1855 Death Records
Recorded by Meg Greenwood and Compiled by Randy Chapple
Last updated: 19 March 2003
1855 was the first year of mandatory Civil Registration, and it was the only year to contain so much data for each death. All the Wigtownshire deaths have been recorded in this index with the possible exception of those late entries which did not make it into the Registry books before they closed December 31, 1855. This would occur when the death was not registered until after Jan 1, 1856, and thus would appear later in the 1856 register.
Remember when you are reading the transcription that
- When Meg transcribed the data from the film, she began in Glasserton, January 1 to December 31, continuing to Inch, then Kirkcolm, etc and proceeded through the film's daily entries copying each name with the reported age at death. For each parish, the Registrar included a handwritten alphabetized list of all the names with corresponding entry numbers as a finding aid. Sometimes she had to read the name on both the Index and the Register entry to confirm a spelling, as there were occasional disagreements between the two, sometimes one was illegible.
- The surname listed at death may not be what you expected. How
these were listed depended entirely on the Registrar and how he chose to enter the names.
- When listing a married woman's death, it was listed by MARRIED surname. Occasionally the Registrar entered the maiden name at the same time, she then used it in her original list. For most female entries, you will have to check the parents to discover the maiden surname
- It is important to remember that 'age at death' was the reported age, and may be off by several years depending on the information known to the informant.
- In rare cases, a death was registered in more than one parish, by different informants and may contain conflicting information. See Lavery, Daniel for an example.
- Presently this transcription is incomplete. All names in the 1855 death records are noted, but
as yet, not all are transcribed.
Information on an 1855 Death Certificate:
- Name, Surname, Profession or Occupation
- Sex, Age
- Where died and how long in this district
- Parent's names and Profession, Rank or Occupation
- If married, to whom and names with ages of all children, living or not.
- When died - year, day, month, hour
- Where died
- Cause of death, how long disease continued, Medical Attendant's name and person who certified death.
- Burial place and Undertaker or by whom certified
- Signature of Informant and relationship to deceased
- When and where Registered with signature of Registrar
A transcription by nature is prone to omisions and errors. We urge our site users to remember that this is a finding tool, and that good research requires that you look at the film for your own satisfaction. Unlike the OPR (Old Parish Record) Transcriptions, Meg did not have the advantage of an independent proofing team.
Acknowledgement: The Wigtownshire Pages are grateful to Meg Greenwood, & Randy Chapple for this offering.
Search the Index:
The death index is arranged alphabetically. Click on the appropriate link in the table below
Sample Death Certificate
Below is a sample death record. Typically the record spanned two pages. This is a snippet from the right hand side of a page. Click on the image to view it in more detail.