While I was poking about trying to find a chap born in the 1700's who was named John...so thoughtless of his parents not to have given him something less common-place...I came across the Parish Records for a little village in Yorkshire.
Goodness...such a wealth of information within the few pages I've read so far...
I'll start in 1539 because prior to then the records don't go into any detail...all the wording is how it was written.
A Poore man seminge to have been a Lepar was found Drownded in the waters of Torne.
Thes died upon the Greate Sweate. There followed a list of twenty names...all had died within about ten days of each other.
A Shouldyer beynge a Strangere (A soldier, being a stranger)
All the Followynge dyed in the Plague thyme...(there were 33 people listed over the course of a month)
Marye Lawe...A Criple
A stranger said to be a Frenchman
A Bastard child
A Poore Man
Gabriel Goodman slayne with a knife by Will Browne his Servant who Suffered for that At the Lent Assizes.
Silvester Roulston p'ished and dyed in the Churchyard
A Poore Old man a Stranger who dyed in Bramptons Barn whos name was Unknowne or where he Dwelt.
It was all happening in 1610!
A Jump to 1634
Leonard Jurdye of Rosington who was Founde dead as he came from doncaster buried upon the verdict before mr Barber the Coroner upo evidence the mare who he did Ride upon was found to be a deodand and valewed at two shillings.
A Deodand was a household object or an animal which caused a person's death...the object or animal was 'given over to God'
dority the wife of Geoffrey Chester who dyed of a tinpeny...I can't find the meaning of a 'tinpeny'
An abort son of James Smith...probably a baby born too early?
And the last one...Thomas Marrison of Cantley for whose death henry and John haughton were questioned.
The poor spell-check has been having kittens while I typed this out...
Many Parish Records have been transcribed but some are in an index form which don't give any details apart from the name and date of burial...I was delighted to find these records which have been typed out legibly.
It isn't impossible to read the originals of course, but you have to have an enormous amount of patience and excellent eyesight...!
I find it awful sad that people were buried without anyone knowing their given name...perhaps it's just being overly sentimental, but the 'strangers' and others who were passing through when they succumbed to illness or disability were at least given a proper burial in the churchyard, rather than the Catholic way of interring people whose religion was unknown in un-consecrated grounds.
It'd be the icing on the cake if their occupations were also listed...but that's just me being greedy.