These records form an index to inquisitions held in Oldham. Like most indexes, they are intended as a finding aid, directing a researcher to the original document. They give the following details:
Further information will be obtainable from the image of the original archival document.
For most if not all of these records, you should also be able to find a matching entry in the General Register Office’s death index (with registration district Oldham).
There should also be an entry in a parish, municipal or other burial register for Oldham, depending upon such factors as the denomination, affluence, usual address, place of death, and the existence and whereabouts of next of kin.
It may also be possible to find a newspaper report in a local publication if you search the Newspapers section of Findmypast.
The advantage of an inquisition over death and burial registers is that it is likely to give much more circumstantial information about the deceased and their death. Usually, it can be assumed that there was a particular reason for an inquisition taking place – typically, because the death was considered sudden, suspicious or unexplained. The purpose of the inquisition was to establish the facts of the case and, presumably, to rule out (or determine) foul play or identify a cause of death (such as an infectious disease) that could be of concern to the wider community. Where foul play was identified, then you may also find criminal records relating to the individual(s) considered to have carried out the crime.