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Death Certificates - where we're STILL our husbands' property!

(26 Posts)
Sheitgeist Thu 06-Aug-15 08:26:20

Just had a family bereavement, and whilst sorting things out was shocked to discover that should the deceased be a married woman, the name and occupation of her husband had to be recorded. There is no reciprocal requirement for married men.

AIBU to be pretty annoyed about this? It's another 'woman belonging to her husband or father' thing that has yet to be fixed.

Recently there has been a lot of raised awareness on the issue of fathers' names and occupations being required on marriage certificates, and not mothers. I signed a petition on change.org and think there has been real progress on that issue. I think its a shame that death certificates were not also included in this petition.

Or am I fussing about nothing?

MammaTJ Thu 06-Aug-15 08:33:16

I have another. I was born in Singapore. When I apply for a passport, in spite of living in the UK since I was 9 weeks old, is spite of having an English mother, in spite of having been married to two English men (one at a time), I have to produce my Fathers birth certificate!

It makes me mad. I have nothing to do with him, had little to do with him growing up, yet my 'Britishness' is dependant on him!

midnightvelvetPart2 Thu 06-Aug-15 08:35:54

I agree with you OP, although I think this is probably overlooked as when somebody receives a death certificate they are usually busy with lots of things that need doing fairly urgently sad

Sheitgeist Thu 06-Aug-15 08:39:59

Is this because your father is not a British national, MammaTJ ? And was there no such requirement to have your mother's birth certificate?

Yes, there's nothing like a death in the family to dampen one's desire to protest. midnight angry

luciferswench Thu 06-Aug-15 08:41:40

It just goes back to the man being the head of the household.
The father being on the birth cert meant he gave you his name.
The father on the marriage cert - he gave you away to be married.
The husband on the death cert - once again the head of the family role.

Whilst i do agree with it being outdated in todays world, it is traditional and i feel that some traditions should be allowed to continue. Nowadays its not really a big deal anymore since women have more rights than in the past.

RustyBear Thu 06-Aug-15 08:54:18

This rang a bell with me, and I've just checked my Dad's death certificate (he died a couple of years ago and the death was registered in Plymouth)

The registrar did ask for the name and occupation of my late mother (who died before Dad) and it's on the certificate.

The Occupation section says:

Electronics Engineer- Electronics Developer and Manufacturer (retired)
Widower of [Mum's name], Adult Education Crafts Tutor, Local Authority

I don't remember exactly what the registrar said about it - I think it was that the information isn't legally required but it's helpful to family history researchers to have the fullest information. I don't remember whether she said it was her practice to ask or that of the local authority, but there are obviously some people around who see the anomaly and are trying to change things.

Sheitgeist Thu 06-Aug-15 08:54:37

Ah, but tradition has done plenty of bad things, lucifer

Birth, death and marriage certificates are historical documents, and mothers and wives are being written out of history by this exclusion. It's as if we are only here to produce children, and have no relevance of our own!

Sheitgeist Thu 06-Aug-15 08:57:28

Ah, that's interesting and good to hear, Rusty

I think the legal requirement applies only to husbands though. Nice to see registrars taking the initiative.

cuntycowfacemonkey Thu 06-Aug-15 08:59:14

Some traditions are nice like decorating a tree at Christmas even if you aren't religious. Not sure we should say "oh it's traditional for men to be more significant than women on legal documents so lets leave it that way"

Fizzielove Thu 06-Aug-15 09:01:01

I am burying my father today, when I registered his death because he was married I had to list my deceased mothers occupation and details. YABU

StealthPolarBear Thu 06-Aug-15 09:02:19

Does her own occupation get recorded?

BlueThursday Thu 06-Aug-15 09:02:36

I didn't know that about marriage certificates; I wasn't married in the UK

I wonder if it's all of the UK, sometimes scotland is a bit different with things. Like here time of birth is on birth certificates and I understand in England it's only on in the case of multiples

Whichplace Thu 06-Aug-15 09:05:24

mammatj. The law on having your nationality dependent on your father actually changed in 1983. Unfortunately it only applies to people born after then and can't be applied retrospectively

Egosumquisum Thu 06-Aug-15 09:05:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pointlessfan Thu 06-Aug-15 09:07:32

I'd have to check but I'm pretty sure our marriage certificate has both our occupations on.

BlueThursday Thu 06-Aug-15 09:12:34

Thanks ego that's interesting

I know my occupation is on DDs birth certificate; are mothers' occupations on certificates in the rest of the UK?

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 06-Aug-15 09:14:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sheitgeist Thu 06-Aug-15 09:18:28

Fizzie We have yet to register my BIL's death as we are awaiting a PM, but I got the information here:

www.nidirect.gov.uk/documents-and-information-needed-when-someone-dies

Could it be out of date, then? It's good to see that wives' details are being recorded in many cases.

Yes Stealth her own occupation will be recorded.

Pointless the problem with the marriage certificate was that it was the father's (father of bride and groom) details that are required - name and occupation - whereas mothers' are disregarded.

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 06-Aug-15 09:20:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 06-Aug-15 09:21:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 06-Aug-15 09:22:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RustyBear Thu 06-Aug-15 09:48:53

Just looked at the websites. The City of Plymouth one says:

"If the person who has died was married or a widow/widower at the time that they died, the full names and last occupation of their husband/wife"

Dad died in hospital in Plymouth, so it was registered there, but he lived in another part of Devon, which is a separate authority. The Devon website still says just:

"name and occupation of husband, where the deceased was a married woman or widow"

So if he had died at home, presumably Mum's name and occupation wouldn't have been registered.

nmg85 Thu 06-Aug-15 10:06:12

For marriage certificates they are planning to add mothers names & occupation to the certificate. That was told to me by the registrar when we gave notice last year.

MammaTJ Thu 06-Aug-15 10:06:48

No Dad is British, I have to prove that to prove I am British!

DJThreeDog Thu 06-Aug-15 10:17:14

It this sort of thing that boils my piss. Women are just always treated as an irrelevancy.

Sorry, I'm already annoyed this morning from reading a horrible article on FB that a MRA wrote saying if women have the right to abortions then men should have the right to rape sad angry

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