Finding death/burial record for Christian "Kitty" Rouse after 1851 Census in Truro, Cornwall


I have mentioned my 4th great grandmother Christian "Kitty" Rouse (nee Crossman) in two previous questions:

but a death/burial record for her eludes me.

This is the timeline I have for her:

  • Baptised on 19 Mar 1775 at Truro St Mary as Christian CROSSMAN to parents Wm. and Ann
  • Married on 1 Feb 1801 at Truro St Mary to Edmund ROUSE, St Clement as Christian CROSSMAN, with both being of the parish, and witnesses being Henry CROSSMAN, Richard ROUSE and John John
  • daughter Ann was born 12 Aug 1801 and baptised 23 Aug 1801 at Falmouth by Edmund and Christian Rouse
  • son Petherick was born 26 Dec 1802 and baptised 8 Feb 1804 at Truro St Mary by Edmund and Christian Rouse
  • son William Crossman was born 5 Sep 1813 and baptised 26 Sep 1813 at Truro St Mary by Edmund and Christian Rouse
  • daughter Elizabeth was baptised 31 Jan 1819 at St Clement by Edmund and Kitty Rouse
  • For the 1841 Census, she appears to have been enumerated twice:
    • Ketty Rouse, Aged 60, Independent, was living alone in Pydar St, Truro
    • Kitty Rouse, Aged 60, Female Servant, was living 4 miles away at Eglos Erme Parsonage, St Erme in the household of John Pomery
  • For the 1851 Census Kitty Rouse, Carpet Maker, Widow, aged 76, was living in Pydar Street, Truro with daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law William Hobbs, granddaughter Elizabeth J Hobbs (13) and William Rouse (18) who is recorded as her son (but I believe is her grandson William Henry Rouse)

I have not been able to find any record of Christian/Kitty in the 1861 Census, and am assuming that she must have been deceased by then. I have not been able to locate her death in the GRO, or a burial for her in the Cornwall OPC.

Does anyone have any thoughts on where else I might be able to look for her death/burial record, or life after the 1851 Census?


Posted 2020-01-15T08:45:57.933

Reputation: 10 741

1On the FAN principle, have you looked for all her children in 1861? Also, 76 might seem old to emigrate but it did happen. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-15T09:53:03.387

@ColeValleyGirl That's the thought I was going to put into a self-answer, if no one else did. I need to pursue them further before I'm ready to write it. Her grandson, my 2nd great grandfather (William Henry Rouse) emigrated to South Australia in 1880 and I've not found anyone in the family doing so earlier. I think one daughter (Ann m. Penrose) is missing from the 1861 Census so she's worth me looking harder for. – PolyGeo – 2020-01-15T11:06:44.437



After getting links from @ColeValleyGirl I viewed a burial record for Catherine Rouse, aged 84, on 4 Jan 1857 at Truro St Mary:

This is the best candidate burial that I have for Christian "Kitty" Rouse (nee Crossman) because:

  • the age is close to what I would expect. It suggests Catherine Rouse was born about 1773, and Christian Crossman was baptised in 1775.
  • the location is what I would expect. Truro St Mary is where Christian Rouse (nee Crossman) married and baptised two children. It's also only about 500 meters from where she was living for the 1851 Census.
  • although Catherine is not the same as Christian, my understanding is that "Kitty" is used as a nickname for both. I am speculating, but it seems possible that the informant may have given her name as "Kitty" and the recorder assumed she was a Catherine.

I have not been able to locate a corresponding death record in the GRO. If I could find that I should be able to use the death location, informant, and possibly other information on the death certificate to try and identify whether it belongs to Christian "Kitty" Rouse (nee Crossman).

Unfortunately, when I contacted to see if they could locate it the outcome of their exhaustive search was:

My colleague and I have now conducted multiple searches using all of the name variations you have given. We have also used family history search website to aid our search across the county. Unfortunately we have still been unable to locate an entry.

