The Report on the Inquest held at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital into the death of Dinah Bert, a Widow aged 81 years, appeared in the Norwich Mercury of 15th May, 1861.
The Deputy-Corner, Mr T Palmer, was told that Dinah Bert died from injuries received by being thrown out of a cart.
The Inquest was told that on the preceding Saturday, Dinah Bert was in a carrier’s cart coming from Great Ellingham to Norwich when the horse fell and Mrs Bert was thrown out.
When Mrs Bert was picked up, it was found that her legs were fractured. She was then conveyed to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital where she died the following Thursday.
The Inquest Jury found a verdict of “Accidental Death”.
Who was Dinah Bert?
A search for Dinah Bert living in the Great Ellingham area at the time of the 1861 census proved negative. A search of the GRO Index via FreeBMD website for a registered death of a Dinah Bert in 1861 also proved negative.
However, a search of the GRO Index via the General Record Office website confirmed a death registered in the June Quarter of 1861 (i.e. between April and June) in the Norwich District for Dinah Best aged 81.
I then found a Dinah Beets, a Widow, aged 80 years boarding with the household of Martha Starke at Green Lane, Little Ellingham on the 1861 census.
It is worth always bearing in mind that not everyone was able to read and write in the nineteenth century. Further, a person recording a name or place whether it be in the parish registers, the census, for the purpose of registration or in other documentation would just write down what they heard. Accordingly, the spelling of names are not always consistent and an incorrect name can be written down.
Therefore, I believe that the Dinah Bert the subject of the Inquest, Dinah Best found in the GRO Index for 1861 and Dinah Beets living in Green Lane, Little Ellingham in 1861 is one and the same person.
Chapel Street Rockland St Peter
Ten years earlier, in 1851, a Dinah Beets aged 70, a Widow, born in Wymondham is living in Chapel Street, Rockland St Peter. Dinah is described as a Housekeeper. Other members of the household are 25 year old George Kerrison (born Great Ellingham), 37 year old John Hall, born Little Ellingham and 15 year old Sarah Webster born in Rockland St Peter.
Going back a further 10 years to 1841, 60 year old Dinah Betts is living at Rockland Cottage, Rockland St Peter.
I believe that the lady referred to in the various documentation as Dinah Bert, Dinah Best, Dinah Beets and Dinah Betts is Dinah Beets widow of John Beets and the Dinah who died in 1861 as a result of the accident.
Headstone for Dinah Beets and her husband John Beets which lies in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Scoulton.
John Beets died on March 5th 1836 leaving Dinah a Widow.
Dinah Beets died on May 9th, 1861 as a result of the accident
Looking at the Wymondham Parish Registers for a possible baptism entry for Dinah who, working back from her age at death, would likely to have been born around 1780, reveals at least three possible baptisms:
Diana daughter of George & Esther Barnard on February 8th, 1779;
Dinah daughter of John & Susanna Gay on 11th August 1780; and
Diana daughter of William & Sarah Drake on 4th October, 1780.
I favour Dinah the daughter of John & Susanna Gay. However this is only a hunch which may not be correct.
Norwich Mercury 15th May 1861
GRO Index via General Record Office website https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/indexes_search.asp accessed 06.07.2019
FreeBMD website https://www.freebmd.org.uk/ accessed 06.07.2019
1861 census RG9/1237/106
1851 census HO107/1823/263
1841 census HO107/785/22
Wymondham Parish Registers Norfolk Record Office PD/184 also available at http://FamilySearch.org