In our Hunter one-name study, the General Register Office is a great place to find data on births, marriages, deaths, occupations (especially researching the medical field), and family patterns of morbidity and mortality prior to general registration. When did doctors first start to take over classification of death on death certificates?
When national registration was set up the medical profession must have helped construct the ‘nosologies’ categories of causes of death to be used. From the beginning if people had a medical attendant at death then the doctor would inform the Registrar in a signed statement. But the bulk of the population did not. Three parties were involved here, the original informant using ‘folklore’, the Registrar trying to make that into something acceptable to write on the certificate and the clerks in London who have to put it into a category. The history of death registration shows the medical profession slowly becoming involved but always using the current ‘nosology’ of the ONS. Once we had the NHS everyone had a GP but the informant was still a member of the family.
The classifications; the ‘Nosologies’ changed with increased medical knowledge and are still changing ie what is happening to calculation of Corvid deaths.
The next of kin of the dead one are required, when they can, to report a death. Certificates post 1870 began to detail the relationship.
“Old Age” is no longer accepted as cause of death. This category was originally used in 1837 but no longer is this category seen.
There are two books added to my library:
People Count A history of the General Register Office by Muriel Nissel (1987) and An Atlas of Victorian Mortality by Robert Woods & Nicola Shelton.
Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston, 30th Clan Chief, is having another event for all Hunters worldwide in 2020 to be held at Hunterston Castle, Clan Hunter Seat, Ayrshire, Scotland.
I am planning a group tour and will be posting the details starting next month so if any of you have Hunters in your family tree please think about following in the footsteps of your Hunter ancestors to their ancestral Scotland.
This will be my third trip and I am so looking forward to visiting Hunterston Castle, home of John and Margaret Cathcart Huntar, my ancestral grandparents. He is the 14th Laird of Hunterston and the person I am writing my book about which will include my Hunter One-Name Study.
I decided to start doing a one Name study after finding my paternal lineage was associated with the Lairds of Hunterston.
The current status of the study is to find the DNA connection to the common ancestor John Huntar, 14th Laird of Hunterston. There is a FamilyTreeDNA project for our surname Hunter and I feel very certain this will be found.
My main interests in the study is to build family construction for Hunters in Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada and Australia. Variants of this surname will also be researched. In the Surname Atlas there will be many variants to be studied.
Eleonora Hunter 24th Laird of Hunterston was born in 1764 and inherited the Estate in 1796. She married her first cousin Robert Caldwell. His mother was Margaret Hunter who married Robert Caldwell. Margaret was the daughter of the 22nd Laird of Hunterston Patrick Hunter.
Eleonora and Robert (who assumed the Hunter name) built Hunterston House in 1799. They had seven children one being Robert Caldwell 25th Laird of Hunterston.