A Sad Loss in the Richardson Family

My grandfather, Fred Richardson was an only child. When I was younger I heard mention that his parents, Ernest and Alice, had had other children who died early or were stillborn. 

Fred Richardson, my grandfather
Fred Richardson 1915-2001

I wanted to find out if there was any truth in this, but there are sooo many Richardson babies born in Nottingham between Ernest and Alice’s wedding in 1909 and her death in 1927.

Fortunately the General Record Office have released some of their own indexes (you have to register to search them) and the birth records have a note of the mother’s maiden name, which narrows down the search considerably. The search is quite laborious as you can only search two years at a time and have to keep switching from male to female. FreeBMD lists the mother’s maiden names in birth searches from September 1911 and this is much easier.

So I found a record for a Harold Richardson, born in 1909, with a mother’s maiden name of Oldham. Ernest had a older brother, Harold, so this was very likely to be a child born to him and Alice. 

The 1911 Census shows Ernest and Alice living with Alice’s mother, and notes that there has been one child born and one died during their marriage. So I searched for a death reference for Harold and found one in Nottingham in September 1909.

I ordered the PDF versions of the certificates. The birth certificate revealed that Harold was born on the 4th July 1909 at home in Bloomsgrove Street, Radford, Nottingham.

His death certificate makes sad reading – he died at home on the 12th September 1909. The cause of death is premature birth and marasmus (malnutrition) possible his premature arrival made it difficult for him to feed. My own son was tube fed when he was born at 29 weeks and had to be slowly introduced to bottle feeding over the following months. Eighty years earlier this kind of help was possibly not as readily accessible as it is now.

Such a sad story.

Alice Oldknow Oldham
Alice Oldknow Oldham 1886-1927
Ernest Richardson
Ernest Richardson 1887-1966

© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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