Double Death

Recently, I saw in the indexes that Grace STILING and her bachelor son Edward died in the same year and the same month. It turns out that they’d actually even died on the same day!  A newspaper article stated that the duo died on the same day at ‘Ashleigh, Tiverton’ – ages given but no reason.

Styling/Stiling death notices in Western Times, 25 February 1873, p5

I knew from the 1871 census that mother and son were living together in Ashley Cottage so I was expecting to find mention of a local tragedy or even an inquest in the newspapers but… nope.  I ordered Grace’s death certificate (since she was my direct ancestor) and presumed I’d find some clue there but again… nope.

1873 death certificate of Grace Styling/Stiling

The death certificate records Grace’s cause of death as  ‘Valvular disease of the Heart – Bronchitis’.  Obviously, the son’s certificate will need to be viewed next if I’m to solve this mystery.
Note: The newspaper incorrectly stated that Grace was the widow of ‘E. Styling’ – it was in fact, J. Stiling (who died 10 years previously in 1862).

However, this death certificate did throw up a new puzzle for me to solve…

The death was registered 2 days after by Ann Maunder of Broad Lane, Tiverton who was present at the death.

Is this the same Ann Maunder who married wrestling star, William WREFORD after his first wife, Drusilla died? The relationship between the two women on ancestry is ‘wife of father-in-law of daughter’. Confused yet? I had to make up a mini tree to try and get it straight.

So Ann’s stepson was married to Grace’s daughter and therefore very likely they knew each other.  Perhaps these two women had a kind of friendship.  But why use her maiden name MAUNDER and not her married name of WREFORD?

Next Steps:

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