Monday, July 29, 2013

Madness Monday ~ That's Not A Real Death Certificate!

I recently ordered the death certificate of Samuel Pig[g]ot from St. Clair County, Michigan; or, what I thought was going to be the death certificate of Samuel Piggot, silversmith. I am trying to get all my ducks in a row and make sure my Piggot family is documentally sound.

I learned absolutely nothing from this certificate other than he died of old age. The genealogist in me went "grrr!" There are no parents names, or burial information. The probable third great niece in me was very saddened to think that Samuel died alone with no family around him. The certificate says there was no informant, no one to fill in the blanks.

I couldn't understand why his death wasn't recorded until June 2, 1886, when he died October 31, 1885. All kinds of things went through my mind. Were they waiting for someone to claim the body? I was Googling like crazy trying to find an answer. Then I stumbled on to the FamilySearch Wiki about the Michigan Death Records.

It seems that from 1867 to 1897,  Michigan counties were only canvased annually and recorded the deaths that took place the year preceding the first Monday in April. Death certificates weren't required until 1897. 

I sure wish I would have checked out FamilySearch before I ordered it. I could have saved myself $10! They have the actual images of the Return of Deaths in the county of St. Clair.

I can't find any death records for Samuel's wife Euphemia. I'm afraid she fell between the cracks and is among the deaths that didn't get reported.  I'm sure she died before he did. I can't imagine that he moved to Michigan from New York without her. He was last recorded in New York in the directory in 1892.

So basically all I got was a piece of paper that the current county clerk, transcribed from the record book.

Lesson learned: Google, google, and google some more before reaching into the pocket book!

Leslie Ann


  1. Thanks. Great information. Crista

  2. Sometimes a Clerk of the court or county kept a record book ofdeath, birth data. I found Emmetsburg, Iowa had one and on micrfilm via LDS library. That covered 1890-1900. I found not only mygr gr Aunt but a stillborn and dy sibling. I am chasing relatives, best wishes

  3. I can imagine your disappointment. There must be many special circumstances and repositories of records we seek yet how do we know. Like you said...Google, Google, Google.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
The Breast Cancer Site