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Has anyone bought a death cert

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 14:07

for an "Unknown Female"?

eg from freebmd. UNKNOWN, FEMALE Not Known
GRO Reference: 1878 D Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 439

If so what was on it please, was a cause of death given or specific location ?


KathleenBell Report 25 Oct 2019 14:51

I've never bought one myself but I would imagine that the certificate would have the place of death, and possibly the cause of death. Could possibly be the coroner who was the informant or it could be that the person died in a hotel of some sort and the name not known.

Kath. x


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 15:04

Thanks Kathleen, I am just wondering whether to risk getting one, there are several in the same district, and any one or none of them could be the missing death. It would be for a child, so though no age is given on registration, I'd hope it might say child on the cert?


KathleenBell Report 25 Oct 2019 15:06

Is it a child that you know the surname of? I would have thought that the reference you give above is for a female who's name isn't known at all.

Kath. x


ArgyllGran Report 25 Oct 2019 15:08

Age was unknown - so that would mean she wasn't a baby.

Could have been someone who was just found dead, maybe a pauper in the street:

GRO Reference: 1878 D Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 439

I agree with Kathleen - she was unidentified and completely unknown to the authorities.

FreeBMD gives the age as 0 - which could mean either "under one year" or "unknown".
Could have been an abandoned baby, I suppose.


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 15:20

Thanks both, it's my missing Harriett Whetman, I know her mother died of TB in Wandsworth 1878. There is no record for Harriett after 1871 census ( I've had a thread on here and looked for years).

She can't be found in the normal way so I was just wondering if an "unknown" death reg could be her if either she died at the same time as her mum and was accidentally not named, or even that she might have died by falling in the Thames and so not 'recognised'. I'm grasping at straws lol, she has got under my skin!

add, bn 1863 so she would have been between abt 9 to 19 when she disappears.

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 25 Oct 2019 16:08

Could the age be miss trancribed

Name: Age at Death (in years):
GRO Reference: 1872 M Quarter in BRENTFORD Volume 03A Page 48


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 16:19

Thanks for looking Shirley but no that's not her, that Harriet was the wife of a George Whetman, and age matches with census info etc.

I keep coming back to my Harriet every year or so, she is the only one of my gt grandmother's siblings I can't account for.


KathleenBell Report 25 Oct 2019 16:49

There is this female who was born at the right time who died St George, Hanover Square:-

First name(s) FEMALE
Last name UNKNOWN
Gender Female
Birth day -
Birth month -
Birth year 1863
Age 25
Death quarter 4
Death year 1888
District St. George Hanover Square
County London
Volume 1A
Page 346
Country England
Record set England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007

Kath. x


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 17:01

Doubt it Kathleen, she is not on 1881 census and should be either Kingston. or Ealing areas ( as per the rest of family on census) or possibly Wandsworth if she was also with her mum who died in the asylum there.


ArgyllGran Report 25 Oct 2019 18:34

For our reference, is this the family?

(I've had a quick hunt for previous threads, unsuccessfully.)

James Whitman
in the 1871 England Census
Name: James Whitman
[James Whetman]
Age: 33
Estimated birth year: 1838
Relation: Head
Gender: Male
Where born: Woodcot Oxfordshire England
Civil Parish: Kingston on Thames
Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints
Town: Kingston
County/Island: Surrey
Country: England
Registration district: Kingston
Sub-registration district: Kingston
ED, institution, or vessel: 15
Household schedule number: 225
Piece: 860
Folio: 91
Page Number: 46
Household Members:
Name Age
James Whitman 33
Ann Whitman 33
Harriet Whitman 7
Georgina Whitman 6
Mary Whitman 2
Francis Woodcock 43 - lodger
Frederick Barnsley 23 - boarder


SylviaInCanada Report 25 Oct 2019 19:25

You could try for a pdf of the death, for £7, that's a bit cheaper than the certificate.

I bought a pdf the other week that finally proved the death of one of OH's ancestor's siblings.

Now I think I'll get one to see if I can finally find the death of my paternal gt grandmother who left her family sometime in the lat 1890s, taking her youngest child wither her. I've traced her to Salford in 1911, but nothing after that except a couple of possible deaths ...... she does have a very common name :-(


Rambling Report 25 Oct 2019 20:11

Argyll Gran this is the early thread,

There's also this one on the Whetman family generally, I have all there is on them up to and including the marriages of all siblings and step siblings to Harriet, but it is just her who disappears.

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link!

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link! Report 28 Oct 2019 08:55


You say this one was married to George but I'm not seeing that.

Deaths Mar 1872
WHETMAN Harriet Louisa 50 Brentford 3a 48


Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 28 Oct 2019 10:16

This one ?

Harriet Louisa Wetman
Age: 36
Estimated birth year: 1825
Relation: Wife
Spouse's name: George Wetman
Gender: Female
Where born: Shoreditch, Middlesex, England
Civil Parish: Chiswick
County/Island: Middlesex
Country: England
Street address:


Condition as to marriage:

View image
Registration district: Brentford
Sub-registration district: Chiswick
ED, institution, or vessel: 4
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 73
Piece: 780
Folio: 74
Page Number: 14
Household Members:
Name Age
George Wetman 44
Harriet Louisa Wetman 36

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 28 Oct 2019 10:17

1871 census

Louisa Whetman
Age: 50
Estimated birth year: 1821
Relation: Wife
Gender: Female
Where born: Shoreditch Middlesex England
Civil Parish: Hammersmith
Ecclesiastical parish: St John
County/Island: London
Country: England
Registration district: Kensington
Sub-registration district: St Paul Hammersmith
ED, institution, or vessel: 16
Household schedule number: 61
Piece: 63
Folio: 10
Page Number: 12
Household Members:
Name Age
George Whetman 54
Louisa Whetman 50

So they were in Kensington in 1871

Ancestry does tie that one to the 1872 death


Rambling Report 28 Oct 2019 11:57

Shirley & Rose, yes that's the one who matches the death.

It's just possible her husband George is related to the missing Harriett as the family is connected to Chiswick, if so George would be likely to be my Harriett's gt or gt gt uncle

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 28 Oct 2019 15:14

Wonder as the mum died whether Harriet went to live with another family and took their surname .


ArgyllGran Report 28 Oct 2019 15:49

It would be strange if one of the "unknown" deaths 1871-81 was your Harriet, unless she had left home and not kept in touch with her father or siblings.
Surely one of them would have wondered why they hadn't heard from her, even if the authorities perhaps couldn't identify her?


Rambling Report 28 Oct 2019 16:16

It's a mystery certainly, I have looked through all the connected families who might have taken her in, but there is just no trace of her, even searching just first names and birth date give or take a couple of years. The father didn't remarry till 1885, and her younger siblings were with father ( James Whetman sp Whitman) in 1881, the two older girls are accounted for elsewhere as servants, the logical thinking being that she was somewhere as a servant also but still no trace. The one that got away!

Thanks for looking all :-)