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Monday, June 1, 2009

Help Finding an Ancestor's Death in United Kingdom

Linda asks:
my Great grandmother, Johanna nee Mullins married name Costa, born 1867, in UK , married Samuel Abraham Costa, 1888, had my grandmother 1888 DEC 26Th. Samuel got married in 1893 again, saying he was a widower, but can not find any death dates for Johanna. married in st James church 1888, lived at one time bethnal green, stepney and whitechapel in London UK, can you solve this puzzle thank you for trying too.

Olive Tree Answer Hi Linda, I wonder if you have found your Johanna Costa (nee Mullins) in the 1891 census for England? If you have, then you know she died between 1891 and 1893, which narrows your timeline for hunting quite a bit. If you found Samuel but without Johanna, then you know she died between 1888 and 1891.

Next, I would search the indexes to Vital Statistics for United Kingdom online. has free indexes online for Deaths in the UK after 1839 but you can also use Free BMD. FreeBMD is an ongoing project to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. As they complete their transcriptions they turn them over to There is no charge for using the indexes at either site.

If you find a birth, marriage or death record for an ancestor, you can order the certificates online at General Register Office for England and Wales online ordering service.

Remember too that Johanna is one of those names that can be found in a variety of ways! Ann, Anna,Hannah, Johanne are the most common ways to find it recorded. So don't overlook those spellings when searching for your ancestor. Having said that, there is a Hannah Costa found in the death records indexes during the time period you specified. Take a peek and see if you think she might be your ancestor.

You might also like to read Ancestor Death Record Finder which might help researchers figure out where to find these records, from the rather obvious places to the more obscure.

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