On the trail of Frederick George Postans…

Possibly Frederick George Postans - my paternal great-grandfather.

Possibly Frederick George Postans – my paternal great-grandfather.

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post I’ve been trying to find the final resting place of Frederick George Postans. I now know quite a lot about his life. See this post on his workplace, Newmarket Post Office, and this one on his biographical details so far.

I looked at the records I’d found relating to the end of his life. There were two – the England and Wales Death Index lists the bare facts – death aged 82 in Chesterton, the other is the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, which I include an extract from below:

Frederick George Postans probate

There does seem to be some inconsistency here in address which I haven’t quite ironed out yet. Frederick George Postans is listed as dying in Chesterton (to the NE of Cambridge), however he seemed to live in a house called ‘Dunrobin’ in Great Shelford (to the South of Cambridge). Not sure what these inconsistencies suggest – I think the answer could be on the death certificate which I will obtain once funds permit. I would guess that the Chesterton location could be a hospital or nursing facility. Anyway, at his death, aged 82, he left a widow, Clara, and two children, his daughter Sylvia, aged about 22/23 and my granddad Frederick who was about to turn 21. 

I have found some information to suggest that a house called Dunrobin was later sold in the right area in 1929 which could tie in with the biographical details we have – but at the moment I’m not completely sure it’s the right property. 

Anyway going back to Frederick George’s death. I spent yesterday morning trying to track down the burial in earnest. I began with Cambridgeshire, given that he died there and spent the last part of his life living there. However, no burial records were to be found in Cambridgeshire. This really confused me until I remembered how, in fact, he was born in Suffolk and lived and worked most of his life in Newmarket. I rang around the register offices and town halls a bit in Bury St Edmunds before coming up trumps with Newmarket Town Council.

The extremely helpful staff were able to find the ledger detailing that Frederick George Postans, aged 82, was buried in Newmarket Town Cemetery on 4th May 1922. 

This is extremely good news! It also adds strong circumstantial weight to suggest that there may be other Postans ancestors in this cemetery (for example, perhaps Frederick’s parents, George and Matilda). 

The less-good news is that we may have a needle-in-a-haystack situation. Frederick’s burial is listed in an older ledger which records that the burial did indeed take place, however it doesn’t contain the burial plot or location of the grave. I could pitch up and walk around (with two children in tow!) however there might not even be a headstone. We know that the grave will be in the older part of the cemetery which narrows things down a little, but not much. 

So for now I have to pin my hopes that there is a huge, ornately-adorned grave with clear lettering which will be blindingly obvious!

I do plan to visit but I will be doing little more bothering of the wonderful Suffolk public servants to see if any further detail emerges on the grave location. 

But, for now, I am thrilled I can say with confidence that I know where my great-grandfather is buried. 


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