Did your ancestor die abroad or onboard?

It is very frustrating not being able to find a death certificate for someone in your family tree.

    • They appear in one census but not in the next
    • Their family lives at the same address and the spouse is a widow or widower but  no death certificate can be found. There is nothing to indicate that they died anywhere else but in the UK .
    • Their occupation may have been something such as a clerk or railway labourer
    •  However you need to consider, that they might have died working oversees.

Migrant workers came home on furlongs and so were ‘caught on the census’.

    • Employees of rail companies or trading companies such as the East India Company, were not permanent migrants
    • However, from examining the British census records it looks as if they never left these shores.
    • They may have served in the military abroad, even if only for brief spells.

Look in the GRO overseas returns, check the India records as they had their own set of returns. If they died whilst at sea or whilst resident in a Commonwealth country, they will be recorded in these records. If they died onboard ship they will also be included.


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