Tag Archives: Brightlingsea

Guest blog: A Titanic survivor on the 1939 Register


A guest blog for Findmypast. My great-grandma’s cousin survived the Titanic – did he find peace afterwards, or was his life full of drama?

Guest blog: Multiple wives and a missing daughter: Scandalous family secrets in the 1939 Register


A guest blog for Findmypast. What happened to my grandma’s uncle, Ernest Baden Powell Field? And why did his marriages not quite match up with what I found on the 1939 Register?

More unfortunate ways to die in parish registers

All Saints church Great Oakley, by Helen Barrell

All Saints church Great Oakley, by Helen Barrell

A while ago I compiled all the unfortunate causes of death to be found in the parish registers for Beaumont-cum-Moze¬†– perhaps the most unfortunate was William Taylor, who was killed by the bell falling out of the belfry.¬†Burial registers aren’t really supposed to include cause of death, so they appear infrequently. But when they do, they give us a view into the lives lived (and the deaths died) in the past. Drowning and burning seems to have been more common than it is now, with people relying on well-water (and with all those rivers and creeks along the coast) and open fires. Of course, these are the deaths which have been described in the register – so they might be unusual, hence why they warrant a mention. And many causes of death not recorded may have been stranger still – it entirely depends on the whim of the minister or clerk entering the burials in the register. “Shall I mention that this poor chap was struck by lightning while harvesting turnips? Hmmm… nope.” It’s worth searching for your ancestors in newspaper databases in case they did have an unfortunate death which required an inquest.

Here’s some more, this time from Brightlingsea and Elmstead. The date is the burial date.

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Part 2: knock down brick walls with the 1939 Register

amy will maggie emily grandad lillie

The Fields of Brightlingsea. Back row: Amy, Bill, Maggie. Front row: Emily, “Grandad”, Lillie.

Part two of my 1939 Register guest blog for Find My Past: An intrepid cocoa-buyer, and Uncle Bill’s fate.

Knock down family tree brick walls with the 1939 Register


Check out Find My Past for my guest blog about family tree brick walls I demolished with The 1939 Register. Without it, I would’ve struggled to trace Uncle Bill and Cousin Madge.