Family historians may find instances where the deaths of ancestors cannot be found anywhere. In some cases it might be because they died and were buried far from home, completely unknown to those who found them, such as in the following examples.
1613 May 20 – Plympton St. Mary burial – “a walking woman wch dyed in a feeld between Plimpton Morice and Cornewood”
1795 March 14 – Plympton St. Mary burial – “man floted in the tide name unknown”
1883 April 10 – Plympton St. Mary burial – “Woman Unknown Found drowned in the Laira river”
Occasionally deaths and burials will be annotated with a cause of death or unusual circumstance which might lead one to look for information in other types of records.
1681 August 31 – Plympton St. Mary burial – “was buried John Latchwell who was drownd in the quarry at Smithalee”
1835 May 6 – Plympton St. Mary burial – Stephen Hoskin, “killed by a fall from his horse”
Perhaps a newspaper might have reports about these accidents.
Richard Smith fell out of a window. In this case, there apparently was a Coroner’s Inquest for him so that may provide another source of information.
1843 May 14 – Plympton St. Mary burial – Richard Henry Smith, “killed by falling out of a Window, Cornoner’s Inquest.”
Richard was only 17 months old. How often have you heard that kind of story?
In the case of the 1826 death of Samuel Tall, information that an inquest was held was also noted in the burial register.
1826 February 13 – Plympton St. Mary burial – Samuel Tall, “Accidentally killed by a Stone falling on him in Cartsford Quarry, Inquest”
A search of local newspaper archives revealed a report (in this case, in Trewman's Flying Post, dated Tuesday, February 23, 1826) that said, "On Monday se'n night at Plympton St Mary, Samuel Tall was accidentally killed while at work at Cartsford Quarry, by a large mass of stone falling on him. He was at the time in the act of holding out his hand to receive his wages, when the stone fell upon him and caused his death, without in the least injuring the person standing close to him. Verdict – Accidental Death." Other records tell us Samuel left a wife, Jane, and three small children.
If you lost an ancestor somewhere in southwest Devon in 1745, this might be your man. The location indicate of his death might, of course, have been a shack somewhere out in a field or exactly the kind of place you are thinking right now. . .
1745 November 16 – Ermington burial – “A man unknown found dead in an out house at Beach . . .”
All images reproduced here were downloaded from FindMyPast and are used with the kind permission of the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the copyright-holder.