I came across the post on Sunday 2 August 2015 at the Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections blog – Kingston Upon Thames and Surbiton Burial Registers. Since I know I have some individuals in my tree that died in this area, I decided to check what information I could find in these registers which are available for free on the Kingston Council website – Search our burial records
Since I knew of some members of my Docwra family were buried at Surbiton, I entered the surname Docwra in the keywords field – since Docwra is a reasonably uncommon surname, and one of my main family lines (my grandmother was a Docwra), I decided to use just the surname.
There were 10 results:
- Docwra, Catherine
- Docwra, Elizabeth
- Docwra, Emily
- Docwra, Harry
- Docwra, Henry
- Docwra, Henry
- Docwra, John
- Docwra, Susan
- Docwra, Walter
I decided to have a look at the record for Walter.
Burial records : Docwra, Walter
Full name Walter Docwra
Last name Docwra
First name Walter
Age 80 Years
Date of death 29/11/1956
Section / Class II
Grave number 1247
Date of burial 04/12/1956
Many cemetery databases include the above details, but one thing other cemetery databases don’t include that this database does is the image of the original burial register.
Based on his age at the time of his death, this Walter was born about 1876. I have a Walter Docwra in my family tree who was born in 1876 in Kingston, Surrey, England. This burial record therefore appears to be for this Walter.
In order to verify that this record is for the Walter Docwra in my tree, the next thing to do is to follow Walter through the census records, and to see who he married. Often husbands and wives are buried in the same grave, or the next grave, so if I can find his wife’s name, I can check to see if she is one of the other Docwras buried in this cemetery, and check which grave she was buried in.
In looking at the information I had for Walter, I have as one of the sources for his birth the 1871 census. Immediately I thought to myself “How can he be on the 1871 census if he was born in 1876?”. Obviously there is some error. Either I have the wrong family, or it was the 1881 census.
It appears that it was the 1881 census – the 1881 England census listed Walter Docra, age 5, born in Surbiton, Surrey, England, living in Kingston on Thames, Surrey, England. The head of the household was Henry Docra, age 38. Also in the household was the wife of Henry, Catherine Docra age 37, daughter Kate Docra age 11, and son Harry Docra age 91.
The 1891 England Census shows that Walter was still living with his family in Kingston, Surrey. Walter was still living with his parents on the 1901 and 1911 censuses, in Surbiton.
The only marriage for a Walter Docwra I could find was in 1939. This Walter married an Amelia Mitchell. Since there was no Amelia buried at Surbiton or Kingston, I decided to check if Walter was married near to his parents – his parents were Henry and Catherine, and on my previous list there was a Catherine and 2 Henrys.
Walter was buried in Section/Class II, Grave number 1247. Catherine Docwra, age 81, died 26 November 1925 was buried in the same grave. Henry Docwra, age 83, died 14 June 1927 was also buried in this grave. This seems to indicate that this was the Walter in my tree, buried with his parents Henry Docwra, born 1844 in Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, England and Catherine White, born 1844 in Egham, Surrey, England.
The next thing I need to do is to see how (or if) the other Docwras on these registers fit into my family tree.
1 1881 census of England, Kingston on Thames, Surrey, folio 35, page 13, Walter Docra, age 5; Head of household Henry Docra; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., ancestry.com.au (http://home.ancestry.com.au/ : accessed 5 Aug 2015); citing PRO RG 11/837.