One possible reason for this is that it may be possible that Kitty/Catherine’s death was not registered at all at this time. Civil death registration was not compulsory until 1875 and until that year it was not necessary to obtain a "green form" for interring the body, so a burial could take place without this information. This would also explain why you were unable to obtain the information from the General Register Office.


Posted 2020-01-15T08:45:57.933

Reputation: 10 741

I also couldn't find the GRO registration, and Cornwall Local BMD are not online -- if I were you I'd contact the relevant local Registrar's office to ask them to search for the death. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-17T07:32:22.397

Thanks @ColeValleyGirl I've now sent an email to to see if they can help. – PolyGeo – 2020-01-17T07:57:29.480

The death went 'missing' somewhere between the PR and the GRO -- might be interesting to see if other deaths on that PR page arrived at the GRO or whether the data loss was greater than one record. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-17T08:09:24.160

@ColeValleyGirl - see edit to my answer - it seems likely that the death of Christian/Kitty/"Catherine" may not have been registered. Thank you for suggesting I pursue that route even though it did not find what I was hoping. – PolyGeo – 2020-01-31T10:05:22.560

Good to have an update -- and to be able to document why not all deaths may have been registered. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-01-31T11:48:00.707

According to Genuki, the Cornwall FHS has nearly 3000 memorial inscriptions for Truro St Mary. Their database is members-only, unfortunately, but it might be worth contacting them to see if they can check that list for "Catherine", in case (long shot!) she had a legible grave marker with something like "wife of..." on it. Was Edmund buried in the same place?

– AndyW – 2020-01-31T12:10:19.370

What is this "green form"? (re:

– Jan Murphy – 2020-01-31T17:28:39.770

@AndyW Edmund was buried at St Clements. FindMyPast has: First name(s) EDMUND Last name ROUSE Age 41 Birth year 1778 Death year 1819 Burial year 1819 Burial date 31 Jan 1819 Burial location ST CLEMENT Residence Trurovean – PolyGeo – 2020-02-03T04:05:43.803

2@JanMurphy "Green form" = certificate/authority for burial (or later on, cremation) -- normally issued by the registrar alongside the death certificate. – ColeValleyGirl – 2020-02-03T11:43:27.193


Although I think my other answer (which was prompted by help from @ColeValleyGirl) will prove to be correct, another way I was going to try to find Christian's death record was by following where her children were after 1851, in case she was living with any of them. I'll use this answer to summarize that research:

  1. Eldest daughter Ann married William Penrose on 21 Feb 1820 at Truro St Mary, and in the 1851 Census, aged 51, born St Just, Cornwall she was living at St Mary Whitechapel, Middlesex with William, and their daughter N.W. Penrose. I have not yet found Ann in the 1861 Census, or a death/burial record for her.
  2. Eldest son Petherick married Frances "Fanny" Maria Sheward on 18 Feb 1833 at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, and in the 1861 Census, Pedrick, aged 58, born Turow [sic], Cornwall, Fanny and four of their children were living at Camborne, Cornwall. Christian is not living with them. Nor is she living with them for the 1871 Census when they are still at Kidderminster.
  3. Second son William Crossman married Eliza Reed on 25 Jun 1838 at St Day, Cornwall and in the 1861 Census, William, aged 47, born Truro, Cornwall, Eliza and seven of their children were living at Camborne, Cornwall. Christian is not living with them. Nor is she living with them for the 1871 Census when they are still at Camborne.
  4. Second daughter Elizabeth married William Hobbs on 26 Jul 1836 at Truro, Cornwall. William deceased in 1859, and in the 1861 Census, Elizabeth, aged 47, born Truro, Cornwall, Elizabeth and her daughter Elizabeth Jane were living at Truro St Mary, Cornwall. Christian is not living with them. Nor is she living with Elizabeth for the 1871 Census when Elizabeth is lodging at St Clement, Cornwall.


Posted 2020-01-15T08:45:57.933

Reputation: 10 741