the use of a death certificate source

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if i have as a source for the death of a person a death certificate from some state which her close relatives have nothing in (e.g. she must have moved there, maybe with her spouse) and the certificate only also names her spouse, that's not enough to connect her to the family she moved away from, i presume.  in what way can it be used besides identifying death (date, place), and maybe other things like funeral and burial/cremation?
in Genealogy Help by Phil Howard G2G5 (5.6k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
 
Best answer
The death certificate will have several parts: the date and possibly time of death, place of death is usually completed by the hospital or a local official such as coroner and may be completed by the attending physician.  The physician who was the individual's doctor will complete the dates and times they saw the individual and the cause of death.  The name of the individual, their date and place of birth, names of any spouse, and names of parents is usually given by a family member.  Some death certificates will list the length of residency in the county and/or state.  Also check to see if the death certificate list the current address of the deceased as some people die in a local hospital, etc. which is in a different county from where they lived.  Some death certificates list the name of the individual giving the information on the deceased, and will also list the relationship to the deceased, i.e., son, daughter, friend, etc.  The closer the informant's relationship is to the deceased is usually an indicator of how reliable the information will be.  The information on the date and place of burial is usually given by the undertaker named, usually at the bottom of the death certificate, and will usually be signed by the undertaker.  The only part of a death certificate that is usually considered a primary source is the date, place of death, cause of death and dates and times the doctor saw the deceased as this information was given at or very close to the time the event happened.  The other information may or may not be correct.  I've seen the name of the deceased listed on a death certificate be their nickname and not their given name.  Also, family members are giving information at a time of stress and may not have correctly remembered dates and places of birth, etc. correctly.  The place of burial may not be correct.  All of the information on a death certificate should be used as clues to lead you to other records which may or may not verify the information on the death certificate.

Use information on the death certificate to check for obituary in the location where the deceased passed and if the burial took place in a different location check that area for an obituary.
by Carol Wilder G2G6 Mach 4 (48.9k points)
selected by Dieter Lewerenz

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