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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive 2

Death Certificate Information

Hi all,

On my recent trip to the east coast, I was able to stop at the Bureau of Records on Chambers Street in NYC. I wanted to get a copy of my mother's death certificate. I searched the May 1936 files and found Francina JACKSON who died on May 5, 1936. My father had told us that she died on May 4; however, she went to the hospital on the 4th and died 1:45 the morning of the 5th.

From the cerificate, I was able to find the cause of death and the contributary factors related to that death. The certificate was also helpful in telling me the hospital and the attending physican. I'm not sure that this is essential for genealogy but who knows what help it could be to others doing research. A future researcher would also find that she was buried in Pottstown, PA and the name of the undertaker in NYC.

However, there was some information on the certificate that could lead a genealogy researcher astray. My mother's father's name was given as Lovett GRAY and her mother's name as Elizabeth Mann. If a researcher is not careful in doing his/her search, the information provided would send him/her on the wrong track. I suppose that my father gave the information for my grandfather and grandmother but it was not thorough. It proves that even relatives can get things wrong. Original source documents like death certificates are important but even they can be mistaken.

My grfather's full name was JAMES Lovett GRAY and my grandmother's maiden name was MARY Elizabeth MANNS; however, everybody called them by their middle names. I tell you of this experience because though death certificates are important to have in doing genealogy research, they may not be accurate. Thorough research must take place so that all data found can present the best accurate picture.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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