Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Problem with Victorian Inquest Records

Loretta's ancestor, James Saunders of Aldbury, died in 1882 and the death certificate records the death as accidental. She would like to know about the inquest records. but the problem is that the only official inquest record for this period was the death certificate! 

I explain what would have happened at a typical village inquest - and wonder if inquests were held in pubs so that the jurors could drink beer when listening to the evidence. The only real hope for significant details is that if a press reporter was present and I tell Loretta where the relevant local newspapers can be found. I am crossing my fingers that she might find something, but inquests away from the town where the paper was published were frequently not covered, especially if they were not particularly newsworthy.

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