Burial Records and Death Records in the UK
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Burial and Death Records in the UK

Case Study - Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs.

Darwin developed an interest in natural history while studying first medicine, then theology, at university.

His 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (usually abbreviated to The Origin of Species) established evolution by common descent, which means that all organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor or gene pool.

In recognition of Darwin's pre-eminence, he was buried in Westminsted Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton.

"I began by doing a BMD Image Search in Death Records, using the BMDindex.co.uk website. I knew Darwin died in Bromley in 1882, so I set the year to 1882. I then typed in his forename and surname, and clicked search.

However, I did not know which month he died in, so searched through the images until I found him.

I found him in the April - June death records (below), and a closer look reveals the volume number and volume page number which can be used for ordering certificates (below).

After researching Charles Darwin, I found that he died on April 19th, so I am certain that this is the correct death record."

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