What does "late" mean in relation to a married woman's names?

+3 votes
Hello all,

I am researching my ancestor Hannah. In the birth record for her son William (viewable at Findmypast, https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbprs%2fnorfolk%2fpd_678-3%2f00288&parentid=gbprs%2fnorfolk%2fbap%2f003938535 - lefthand page, 7th entry) the entry is this:

"William, Son of Richard Fish & Hannah his wife (late Hannah Bear spinster, Jones, widow)"

The previous entry, for comparison, reads:

"William, Son of James Cubitt & Elizabeth his wife (late Elizabeth Cooke, Spinster)"

Am I right in thinking that the registrar's format is like this:
"late Hannah Bear spinster" - her maiden/birth name was Bear

"Jones, widow" - she then married a Jones, and was then widowed

I would be interested to hear if anyone has come across something similar.

Many thanks,

WikiTree profile: Hannah Fish
in Genealogy Help by Matthew Durrant G2G Crew (560 points)
The common format on civil birth certs would be "Hannah Fish late Jones formerly Bear".  But with baptisms, every vicar had his own style.  Mostly they didn't record maiden names at all.

1 Answer

+8 votes
Best answer
Yes, I would interpret that entry as you did.

Sometimes "late" means deceased, but other times it means something more like "lately", i.e., recently, but no longer.  I see this in other contexts too: I'll see someone shown as "late of Salem County", meaning he/she just relocated from Salem County.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (312k points)
selected by Matthew Durrant
Yes, now that I look at it, you could read it as "Hannah his wife (formerly Hannah Bear (as a) spinster, (then) Jones (as a widow)". Thanks!

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