What do the 'H' and the 'P' stand for in the date column of burials?
I found this information -- it may or may not apply in the example you have:
"The earlier registers for baptisms and burials were often kept together in one book in chronological order which can cause confusion when searching for a name. The date of death may not mirror the burial date and the stated age might not be reliable. Some pre-1813 registers simply list the names of the deceased. The letter ‘P’ after an entry could denote death by the plague or the deceased was a pauper. The woman’s full name is always given if she was a single woman or a widow otherwise she would be recorded as ‘wife of’ or possibly by her first name. The wording ‘son of’ or ‘daughter of’ normally indicated the death of a person under the age of 21. Occasionally additional information is found such as the occupation or age of the person buried. It is also sometimes possible to find a cause of death stated, particularly if it was a result of plague, marked in the register by a pattern of dots resembling the rash."
Another source indicates that P could stand for Pauper, Parish, Pensioner.
And here's another "opinion:"
Found in church registers next to entries of christenings and burials. There is some debate in genealogical circles as to whether or not this entry signified that the subject of the entry was a pauper and unable to pay the taxes that were levied from time to time, or if the clergyman had already paid for and received a licence to perform the rites, with the 'p.' indicating payment already made. This secondary suggestion does not hold true for my experience. If, in fact, the 'p.' indicated tax or duty already paid then every entry in the affected year or month of a parish register should carry the notation. However, over many years of direct research in parish registers I have only seen the 'p.' notation used sporadically in any one year or month suggesting to me that the notation was only made in reference to certain individuals or families. In some instances, I have compared 'p.' notations with the payments recorded in Overseer's Accounts and in most instances, the subject or family of a 'p.' notation appearing in the parish register has received a payment from the parish coffers for parish support or maintenance of some description. While still not direct proof that 'p.' was used to represent a pauper, the evidence from the Overseer's Accounts does tend to lend weight to this theory.1
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
This does seem to be an unusual format for a parish register page, with the dates on the right and notations on the left. However, I would agree with MNutall's suggestion that the "P" represents Poor or Pauper, as I have encountered this quite a lot - either in abbreviated form, or written in full.
The only word beginning with "H" that I have come across is "Householder". I have not checked, but assume this refers to someone who either owned his property, or was the head of the household.
(Which does match the dictionary definition, just found: "Householder - a person who owns or rents a house; the head of a household")1
Please share a link to the record, so readers here can see it in context.1
Hello @Forster Lorraine
Seeing the image is great, thanks. Knowing the locality would also help. And, the column header is for the date?0
Thank you for your quick responses. I found it very interesting to read and I would never have thought of that as it was the first time I have ever seen it, but it makes sense though. Yes the above image is of the the date column unfortunately I didn't get a full copy of it as I just snipped that part. It was Dec 1795 burials in Middlesex, England. The first date at the top was the 31 so I assumed that those with the ''H'' and "P'' were also the 31st. I was just unsure what it meant. Thanks for your explanation!0