I hope I am not out of order asking a question re writing again but rethinking my effort on last query has resulted in me finding the record I need. I am attaching another example of writing that I am struggling with.

Under Column 9 residence of informant the first name is hard to deciper?

X???X - Gibson, son, present at death, 27 williamstown.

Any insights would be great enter image description here

2 Answers 2


The name is Robert Gibson.

If there is a name I cannot read – which happens fairly often – then I will turn to what I can read first, and see if that helps to track it down. In this case, given this is an 1899 death certificate, the 1901 Irish census seems a good starting place.

We know his address is 27 Williamstown. So Blackrock area of Dublin. By searching this area I came across:

Robert Gibson, age 34, living in Blackrock, house number 27

You can view the relevant images there to determine whether this is the correct man, but pieces seem to fit. Sometimes to read old documents you need to reverse-engineer until you can work out the original text, which then often becomes obvious. A word of caution, however, to make sure you are not just seeing what you want to see.

  • 1
    Just a comment to reiterate that Robert Gibson, son, is the informant. The decedent's name is cut off from this image, but he was a 68-year-old widower, brick layer, cause of death "Bronchitis / 3 Months / Certified." The location of Blackrock, Rathdown is confirmed in the first two lines of the image, and the third line does say Dublin.
    – shoover
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 22:25

The name appears to be "Robert". The initial capital is odd, but mainly because of the emphasized beginning loop. That is not a dash before "Gibson", it was intended to be the cross stroke for the "t" at the end of "Robert".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.