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Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353076425000
Classification: Query
Surnames: STENSON
Hello Everyone.

I have joined this list because I need some help with a problem. Most of my research is in England, with some in Canada, United States and Australia. Recently, while searching the British Newspaper Archive online, I found the following article:
"Leicester Chronicle, Sat., 11 Sept 1875 DEATHS: STENSON. - On the 27th August, at Marseilles, en route for Mauritius, Wm. Stenson, of Coalville, eldest grandson of the late Wm. Stenson, Esq., deeply lamented by a large circle of friends, age 42 years."

This William STENSON is my great grand uncle. The last I knew of him before finding this was that he appeared on the 1851 Census in Coalville, Leicestershire, England as an 18 year old blacksmith. I want to find out more information about him and his death. I see four routes to this.

1. Obtain his death certificate. Can someone please tell me how I can find out if his death was registered in Marseilles and how I would go about getting a copy of the death record. I don't speak French. Can I place an order in English or do I need to get someone who speaks French to do it for me? The LDS does have the index on film, but they say it is also available online at but I have not been able to find anything there. Of course, I am handicapped by not speaking French.

2. Find something about his death in a newspaper. Is there a digital newspaper archive for France and more specifically for Marseilles, that I could search online? Or perhaps someone could please search it for me if one exists? There might have been something reported, especially if his death was suspicious in any way. If no online archive is available, how can I go about getting somebody to check the papers for me? I would think that if anything existed it would be reported on August 27, 28, or 29 probably, or on the first weekly publication after the 27th.

3. Is it possible to find out where he is buried? Perhaps burials are available online? Or perhaps there are CD's or fiche available?

4. Are passenger lists available for ships travelling from Marseilles to Mauritius? Even if he didn't board the ship, he might have had a ticket and be crossed off as not boarding? It has been suggested to me that he probably would have travelled from England to Marseilles by train and then boarded a ship for the remainder of the journey.

Any other ideas would be most welcome? Thank you all for considering this matter.

Vern in Canada

Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353079142000
Classification: Query
Dear Vern, I found the death record of a William STIMPSON, aged 42, sailer, born in Leftshire? England, who died in the Hopital de la conception, Marseille 27 Aug 1875.

Go to...
Click on "Marseille", "Registres ..." and "Rechercher".
Next page, click on "Sépulture, décès", then against where it says "Annee" put 1875 in the second box, then click on "Selectionner un mois" and chose "aout", then click on "Rechercher" at the bottom.
Next page: tick the box against the second entry: "
MARSEILLE , Acte : Décès , 1875 , Août , Registre : 6 "
and then click on the binoculars symbol.
That should get you to the register, you want page 52 of 64. bottom left.

the record also states "no other information", presumably they mean they cannot give his parents' names.

I hope this helps,

Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353081352000
Classification: Query
Hello Vern,

Maybe I can answer some of your questions:

1) I've indeed found his death certificate on see the attachment and transcript/translation below. He died at the hospital and his death was notified by 2 hospital workers. As usual in France, cause of death is not given but they reported he was a sailor so I'm guessing he was perhaps aboard the ship not as passenger but member of the crew. You should check that first IMHO.

2) There are certainly local newspapers archives at Marseille Archives or the Bouches-Du-Rhône Archives center but they aren't (yet?) on-line. Best site with newspapers archives I know of is, the French National Library website. But I've found nothing there, which would not be surprising if he only died of illness or casual wound for example.

3) Write and ask Marseille town hall. All French cemeteries are owned and maintained by local administration, i.e. town halls. If he was not buried there, they should be able to tell you where his body was sent as documents had to be recorded to allow the body transport.

4) Maybe but you would need someone on the premises to search at the Departemental Archives because you'll find nothing on-line.

5) The hospital archives might give you more details (at least an entry date) but once again they're not available on-line and there's no guarantee they've been kept.

Transcript of the death certificate:

STIMPSON William - 123
« L'an mil huit cent soixante quinze et le vingt sept août à onze heures trois quart
ACTE DE DÉCÈS de William Stimpson
décédé à Marseille, ce matin à huit heures dans l'hôpital
de la Conception, âgé de quarante et un ans,
marin, né à Leftshire (Angleterre),
sans autre renseignement.
Sur la déclaration faite par Guillaume Bonesq et Marc Grégné?
(domicilié et demeurant) âgés de septante trois ans, commis
domiciliés et demeurants à l'hôspice de la Charité. Constaté, d'après la loi,
par Nous, Antoine Dujean?
Adjoint au Maire de Marseille, délégué aux fonctions d'Officier de l'État-Civil; et lecture faite
aux déclarants, avons signé avec eux. »


STIMPSON William - 123
« On August 27, 1875 at three quarters past eleven
deceased in Marseille this morning at eight o'clock in the hospital
of La Conception , 41 years old,
sailor, born in Leftshire (England),
no other information.
On the statement made by Guillaume Bonesq and Marc Grégné?
(domiciled and living) aged seventy three, clerks
domiciled and living at the La Charité hospital. Certified, according to the law,
by Us, Antoine Dujean?
Deputy Mayor of Marseille, acting as Civil
Registrar, who after reading it
to the informants, signed it with them.»

Hope it helps a little?


Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353084441000
Classification: Query
Thank you Angela. This helps a lot. If he was a sailor, this might explain why he missed the census in 1861 and 1871. Now I have some direction as to where to look for other information.

Vern in Canada

Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353084909000
Classification: Query
Thank you for all of this Amanda. It is very helpful. I am a bit disappointed that there appears to be no cause of death given (unless I just missed it). However, I think I can fairly safely assume either an illness or an accident was involved. I had wondered if he might have met with foul play.

Leftshire of course is Leicestershire. The misspelling might have been patially due to the British using an "s" that looked like an "f". "Leicester" often became "Lester" in the documents.

Again, this is really great information!!!


Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353087560000
Classification: Query
Hi Angela

That link to the archives doesn't work for me. Although I have the certificate from another person, I would like to go through the process myself. You never know when you might need to do it again.


Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353142583000
Classification: Query
go to:
click on Etat civil (in green box)
Next page:
Click on ">> Lien vers le site externe 'Accéder aux registres paroissiaux et état civil'" in red

Then you get to the page my last lot of instructions started from.


Re: Death of William STENSON in Marseilles 27 Aug 1875

Posted: 1353156156000
Classification: Query
Surnames: STENSON
Thank you for that Angela. When I had played around with the site before, I had missed the "click on >> Lien vers le site externe 'Accéder aux registres paroissiaux et état civil' (in red) step

I have now navigated through to the certificate as well as to his listing in the index!
per page

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