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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive

Re: Death Certificate Question
In Response To: Death Certificate Question ()


I heard you say that you tried everything, which makes me hesitate to make suggestions, but here goes anyway.

First, I did not hear you mention an obit? Do you have it? If not, is there a local paper that would have run one so you can get the funeral home (possibly)?

Second, I am from Illinois, but I assume most places operate somewhat the same. Lots of cemeteries have caretakers, or sextons, that record a variety of info related to the burial on their grounds. Oftentimes, their register books provide a lot of the info found on a DC.

Third. If you have any info on his friends or acquaintances in the town, you may want to contact them or their descendants and see if they have a copy of the funeral program. The old culled folks kept hold of those programs. My mom just passed a year ago, and we found scores of obits and programs in numerous places, not only her collection, but those she had inherited from her mother and favorite aunt.

Lastly, I can't believe it does not exist. It is probably misfiled. Unfortunately you are at the mercy of the bureaucrats, most of which are underpaid and stressed, hence their not so cheerful dispositions. At some point you may want to go down and look yourself, if that is allowed. Maybe even consider hiring an experienced area genealogist that has an "in" with the local folks and may get them to look harder. A letter of inquiry stating your need for an insider to several prospective genealogists may reveal one who feels they fit the bill.

And, a thought that just popped into my head. When my mom died, we needed several copies of her death certificate for a variety of things. I would think that the social security admin (if he got benefits--it was a fairly new thing then), the insurance company paying the death benefit, the federal/state internal revenue (income tax), or any other institution requiring proof of his death may have a copy of the DC.

Good luck,


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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