In the final part of this series on using genealogical records for research, we’ll look at deaths. In the UK civil registration began in 1837. Prior to that you may be able to find records in parish and cemetery registers. As with births there is no guarantee that all deaths were notified to the authorities. Records of registrations are held at the General registry office with a searchable index. This gives you the person’s name, the year of death, age, the year, quarter and district of registration and the volume and page number. With these details you can order a full certificate, if needed.
The death certificate will give you the person’s full name, the date and place of death, the person’s age, occupation, address, cause of death and the name of the person who provided the information. Not all of this data is guaranteed to be accurate and needs to be cross-referenced against other records.
You may not be able to find a death record if the person died under an assumed name, was unidentified at death or the death was not registered. Try looking in different locations and using different spelling variations.
Paul Williams is a writer of fiction and non-fiction best known for his Jack the Ripper suspect encyclopedia published by RJ Parker in 2018.