SUI­CIDE RECORDS

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - Q&A -

Rick Stein was ea­ger to un­der­stand more about his father’s men­tal health prob­lems. Eric Stein suf­fered from manic de­pres­sion most of his life, which ended in tragedy when he com­mit­ted sui­cide in 1965, when Rick was only 18 years old.

If you find an an­ces­tor who also com­mit­ted sui­cide, you may be able to learn more about the cir­cum­stances that led to the sui­cide through a va­ri­ety of records. Firstly, the death cer­tifi­cate would pro­vide the first doc­u­ment stat­ing that the death was a sui­cide. Sud­den deaths were of­ten a mat­ter for a coro­ner’s in­quest, so ob­tain­ing those records can shed light on what led to the sui­cide (sur­viv­ing records are held in lo­cal ar­chives). If in­quest pa­pers don’t sur­vive, then lo­cal news­pa­pers would of­ten re­port on th­ese (and pro­vide ad­di­tional de­tails too), so re­search­ing there may bear fruit. Many lo­cal news­pa­pers are now on­line at british­news­pa­per­ar­chive. co.uk, on Find­my­past, or held in lo­cal ar­chives. Of­ten those who com­mit­ted sui­cide would have spent time in hospi­tals or asy­lums seek­ing treat­ment for their ill­ness, so hos­pi­tal records could also pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, th­ese recordss can be sub­ject to re­stricted ac­cess de­pend­ing on when the sui­cide oc­curred, so you may need to pro­vide kin­ship de­tails to ob­tain ac­cess.

The Na­tional Ar­chives hasha a hos­pi­tal records data­base thatth de­tails in which ar­chive llo­cal

hos­pi­tal records are kekept:

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