Civil Registration of Deaths in England & Wales

September 1837 to December 1983

2,401 Ramsdale & Variant Surname Entries

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Ramsdale surname data extracted from the General Register Office Indexes maintained by the Familyrecords.gov.uk Consortium. There are 2,401 Ramsdale and variant surname entries recorded between September 1837 and December 1983.

Index

Age at Death Statistics (1866 - 1965)

Notes:

  1. "still born" include all entries from 1866 where the age at death is described as "0". No provision was made for registering stillbirths until 1874, when a new law required a death certificate before burying stillborn children. Since 1927, all stillbirths (any birth where the child never took a breath) are recorded in the Register of Stillbirths, which is not available to the public.
  2. age at death given from March quarter 1866 to March quarter 1969. The exact date of birth is given from June quarter 1969 to present
Ramsdale & Variant Surname Data
Average age (male and female) at death including still born (1698 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 46
Average age (male and female) at death excluding still born (1412 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 52
Still born (male and female) for the period 1866 - 1965 283
Still born (male and female) as percentage of all deaths for the period 1866 - 1965 17%

Average female age at death including still born (843 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 45
Average male age at death including still born (854 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 42
Average female age at death excluding still born (710 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 53
Average male age at death excluding still born (695 entries for the period 1866 - 1965) 52
Still born (female) for the period 1866 - 1965 133
Still born (female) as percentage of all female deaths for the period 1866 - 1965 16%
Still born (male) for the period 1866 - 1965 159
Still born (male) as percentage of all male deaths for the period 1866 - 1965 19%

Average female age at death including still born (305 entries for the period 1866 - 1899) 31
Average male age at death including still born (294 entries for the period 1866 - 1899) 29
Average female age at death excluding still born (235 entries for the period 1866 - 1899) 40
Average male age at death excluding still born (211 entries for the period 1866 - 1899) 40
Still born (female) for the period 1866 - 1899 70
Still born (female) as percentage of all female deaths for the period 1866 - 1899 23%
Still born (male) for the period 1866 - 1899 83
Still born (male) as percentage of all male deaths for the period 1866 - 1899 28%

Average female age at death including still born (537 entries for the period 1900 - 1965) 53
Average male age at death including still born (559 entries for the period 1900 - 1965) 49
Average female age at death excluding still born (474 entries for the period 1900 - 1965) 60
Average male age at death excluding still born (484 entries for the period 1900 - 1965) 57
Still born (female) for the period 1900 - 1965 63
Still born (female) as percentage of all female deaths for the period 1900 - 1965 12%
Still born (male) for the period 1900 - 1965 75
Still born (male) as percentage of all male deaths for the period 1900 - 1965 13%

Average female age at death (excluding still born*) (152 entries for the period 1966 - 1983) 74
Average male age at death (excluding still born*) (151 entries for the period 1966 - 1983) 69
Average age (male & female) at death (excluding still born*) (303 entries for the period 1966 - 1983) 71

* no still born records available for this period

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Civil Registration - Background

Before 1837, only churches recorded birth, marriage, and death information in England. In the early 1800s, Parliament recognised the need for accurate records for voting, planning, and defence purposes. Birth, marriage, and death registrations for England and Wales began on 1 July 1837.

The basis of civil registration is the registration district. Each county is divided into districts. Each district has a superintendent registrar. Registrars receive birth and death registrations from individuals; the performing minister or other responsible official registers marriages.

Marriages performed by Church of England ministers are recorded by the clergy, who quarterly send copies of the marriages they perform to the district and to the Registrar-General. The ministers keep the original marriage register in the parish chest.

Quaker and Jewish marriages are registered by their own representatives directly with the Registrar-General in London.

Until 1898, the district superintendent registrar registered other nonconformist marriages and performed civil marriages.

Each quarter, the superintendent registrar forwards copies of his district's registrations to the Registrar-General in London. The original birth and death (and those marriages recorded by the registrar) records remain in the district.

People had to report all births and deaths to the registrar. An estimated 90-95% of births and nearly all deaths and marriages were recorded. However, no penalty was imposed for failure to register until 1874. By 1875, 99% of all births, marriages, and deaths were recorded.

If a civil birth, marriage, or death certificate cannot be located a search of church records may verify known details or give additional information.

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Indexes to Civil Registration Records

Indexes can help you find an entry for your ancestor. The Registrar General creates nationwide indexes after receiving quarterly returns. These indexes are arranged by calendar quarter and give name, registration district, volume, and page number. Later indexes include the following:

With the index reference, you can send for the certificate (see above). If you cannot locate an index entry, consider the following reasons:

Knowing the district name and at least an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, or death occurred will reduce the search time.

Places in the index are registration districts, which are not usually the same as the actual place of birth. In rural areas, many villages and parishes belong to one district. Large cities have many districts.

