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 14:26:55

He died in hospital, had no relatives living in Wales, had in-laws living 24 miles away where his wife was buried in 1921,
she died in childbirth, I suspect a rift .

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 14:28:29

A sad story Annie.

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 14:30:30

His inlaws brought up his two children, he was a coal miner so
must have been in lodgings or ?

May I ask another question ?

BlueBelle Wed 20-Apr-22 14:30:44

It means there was no family or friends to register the death so it would have been registered by a solicitor or registrar or similar professional person

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 14:32:09

So a pauper’s funeral perhaps?

SueDonim Wed 20-Apr-22 14:34:12

It does sound as though there was no family or friend who could register the death. sad. Could it have been a medical attendant of some sort?

I have a same-but-different mystery about my grandmother’s death in 1918. It was registered by M George, stepdaughter, present at death. However there was no stepdaughter, she was widowed and and hadn’t remarried. I can’t find an M George anywhere in the area, either.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 14:39:53

Yes, I suspect it may have been a pauper’s funeral Annie. He wouldn’t have been alone there by any means. Hard times.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 14:42:33

Might the M George have been a foster child Sue? Have you checked your grandmother’s entry on the 1911 census?

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 14:55:32

When my husband died everything was mine , no will.

This man’s wife didn’t leave a will, why was he granted administration? Could it be because when they married she was a war widow with three children ?

paddyann54 Wed 20-Apr-22 14:59:34

Could have been a relative you dont know of.My OH's GF had a "nephew" named on his who wasn't a nephew but a relative of his wifes BIL .I dont think they had to give ID to register the death

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 15:07:04

100% certain it wasn’t a relative

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 15:08:29

When your husband died Annie I imagine that the value of his estate was such that you were automatically entitled to everything under the intestacy rules as a surviving spouse is entitled to the first £x before any children etc have an entitlement. I don’t know what the position was in 1921 but possibly this lady had assets inherited from her first husband which exceeded the amount to which her widower was entitled so he obtained letters of administration to enable him to distribute her estate according to the then intestacy rules amongst those entitled - himself and the children (for whom it would be held in trust). It is possible that this caused the rift. Money has a habit of doing that doesn’t it?

OakDryad Wed 20-Apr-22 15:25:56


I found an old discussion of a genelaogy site where someone had asked the register office about this very thing. Here is their reply:

The term 'causing the body to be buried/cremated' is referring to the person who is giving the instructions to the undertaker - or in the past was doing the funeral arrangements themselves. This qualified that person to register the death.

Uncertified deaths are rare nowadays but the situation in which you would have an uncertified death would be where a person died at home at the weekend - doctor on holiday or away from surgery. In that case there is no other doctor who can legally sign a certificate. The coroner would be notified - but if he decides looking into the matter that there is no need for a post mortem then you would have an uncertified death.

That would seem odd in your example if the man died in hospital. Maybe it was a small cottage hospital with no one on duty at the time who could legally certify the death and cause.

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 15:33:04

That explains it GSM , his eldest stepchild was 19 when he died, when his wife died in 1921 on that years census he had
3 step children and 2 children, but the 5 children had been crossed off officially and replaced with 1 dependent child, I know the new born baby was brought up by his wife’s sister.

It’s making sense know, I just remembered when a child going to a cemetery to lay flowers on family graves, my mother would put flowers on a grave ,no head stone and in an area against the cemetery wall, no graves in the area had head stones . How sad, he had erected a big headstone on his wife’s
grave in a Churchyard 24 miles away .

I am the only person who knows , and so sad , she is buried alone, her first husband in France, her second husband 24 miles away .

Thank you all

Callistemon21 Wed 20-Apr-22 15:39:14


It does sound as though there was no family or friend who could register the death. sad. Could it have been a medical attendant of some sort?

I have a same-but-different mystery about my grandmother’s death in 1918. It was registered by M George, stepdaughter, present at death. However there was no stepdaughter, she was widowed and and hadn’t remarried. I can’t find an M George anywhere in the area, either.

Sometimes daughters-in-law were known as step-daughters.
Could that be it, SueDonim?

Callistemon21 Wed 20-Apr-22 15:40:07

There were often casual adoptions too, SueDonim

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 15:43:43

OakDryad it was a large hospital for many mining villages.
Thank you for the info.

I accept now I can’t know the truth about him . If I do the lottery I may win and have a headstone for him ?

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 20-Apr-22 15:56:58

They are together now Annie and not forgotten.

Anniebach Wed 20-Apr-22 16:54:46

True GSM

SueDonim Wed 20-Apr-22 18:46:50

I’m glad it seems as though you’ve solved the riddle, Annie. It is sad to think of people in unmarked, unvisited graves. It’s only in recent years I discovered where my grandmother is buried, along with one of her children. Like you, I’d spend money on a gravestone if I had enough spare £££. It was an emotional experience when I visited the grave, just a small metal plate with a number on it to show where it is.

I absolutely did not mean to hijack your thread with my own query, so I’m sorry about that! blush Genealogy is one of those topics that if you know someone else is interested, you just want to share stories.

Thank you for all the hints about M George though I don’t think any of them fits the picture. The family weren’t on the 1911 Census because they had just left the UK onboard a ship bound for S Africa, which is where they lived (She was S African, my grandfather was BRitish) . The ship manifest only has the parents and their four children aged between 12 years and six weeks of age and I can account for all those children.

It wasn’t a DIL, either, as the older son wasn’t married. I doubt it was an unofficial adoption, either, because the poor woman was widowed en route to the UK from SA six months later and left with four children to care for. She never returned to SA or saw her family again, as far as I can tell.

Her late husband’s family seem to have helped her out in various ways, housing her, but when she died she only left £38 in her estate. My dad was unofficially adopted by a paternal aunt.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 21-Apr-22 09:03:06

What a sad story Sue. Are you absolutely certain your grandfather hadn’t been married before or fathered a child before he married your grandmother? Do you have your grandparents’ marriage certificate? Have you been able to find him on the 1911 census and the other children on the 1921 census?
I have a sad burial story too. My great grandparents moved to London in the 1880s. They lost three children in infancy and my great grandmother died in 1920. What I hadn’t realised was that because the London graveyards were so crowded, unless you were rich enough to buy an individual plot the gravediggers dug very very deep graves and the people were buried one on top of the other. So you would see your loved one lowered into a very deep hole unless they were the last to be put in the grave. No gravestones of course. I had no idea until I looked at the burial records of the relevant cemetery.