Codes used on English (Devon) parish burials - need to test my guess [closed]

+2 votes
I have a feeling that I have read the answer to this before, but Google isn't being helpful.

I've been looking at 18thC parish burial records (in Devon) & the burial entries have prefix codes on some (but not all) - C; P; W & sometimes WP on the same one.

It looks to me that C is for child - all of the entries seem to have "son of" or "daughter of".

W I'm guessing is widow - they are all female names (but not all female names have a W)

P - Parishioner? The few that have both W & P are female

Does that seem reasonable?

(The records are on FamilySearch, but aren't indexed)
closed with the note: Question answered - thanks.
in Genealogy Help by Mark Rogers G2G6 Mach 1 (14.4k points)
closed by Mark Rogers
Thanks folks - that has been very helpful. Pauper makes sense.

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
I agree with your suggestion; w for   widow. P  usually stands for pauper. Pauper funerals were paid  in full or part from the parish poor law rate. Many vicars   liked to note the status.In addition, from 1783-1794 you'll find many more  such entries because a tax of 3d  was levied  on baptisms, marriages and burials . The vicar acted as tax collector and was allowed to keep 10%. Paupers were exempt from the tax so it was important to mark those entries.

(In a couple of London registers from the 17th c.  I've also seen p for plague victim but that was very obvious.)

Edit typos
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (349k points)
selected by Mark Rogers
+3 votes
P could also be pauper. I think most of the burials would be for parishioners.
by Katie Fuller G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k points)
0 votes
I believe P. stands for pauper in this instance.
by David Mortimer G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)

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