ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2007-05 > 1178445825
From: "Michael Outlaw" <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] [ESS] Death Certificate
Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 11:03:45 +0100
I have several examples in the nineteenth century of deaths being registered by women (always women) who were not related to the family but present at the death.
I guessed that these women were the local 'layers-out' of the dead. They were called in when death was thought to be imminent, possibly to help confirm death, since doctors were by no means always available, and then 'lay out' the body, i.e. wash and prepare for burial. Such women still existed in my childhood (1940's) in Suffolk. I remember one arriving to deal with the body of my greatgrandmother. In the nineteenth century these women were often also unofficial midwives.
Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
|Re: [Ess] [ESS] Death Certificate by "Michael Outlaw" <>|