View Full Version : Hollywell workhouse

19-02-2016, 1:57 AM
I have tried in vain to locate the death of my ancestor Sarah Dennis born 1837 in Mostyn, married John Dennis. In 1901 census she was a pauper at Hollywell workhouse. I am assuming she remained there until her death. We're all workhouse deaths recorded?

Pam Downes
19-02-2016, 6:29 AM
Hello Debbiexx,

Welcome to British-Genealogy. :smile5:

If someone died in the workhouse their death would 100% have been registered.
Holywell workhouse death registers 1848-1936 (which are not the same as the GRO death registers) are held in Flintshire Record Office, as are the admission and discharges register (1893-1937). If you can't get there yourself the FRO offer a research service for 25 an hour. Might sound expensive but against that you have to weight up things such as how badly you want to know about when Sarah died and how much it could cost you in travel costs/incorrect death certificates, etc.

Having said that, I think there are only two likely death registrations for your Sarah, and a process of elimination could get that down to one. :smile5:

In the 1901 census for Wales there are three Sarah Dennis' born between 1826 and 1838. Two are in Holywell registration district; one is in Conway registration district.
The one in Conway is aged 75, and there's a death registration for a Sarah Dennis aged 82, in Conway registration district in 1909, so I think that's her accounted for.

Of the two in Holywell in 1901, there's your Sarah aged 63, and the other one is 75.
The two death registrations are in 1903 (Sarah aged 74) and 1909 (Sarah aged 83).
I reckon your Sarah is most likely the one who died in 1903, with the person who registered the death getting her age wrong by approximately ten years. (She might have left the workhouse; the details on a death certificate are only as accurate as the knowledge the informant has of the deceased. And even close relatives have been known to give incorrect details. :smile5:)

So you could take a chance by ordering that 1903 death certificate, and if it's correct it will only cost you 9.25, which is a bit cheaper than twenty-five quid.


19-02-2016, 9:00 AM
North Wales BMD

This site identifies Sub-districts within Registration districts. The 1909 death of 83 yr old Sarah states " Sub-district Whitford". The 1903 death of 74 year old Sarah states "Sub-district Holywell". This would "fit" the location of the workhouse on Old Chester Road.

19-02-2016, 6:58 PM
Thanks Pam and North Wales BMD. Flintshire records office completed a search for me but some of their findings confused me somewhat as they dismissed the Sarah Dennis in the workhouse as being 63 (1901 census) making a big assumption that her correct age in 1903 as being 74 in the workhouse register of deaths (I know for certain the 1901 census info is correct), they then said they located her in a 1891 census living with her husband. This is completely inaccurate. However having read your replies I am now going to order the death certificate for 1903. Many thanks

Pam Downes
19-02-2016, 8:14 PM
Debbiexx - if Flintshire RO have confirmed that they have a record of Sarah dying in the workhouse in 1903 and depending on what details they have already given you (date, cause of death, etc) then I don't think the death certificate will necessarily give you that much more information because her death will probably have been registered by someone employed by the workhouse. Probably the Master or Mistress. Do you know if the entry says anything about 'widow of . . . .'?

I suspect that for their 1891 census entry they were looking at the Sarah (aged 66) with husband Edward living in Whitford and 'assuming' that because she 'fits' their records that she's the one. It could be, but based on helachau's find about the sub-districts in post #3, I don't think she is. (Warning: I have been known to be wrong. :smile5:)

If you either have more details from the FRO or do send for the certificate then please come back and tell us the results.


21-02-2016, 12:25 AM
Hi Pam, Flintshire Record Office gave me no details about her death except the date. Think I might write to them and ask them for more information. Paid 25 and I am hoping they didn't waste the time following someone who is not my ancestor. We can trace our Sarah back to the 1941 census with certainty.