Would you say the place of death is certain?

+8 votes
Now that I am nearly finished reworking my fourth great grandfather, I was wondering if you would mark the place of death as certain?

There were no death records nor any church records for this time. His son migrated into the area with his family in 1817, and he is likely in the census with his son in 1820. He died in 1821 at the age of 77. Travel on this 'western frontier' (i.e., Central NY) was difficult at best in 1820, and undoubtedly more so at an advanced age.

Thanks, Kay
WikiTree profile: Samuel Sands
in The Tree House by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (409k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
No records means uncertain data.

That's my opinion on your scenario, Kay!

2 Answers

+4 votes
Hi Kay,

Lindy is right, however your aim is to build up compatible/ linkable sources through census and BMD etc. Your profile at a quick glance looks great (better than most of mine) so once you have eliminated all other possible wikitree/familysearch/ancestry sources that could be this individual, you could probably mark their death as certain for wikitree profiling purposes. You would explain the detail of all this in his biography anyway. Just be cautious and check the sources you haven't used and ask g2g if you need to check any conflicting info.

To be honest though, marking death as certain has less implications than marking parents or birth date as certain. At his age its unlikely you would have an error such as him dying before the birth of a new child so the wikitree implications are minimal.... Though you never know!

by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (115k points)
+6 votes
From a genealogist's standpoint, a place of death needs a documented record to mark it as certain UNLESS you can build a case as to why you are certain he died where you believe.  And you did state many good reasons such as the census record, difficulty of travel, etc.  If I felt I had a pretty good case for a death place, I would write up a paragraph in the biography about it as "evidence."  However, I would also add in my research to-do list a note about finding a source to confirm the death.  New records are popping up every day :-)
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (750k points)
Thanks. I'll follow your suggestions. I sure can hope for new records. There weren't death certificates in New York in 1831. I've been in touch with the local church (where his granddaughter in law was an early member) and they said that they had no early records. I'll try again in person the next time I visit the area.

You never know what you'll find. I visited a small town Historical Society where my grandmother grew up last summer. Unfortunately, her mother's obituary was "a German woman died". BUT, I got a call last winter and they had found an Indenture of Servitude for her legal foster in 1879! It didn't name her mother, but confirmed that her father was living and in that town.
The littlest pieces can be the biggest treasures :-)

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