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SWillams Feb 13th, 2004 11:19 AM

UK - My uncle pasted away in the UK and I would like to get information where he is buried...
My uncle pasted away about 50 years ago in the UK. I only have his name. I do not a date of death, death certificate, etc. I know he pasted away in Brighton and he is burried somewhere in the UK, but thats about all I know. How can I look for thsi information? Which websites/government agencies should I contact? I would like to visit his grave on one of my trips to the mother land. Thanks for any help.

BrimhamRocks Feb 13th, 2004 12:08 PM

I don't know anything that would help, but I'll top your thread for you. :)

m_kingdom Feb 13th, 2004 12:32 PM

Is this another American thing or do you mean passed away?

tudorprincess Feb 13th, 2004 01:00 PM

m_kingdom- being from America myself, I have never heard of pasting away. I am curious as to the legitimacy of this post.

m_kingdom Feb 13th, 2004 01:05 PM

Someone who has been stuck like wallpaper and lacks a "death, death certificate" one wonders why they wish to visit this stuck down body.

Ruth Feb 13th, 2004 01:09 PM

You could try contacting the Registrar of births, marriages and deaths in Brighton (see for contact details) who should have the records (though I don't know who they give them out to). I don't know how you find out where someone's grave is.

Re legitimacy of post - I think SWilliams has misheard the phrase and hasn't seen it written.

tudorprincess Feb 13th, 2004 01:11 PM

m_kingdom- I'm curious as to whether you dislike Americans? Some of your posts seem rather negative. Or is it just the corruption of the language that bothers you?

m_kingdom Feb 13th, 2004 01:27 PM

Some of my best friends are of American birth, I just dislike the stereotypical insincere overpolite attitude that can be scratched away with a moments breath.

I hate the American idea of "sophistication" choosing 3 types of wood for a fireplace (ritz-carlton Boston) is nonsense. The language is a minor thing, and when spoken it is impossible to detect most spellling differences, it is just irregular when written - I spend all the time reading English and American spellings stick out like a proverbially sore thumb.

I did American many years ago, coast to coast, shore to shore, nothing really entices me to go back there even with the dollar in freefall (yes, an exaggeration) I have no inclinations to rediscover America, I prefer to focus on Europe now, it's shorter flying time, and such contrasting scenery and culture no need to voyage to the US.

tudorprincess Feb 13th, 2004 01:32 PM

m_kingdom- Thank you for the honest answer. I agree with you that there is not much to entice you to come back to America. Where in the UK do you live? I wonder what the U.S. would be like if we had not had the American Revolution?

highledge Feb 13th, 2004 01:37 PM

The old Boston Ritz or the new Boston Ritz? These things matter.
While American may seem to be brash at times, we can also be rather aware of a "chip on the shoulder" and be quick to write off those who dismiss us so readily in the name of "correctness."

Patrick Feb 13th, 2004 01:38 PM

I wonder which I find more offensive --insincere and overly polite, or generally nasty and rude all the time with an unending chip on the shoulder? Hmm, I think maybe I'll take the first one.

By the way what does that mean "I did American many years ago. . ."? Since I know you don't tolerate any grammar or spelling areas, this must be some British phrase I'm unfamiliar with.

m_kingdom Feb 13th, 2004 01:47 PM

London, always and forever. The rest of Britain, if one likes towns offers less than London. However, I'm not a great fan of London, but then again after you stay somewhere so long all the faults emerge.

I believe it is the new Ritz-Carlton, but it's the sentiment and the whole Ritz-Carlton brand - pseudo sophistication, that I object to.

flanneruk Feb 13th, 2004 01:48 PM

There is no easy way of doing this. In fact you may have to accept it can't be done. The web will be of virtually no use to you: the most recent webbed records are the 1901 census.

One simple way, if you're sure he died in Brighton and you have a good idea of the date, is to visit one of:
- the office of the Brighton Argus, or:
- Brighton public libraries, or
- the British Library Newspaper Centre in Colindale, NW London. Admission is open to everyone: just walk in.

Go through the copies of the Brighton Argus around his death date, looking for his death announcement (practically universal by 1954).The announcement will typically carry details of where the burial will take place. In the 1950s, announcements didn't usually carry the name of the undertakers.

If you aren't sure enough of the death date, then you need to find his death certificate. This doesn't need to be done in Brighton: it might be simpler to visit the Family Records Centre (FRC)in Clerkenwell, centralish London.

