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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

John Titheridge of West Tisted- the First Nonogenarian

West Tisted Church

The England Wales Death Index first started showing the age on death in the 1866 records.  Looking at these death records for all our family members you can see that the average age on death is gradually increasing.  In the first decade from 1866 – 1875 the average age on death was 28.1 years whereas by the last decade, 1996-2005, the average age on death was 77.9 years.  This is illustrated on the graph below.
The most noticeable change is that in the decade beginning 1866 47% of all recorded deaths were of babies and children under the age of 10 and just 5% of deaths were of individuals who had reached the age of 80 or more.  By the decade beginning 1996 the situation had reversed so that 0% of deaths were of individuals aged 10 and under and 46% of the deaths were individuals aged 80 plus.

Between 1866 and 1966 just 7 individuals reached the age of 90, the first of these was a John Titheridge who died in 1905.  On 31 May 1905 an article appeared in several national newspapers reporting the death of John Titheridge the oldest inhabitant of West Tisted Hampshire who had just died aged 99.  The piece went on to say that for 43 years he was clerk and sexton of the parish church, a post his father had filled for 50 years before him.  I was quite excited – here I had found our oldest family member.  I checked the West Tisted parish records only to find the entry
“John Titheridge buried 14 May 1905 having died in Alresford Infirmary aged 90”

This was confirmed by the England and Wales Death Index
However since John was christened on 2 April 1814 and buried 14 May 1905 I believe he was 91 on death. 
The motto is don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers – ALWAYS go back to original sources to check the data.
John Titheridge was one of seven children born to Richard Titheradge (born 1779- died 1861) and Mary Harding (born 1780 - died 1855).  Richard was from Cheriton, Hampshire but settled in West Tisted about 1810 residing there until his death in 1861.
The children of Richard and Mary were
Sarah born 1802 Ropley, died 1883
Annie born 1804 Ropley, married William Oakley in 1826
Elizabeth born 1807 Ropley, married John Read in 1827
Harriett born 1810 West Tisted, married William Windebank in 1830
John born 1814 West Tisted, married Ann Paice in 1842, died 1905
James born 1817 West Tisted, married Edna Stevens in 1860, died 1868
Richard born 1820 West Tisted, married Ann Pullinger in 1845, died 1912

As well as John reaching the age of 90 his brother Richard died in 1912 at the age of 92.
Please add a comment if you can add any information about John or Richard.


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