Is It Unique?

My ancestor’s 1883 death register entry indicated there was no undertaker. Looking at other entries on the same page, it was clear that others in the county did not have undertakers either. It’s impossible to notice if something is unusual if you don’t look at other records on the same page.

Always view a record in the context of other records. Look at entries before and after the one of interest to see if what you think is unique about your record is really unique after all.

compare-to-others

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4 thoughts on “Is It Unique?

  1. Kat

    I have seen “Family” in the space for the undertaker’s name. This was mostly in rural areas where the deceased was an infant or small child.

    Reply
    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      I’ve seen “family” listed as well. Sometimes I think whether “family” was used or it was left blank really depended on the clerk too.

      Reply
  2. Patty Gilbert

    Wondering if there were a lot of deaths at one time, for example, a flood, fire or illness epidemic. Making it hard to bury them individually, or in a separate cemetery.

    Reply
    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      In this case, I don’t think so. It most likely was family and friends who took care of the burial. However, looking at the causes of death for others on the same page can be a clue to events of this type.

      Reply

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