Death Certificate question

+6 votes
I am researching relative who has primary information for birth. His certificate of Death gives his correct date and state of birth, except the informant information lists his parents names as unkown. I have been looking at some trees on, and have noticed that some have his death listed as unkown.


Does this somehow render his death certificate as an invalid source for death?
in Policy and Style by
recategorized by Keith Hathaway

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Informants dont always know the decedants parents names so I would never disqualify a death certificate as being for the right person on that basis.
It sounds like you are confident the record is for the right person - I assume it makes sense with the other details of the persons life (where they lived, etc) as such I would accept the data and document the source. If someone disagrees they can provide their source or reasoning (for example show that two people of the same name were born in the state that day and this record is for the other person)
by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
selected by Sandi Wiggins
+6 votes

I would say that it renders nothing invalid, only his parents names as unknown. The information about his death would certainly be valid, any information about earlier statistics in his life would just be less trustworthy.

by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
+5 votes
I agree with Bobbie but would add that it's important to figure out who the informant is.  If it's like a sibling that person should know parents, but if the deceased was say a grandchild he or she might not have known much about great=grandparents and even a wife of the deceased might not have know her husbands parents for various reasons.  Sometimes it's even possible to figure out which of two people with the same name was the informant based on what the person knew.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (401k points)
I think the best clue is the identity (and possibly address) of the informant.

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