The following sources will help identify the district which served the place where the ancestors lived:

A Guide to the Arrangement of the Registration Districts Listed in the Indexes to the Civil Registration of England and Wales 2nd edition contains nineteenth century maps and lists of districts.

If the index reference cannot be found, consider sending a request to the superintendent registrar's district in England. If that request is unsuccessful, search other types of records.

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Information Recorded in Civil Registers: Deaths

Death certificates show only the name, age, date, place, and cause of death, and the occupation, signature, relationship, and residence of the informant. A spouse's name is sometimes given. If a child died, the parents' names are often written in the space for "occupation."

Civil registration death records are of limited usefulness because the information:

However, a death certificate is often the only civil registration record for persons born or married before July 1837.

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Key dates for deaths records in England and Wales

Deaths

1 July 1837 Introduction of General Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales
1875 enforcement of compulsory registration
September quarter 1837 to June quarter 1911 Only first two full forenames, subsequent initials, registration district and reference number
September quarter 1911 onwards only first forename, subsequent initials, registration district and number
September quarter 1837 to December quarter 1865 no age given
March quarter 1866 to March quarter 1969 age at death given
June quarter 1969 to present exact date of birth given

Follow this link for a full listing of all the GRO Registration Districts:

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Searching for a death

The churches in England & Wales have been recording baptisms, marriages and burials at parish level for centuries. However, the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths – in other words, record-keeping by the state – did not begin until July 1837. At that time, the legal jurisdiction of England & Wales was subdivided, for the purposes of registration, into administrative areas known as registration districts. Within each district a district registrar would be appointed to take responsibility for the recording of births, marriages and deaths within their district.

Four times a year, a copy of the district registers was made for the Registrar General, who ingathered all the registers for England & Wales and collated them into a single countrywide index, arranged alphabetically by surname (and then alphabetically by forename within each surname). The indexes to the registers are quarterly rather than annual in scope – the four quarters being known as March, June, September and December. Each of these covers the month itself and the two preceding months, as follows:

·        January, February, March registrations in the March quarter

·        April, May, June registrations in the June quarter

·        July, August, September registrations in the September quarter

·        October, November, December registrations in the December quarter

Note that the quarters contain the deaths registered within them, which is not necessarily the same as deaths which took place within them. The reason why this is so is that legally deaths are required to be registered within five days of the event but, again, sometimes are registered late. A coroner’s inquest, for example, might significantly delay the issuing of a death certificate.

This means that some deaths which took place during a month in one quarter will be registered in a month in the next quarter. Clearly, this is most common for deaths which took place within the last month of a quarter. So, for example, a death in December might be registered in January (or, indeed, in February) the following year, which means that it would be registered not in the December quarter but in the March quarter of the year following that in which it took place. 

Normally, then, where you have an exact date of death, you will find the entry for the death you are looking for in the same or the next quarter, as follows:

·        January, February, March death in the March or June quarter

·        April, May, June deaths in the June or September quarter

·        July, August, September deaths in the September or December quarter

·        October, November, December deaths in the December or the following March quarter

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Troubleshooting

As previously mentioned, deaths should be registered within five days. However, if the person died in uncertain circumstances, an inquest may be held and this could delay registration further. If you do not find the entry you are seeking in the same or the next quarter, therefore, it is sensible at least to check the two immediately following quarters, to cover the possibility of late registration.

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Where in the country?

Deaths are registered within the district in which they occurred, which is not necessarily the same as where they habitually resided – for example, if a person dies at work, or while travelling or on business.  It is also the case that a hospital to which a dying person is taken might be in a neighbouring registration district to the one in which they resided – this is particularly likely in densely-populated urban areas, where there can be several districts within a geographically small area. 

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Age adjustments

One does not register one’s own death! Therefore, one should view with caution details recorded upon it, as the reliability of these will depend of the level of knowledge of the person acting as informant at the death. Recorded ages at deaths are often found to be unreliable. From September quarter 1837 to December quarter 1865 no age was given at all in the death index; from March quarter 1866 to March quarter 1969 the age at death is shown in the index; and from June quarter 1969 to present, the exact date of birth is given. If a recorded date of birth appears to be incorrect – in other words, you cannot find a corresponding entry in the birth index – it is more likely to be the year, rather than day or month, that is problematic (although all three may be incorrect). Finally, of course, the individual may have been economical with the truth about their age during their lifetime and the misrepresentation may be inadvertently carried over to the registration of their death.

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Stillbirths

No provision was made for registering stillbirths until 1874, when a new law required a death certificate before burying stillborn children. Since 1927, all stillbirths (any birth where the child never took a breath) are recorded in the Register of Stillbirths, which is not available to the public.

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Follow these links for full listings of GRO entries for deaths under the surname Ramsdale for the years 1837 - 1983:



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