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2 death certificates for 1 person?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Jennifer Report 15 Jun 2013 21:49

So it turns out that my grandmother has two death certificates for two different first names. I have never heard of this happening before, have you?


jax Report 15 Jun 2013 22:11

My great grandmother has two one in the name of Ellen what she was known as and the other in the name of Eleanor her birth name...not sure if there would be two certs though not bought either of them

Just looked them up same vol and page number


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 15 Jun 2013 22:13

Do you actually have them Jennifer? Check to see if the volume and page number are the same as that may indicate that the informant wasn't sure which was the 'official' name.

If the death was before 1986(?) you should be able to look at the gro image to see what has been transcribed.


jax Report 15 Jun 2013 22:14

xxxx Eleanor 65 Hackney 1b 203
xxxx Ellen 65 Hackney 1b 203


Reggie Report 15 Jun 2013 22:20

You refer to two certificates....... you actually mean two listings in the index.

It is unlikely that there will be more than one cert..............


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 15 Jun 2013 22:23

Just wondering if one had been cancelled.

One of mine's surname on the birth index is recorded as Cantor, but when recieved, it said Cohen. After a weird conversation with gro customer support, because I said it should have been Cantor, they agreed that one had been entered but cancelled, with the Cohen one remaining on file.

Both Cohen and Cantor are entered on the index :-S


CupCakes Report 15 Jun 2013 22:25

This happens when a person has an offical birth name and for some reason they are known by another name and all other documents may be in that name.

The person registering the death may not have known of the other name and somebody else went to register it again without mentioning the death had already been registered.

Some registry offices combine the name to read something like Pxxx Kxxxx know as Jxxxx Dxxxx or visa versa

:-D :-D


Jennifer Report 15 Jun 2013 22:38

One is under the name Lillian and the other one is under Louisa, they both have the same page and volume number. We know that she used both the names for her marriages as it looks like she has married several times, had lied on them either by name or age. I have ordered one of them.


SylviaInCanada Report 15 Jun 2013 23:08

Jennifer .................

most of the information on a death certificate is only as good as the informant's knowledge ................. whether that be a member of the family OR a nurse at a hospital or Care Home.

The only information on a death certificate that you can be certain of is the following ..........

place and date of death
cause of death
name, address, and "relationship" of informant
name and address of doctor / coroner

Everything else is only "as known to the informant"

so name, age, marital status, name of spouse, occupation, etc etc are only what the deceased person has let be known.

Even children may not know the correct age or name .............. and even spouses may be in the dark about some things!

As an example .............. my grandfather lied about his birthday, by 1 year. We did not find this out until after my uncle had registered his death. Uncle did not return to the Registrar's Office to make a correction, nor did anyone else. I also have not bothered .................. grandfather died at a time when only his age was shown and not the actual date of birth. So his age as shown on the index is approximately correct.

Plus the fact that literally no-one else will be interested in getting his death certificate ................... that was a very small family due to early deaths.

I know the truth .............. I doubt there is anyone else alive who would be interested.

I would guess that you have just seen the 2 listings in the GRO Index or on freebmd.

I suggest you actually buy the certificate, and see what it says.

As you may gather ................. your experience is not unusual! The only difference is that the wrong name has been corrected.

Others of us have certificates with wrong information ............... but they have not been corrected. This means that some of us have (or have had) great problems obtaining the correct certificates.

I have to laugh when I see the death of one of OH's gt aunts ............. her rather unusual name was constantly mis-spelled throughout her life, by everyone except her immediate family. Even her nephew, OH's father, got it wrong

Her death certificate has one of the worst mis-spellings of all ......... but the informant was the owner of the care home where she was living when she died at the age of 80.

I took a leap of faith when I bought that certificate, and it turned out to be the correct choice.


Porkie_Pie Report 16 Jun 2013 01:49

"The person registering the death may not have known of the other name and somebody else went to register it again without mentioning the death had already been registered"

That is extremely unlikely, for that to be the case the death registration would be an "Uncertified death", although in the early days of registration deaths were registered as Uncertified deaths, but by around 1870ish it was very rare and the rules for registering a death required official documentation to prove a death had occurred so unless both supposed person who registered the same death a second time also had a different official document as evidence then they would not be allowed to register it a second time in another name, documents issued in order to register a death are not and have never been dished out willy nilly,

Edit 19/6 11.27 Their is also the fact the informant must be someone who meets the criteria that qualifies them to register the death.

I suggest that any double entry for a death on the index that appears to be for the same person is simply that that person was also known by another name just as the birth index lists what appear to be a double entry when the child's parents are not married to each other at the time of registration so are listed both under the mothers surname and a separate entry in the fathers surname but their is only one certificate,

The bottom line is if you are basing your assumption on two entries on the index which are in the same surname, quarter, and have the same vol and page number then buying both certs is the only way to be sure, it could so easily be the case that the deaths are two different people who shared the same surname and their deaths where registered within a relative short time span of each other, remember although deaths are normally registered a day or two after the date of death or after a post-mortem within 14 days but their are circumstances where deaths may not be registered until much later in some cases up to a year is not unheard of


Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 16 Jun 2013 06:50

My mum always said she was born in 1908 and gave the story of when she was marrying in 1929 she still needed parental consent because when they put the banns in she hadn't had her 21st birthday.

When she died in 1980 our eldest sister reg her death and arranged everything. She was brought back to the house for an overnight vigil the day before her funeral and on reading the plaque on the coffin I queried her age with my sister. Turned out she told porkies on her birth year was actually born in 1909 but had lied because nan was pregnant with her before she married. That too was confusing cos she went a year the wrong way and should have said 1910 as nan married in 1909

The point is if I had registered he death I would have given the wrong birth year.

Even on her marriage cert she says she was 21 but she was just 20


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Jun 2013 07:28

My maternal grandparents lied on their marriage certificate ............. and I honestly cannot understand why!

Grandmother was born in October 1883, and married in November 1902 ....... so she was just over 19 when she married ......... but she said she was 20

Grandfather was born in January 1885, so he was 17 and 10 months old when they married ................. but he said he was 19

So they were both minors, no matter which way you looked at it

They were married in Grandmother's church, the day after her older sister ................. and both fathers were present.

so, why lie????????


ChristinaS Report 16 Jun 2013 10:17

My gt.grandfather's death certificate (1911) is indexed twice.. One under his real name, and the other under his alias. But there's only one certificate.

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 16 Jun 2013 16:48

I sent for a death certificate for a lady with surname (N ) but when the certificate arrived it showed that her registered name at death was surname (B ).
It was the correct certificate and I was so pleased that it had been indexed twice and I had therefore been able to find it under the expected surname N although the lady had later remarried.
More modern death certificates have a section which shows something like ....Any other surname... and the informant luckily gave that information.
This was 1996.



Jennifer Report 16 Jun 2013 18:43

The death was in 1997 and she was buried with her maiden name, non of her 5/6 marriages. (of which the first one seems to be the only legitimate one) She get one of the certificates this week.


InspectorGreenPen Report 17 Jun 2013 16:24

We have a similar example in our tree for a death in 1976. Two entries in the index, with alternative first names, but only one registration.

My father has four entries in the index and two in the register, the second registration superseding the first which was incorrect. Only one cert which shows the original entry corrected by a footnote.