READERS' FEEDBACK: Unreliable records
RE: What I learned from Great-Grampa's Death Certificate
On the topic of unreliable records -- if I had died before my father, I'd haunt him. In the early 1970s, my father amended his birth certificate. He changed EAGAN to the correct EGAN. Probably did it 'cause he retired around then and needed his birth certificate to prove age. But he left his father's name as "Charles ALWOOD Egan"...it was Charles THOMAS Egan and his mother's name incorrect, also.
My Father's Death Certificate in 1982 from West Virginia was incorrect. My step-mother filled it out. She thought he was born in Tennessee because that is where his parents were living, but he was actually born in Virginia. Also, his birth certificate was incorrect. He was born 9 Oct and birth certificate said 23 Sept. Not all official records are correct!
Shelby Edwards, Bristol, VA/TN [I live 4 blocks from TN State line.]
From: Julie Shofstall
I just wanted to weigh in on the death certificate debate. -- Having believed that Great-Grandpa's father was "Samuel" I was surprised to find ggrandfather's William Yule's 1958 death certificate stated his father as "William". Other documents supported Samuel as his father. My guess is that the person completing the death certificate recorded the erroneous information based on what the deceased had relayed to family members as accurate information. Given the circumstances of the poor relationship between father and son, I believe the son (my g-grandfather) had severed all ties with his father (family story says Samuel "deserted" the family) and wanted no connection to him. -- Thanks for informative programs.
From: Johns Newsletters
Responding to the following quoted message:
When I received my Great-Grandfather's death Certificate in the mail I was surprised to see that in the "wife box" it was not my Great-Grandmother's name [Laura], but another name, Mamie. Who in the world was "Mamie"??? [...] My recent research indicates that WALTER married a MAMIE SPARROW GRIMSTEAD [a widow] in June of 1892. I found them together on the 1900 Census w/2 daughters. The girls were listed w/the last name, GRIGGS & listed as daughter, not step-daughter. The birth dates for the girls indicate that they were both born before the marriage! [...]
Now what makes this all so interesting to me is -- WALTER SCOTT GRIGGS wrote & published  a genealogy book on THE GRIGGS' FAMILIES IN AMERICA."
For the explanation to this last question/comment, realize that simply because the 1900 Census used HIS last name for the daughters (or more likely simply did NOT use ANY last name for them) they were NOT his children. They were HER children of her first husband. Ergo, when he did his Genealogy book on the GRIGGS, there was no need to list that second marriage, which produced no offspring. Likely this second wife had died, and her daughters went to live with their blood relatives, while he went to live with his sister.
I found a similar situation in my family in the 1920 census.