Sinnatt burial records

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J Sinnatt

burial records index
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The records of undertakers Pitcher and Le Quesne and some of their predecessors are held by Jersey Archive and are being digitised and indexed by archive staff and volunteers. This page provides an index to the accounts books of Sinnatt and Sons' business, the earliest in the collection

These cover the dates 1820 to 1942 and are important because they include the deaths of those who were members of non-Anglican churches, over a period of more than a century. Church records for these burials have not yet been transcribed and made available online.

W16AdSinnattUndertaker1858.jpg

Sinnatt's business was conducted from Don Street

W17AdHubertUndertaker1855.jpg

In 1855 his long-serving employee John Hubert went into business on his own, in competition with Sinnatt

The Sinnatt records differ from those for some of the other undertakers' in that they are taken from their accounts books, showing full details of everything provided for the funeral and mostly more detailed information about the deceased than provided in the Livres de Remarques of other undertakers. The entries within the volumes give vital family history information such as the name and age of the person buried, their immediate relations, the place and date of death, as well as place of burial - cemetery, and sometimes even a drawing showing the location of the plot. Records also give details of the deceased's occupation or public positions held.

A18LadyDeBatheFuneral.jpg

The account for the funeral of Lady de Bathe, better known as Lillie Langtry, in 1929. Lillie Langtry died at her home in the South of France and was buried in St Saviour's Church cemetery in Jersey. This explains why the Sinatt and Sons record starts with the unloading of the coffin at St Helier Harbour and does not include any details of the coffin itself


Sinnatt and Sons' funeral accounts books

The books can be viewed on line or downloaded, and are presented on the Archive website in 25 sets. Each set has a downloadable index. This index gives a page number, surname and forenames, and maiden names and previous married names for married women.

It can be a lengthy process searching the Archive website for records because the indexes do not give a date of burial, so several volumes may have to be accessed when searching for details of an ancestor's burial. This is further complicated for Sinatt and Sons records because they are not numbered sequentially over the decades, but each set is taken from one accounts book, whose pages are numbered. To make life even more difficult there are often two pages with each number and, while some very detailed accounts for a single funeral can be spread over several pages, one is as likely to encounter three or more funerals sharing the same page number within one volume. For these reasons it is important to reference both the year of the funeral and the page number found in our A-Z index which covers all 15,000-plus records. It should also be noted that some of the records have not been transcribed into the indexes on the Archive site, and we have had to add these to our index.

Although the Archive website has a search facility which allows a search for individual names, the results can include all manner of other records in their catalogue and, unless the exact spelling of a name is known, the required record will not be found.

We are adding indexes of records for a number of undertakers, for individual families included in our 1,200-plus family pages, which include all the island's most important families.

The Archive indexes contain some unusual spellings for common Jersey surnames. We are cross-checking these with the images of the undertaker's books and finding that most are errors of transcription, which can be corrected for our index, although the process of checking against the books is very time-consuming. Some of the handwriting in the books is difficult to read, and there may also be errors in the entries. We are correcting names when we are entirely satisfied that a common surname has been wrongly entered or transcribed.

Our advice is the same as it is with any other set of records included in Jerripedia. If you don't find an ancestor where you expect to, look for variations in spelling and, perhaps for names with or without prefixes, such as Le, La, L', de and du. Variations may appear next to records for names spelt in the standard form; they may also be some way out of sequence.

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