Do not give up too soon!
Originally Posted by wellboss
..............Was it common that deaths were not recorded back then? .................I have searched all variants of their names that I can think of but unfortunately still no records coming up.
Any Ideas or reasons that may explain this?
Have you done a newspaper search? Done a wider GRO search (died in a hospital in Galway, for e.g.) Looked at Findagrave? Looked at local cemeteries? Checked if there is a local history /Facebook group to ask? That couple was too old to be on a visit to a son/daughter in England so it’s likely they died in Ireland.
If, after extensive searching you would have to resign yourself to non-registry. From 1864 when registration was introduced it was acknowledged that there was significant under-recording of all BMD events. The Registrar General for Ireland repeatedly drew attention to this in his annual reports.
In his first Annual Report relating to 1864 he stated:
“I consider that many Births, Deaths, and Marriages have not been registered... notwithstanding the exertions made to induce a general compliance with the law throughout the country, numerous cases of neglect to register births and deaths have been reported to me by the District Registrars”
Years later, in the sixteenth Annual Report (for 1879) a new Registrar, commenting on the rise in deaths recorded in that year, stated:
“The excess in the death-rate [in 1879] is not altogether owing to the increased mortality which it implies, much of it being due to the improvement in registration effected through the Burial Returns obtained under the Public Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878-9, the provisions of which, authorizing these Returns, were put into operation in the course of the year...”
Mainly due to the tightening up of the regulations surrounding an improved social welfare system in the 1930’s forced compliance with births and marriages, but registration of deaths has always been a problem – I recall one study of mortality tables highlighting the non-reporting of deaths was particularly high as late as the 1990’s – over 10% in some counties, and the West was worst.
The main work on the subject is Dean, G. and C . Mulvihill , 1972. "The registration of births and deaths in Ireland", Journal of the Irish Medical Association,
Vol. 65, No. 5, 101-105.