At the FRC, death registration indexes are stored alphabetically, country-wide, in books that cover 3 months. You find your uncle's summary (which will be something like, from memory "Smith, John, Brighton, Sep,xxyy00")

You then complete a form (paying a few pounds) with these details. The full death certificate is then sent to you (from Southport, Lancashire), normally in a week, though it can be done in a day if you pay - I think - £25.The FRC is at

The certificate will give you the date and place of death (but no burial details), so you can hone your newspaper search more accurately .

Generally, only newspaper ads carry burial details. If you can't find an ad, the only suggestion left is to find the Cemeteries department at Brighton council. There are virtually no private cemeteries in the UK, and a town Brighton's size will have only a couple of cemeteries. Municipal Cemeteries departments usualy have alphabetical indexes of burials, and are often helpful (though you do need to have a pretty good idea of the death date. Sometimes these records have been moved to a local library or County Records Office (which may be some way away: I think Brighton's is at Lewes)

One other option is to approach the Argus: many provincial newspapers have weekly columns for "does anyone remember my...who used to live here?" letters. These letters often go back much longer than 50 years.

If he was distinguished, most British public libraries (and serious libraries throughout the English-speaking world) carry full microfilmed runs of The Times, and its obituaries. Trade and professional magazines (all available at Colindale) carried lots of obituaries - even for trade stalwarts long retired - in the 1950s, and these obituaries sometimes carry burial details.

Good luck. Allow lots of time for your researches. I'm afraid there really is no way of simplifying things. But are you sure no relative has a vague memory, or that there's not a letter with a clue among your parent's papers?

BrimhamRocks Feb 13th, 2004 01:57 PM

Thank you, Ruth and flanneruk, for actually answering the OP's question, and with as much info as you could provide. I'm sure that's all SWilliams was looking for.

And thank you, too, for not hijacking the thread and leading it off in a totally unrelated, and totally unnecessary direction. You folks are champs! :)

Frances Feb 14th, 2004 03:20 AM

You have had a very comprehensive reply here from Flanneruk. Having researched my own family history and knowing what problems you can face I think he has been very very helpful.
Maybe I can just take it a bit further for you.
You need to try and get as much information as possible before you come here and essentially you want to narrow down his date of death.
Many towns have some sort of Family History Society where the members will do some research for you.I have used one in Philadelphia which charged a fee of $50 but sent me a wealth of information which saved me a wild goose chase from New York City.
If you fail to find such a reference on a search I suggest you contact the Archives Dept of the Council in Brighton.
The census records contain quite a bit of information, but I have a feeling that they are not made public for quite a number of years. I've only ever searched these for the 1800's and so I'm sorry I can't give you specifics. However if you can access them, they are carried out every 10 years so you would be looking probably for 1951 and 1961. Your problem will arise if your uncle had a common name and you do not have enough additional information to choose between all the people disclosed who share that name.
Finally if you are planning to visit various offices of record check before you come that they will be open and afford public access to their records when you want it. Sometimes microfiche readers have to to be booked in advance.
If you would like to post what info you have I can see whether I can make any more suggestions. e.g. you probably have an address where he lived when he was last in touch with your family. What was his occupation then? Do you know if he had any children? When and where was he born? Does your family have a tradition of naming their children after older members of the family? All of these can give clues which may help you locate his grave.
I had a cousin of a friend help me out in Toronto and consequently I was able to visit the grave of a great uncle I'd never met. On the way though I had to get my mother to certify that she would allow access to the records as she was the nearest next of kin. It took time but all fell into place.

flanneruk Feb 14th, 2004 03:41 AM

Frances' comments are helpful. But:

- British census records remain secret for 100 years. The 1901 census is the most recent available
- Three census surrogates (the Electoral Register, though it's useful only if you know his address, because if you do, you can guess that the year he stopped living there is the year he died), old phone directories and Kelly's Street Directory (less reliable than the electoral register, but often with an alphabetical index) are usually available at the main library or the countyt records office

But all any of these will do is tell you where he lived, so you can narrow down his death date to an 18 month span, so your job of combing the death registers will be easier.

Your real problem will be making the leap from his death certificate (which will also include his address and the name of the person reporting it) to the grave. And that's why Frances' suggestion about really, really interrogating your family is so important

SWillams Feb 14th, 2004 09:40 AM

Yes, I meant passed away, what a silly mistake. Anyway, I will look into the suggestions made here. Unfortunatley, my uncle passed away long before I was born and I was given very little information about this from his brothers/sisters. Thanks for the help.

BrimhamRocks Feb 14th, 2004 10:01 AM

Good luck in your search!

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