Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Here is another death certificate to play with

Last time I used a random one, this time I am using a real one from my file that I just entered.  Having some background information helps me interpret what I am seeing on this document.

Hartfield, George death certificate 1924Mississippi State Department of Health, death certificate 11519 (1924), George W. Hartfield; Vital Records, Jackson. 

Here is what I came up with:

  • George W. Hartfield died on 18 May 1924 at 5:30 pm [George Washington Hartfield as established by other records].
  • He died in Purvis, Lamar County, Mississippi.
  • He lived in Purvis, Lamar County, Mississippi.  He died, most likely, at home.  The nearest hospitals were in Lumberton and in Hattiesburg.  Had he died in the hospital it probably would have said so.  It is possible that he died at a relative’s house.
  • He died of chronic intirstitial [interstitial] nephritis [causes kidney failure].  He had had this condition for three years.  I would make a note of this in his medical notes [Legacy has a cause of death field but it also has a medical notes section where you can put additional information].  I would be curious to know if this ran in George’s family.
  • The attending doctor was L. L. Polk.  Dr. Lonnie Lee Polk was a long time physician in Lamar County and his name pops up all the time.  He also happens to be a distant relative so he is already in my file.  I would note that he was living in Purvis and practicing medicine on this date.  I can also say that he had been a physician for at least three years since he had been treating George that long.  I would also put in his AKA.
  • The last time Dr. Polk saw George alive was on the 13th, 5 days before he died.  Perhaps he was checking in on him because his condition was worsening. 
  • Dr. Polk stated that the contributory cause to his death was old age [George was 86 at the time of his death].
  • George was a white male.
  • He was married and his wife’s name was Elesa A. Hartfield  [Alicia Amanda (Graham) Hartfield]. Since he is listed as married and not widowed we know that “Elesa” is still alive on this date.  This is important because I don’t have a date of death for Alicia yet.  I have narrowed her date of death to between 18 May 1924 and when the census was taken in 1930.  I have requested her death certificate from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
  • He was born 24 May 1837 in Mississippi.  This does not conflict with the other records I have.
  • He was age 86 years, 11 months and 27 days old when he died.  This does NOT compute correctly.  Using this age and the date of death, his date of birth would be Cal 21 May 1837 not May 24th.  This isn’t a worrisome discrepancy but you must still make a note of it.
  • His father is listed as Acy Hartfield who was born in Mississippi.  I  have his father as Samuel Asa Hartfield who was born in South Carolina.  The name fits but I have a conflict with the place.  I need to make a note of that and address it.
  • His mother is listed as Nancy Fillingame who was born in Mississippi.  I have Olive Fillingame born in South Carolina, see above.  I need to correlate all of the evidence I have.
  • The informant was Wash Hartfield who lives in Purvis.  This would be George’s son, George Washington Hartfield, Jr.  I will make note of his AKA and of his residence (Purvis) at the time of his father’s death.  This document does NOT give me direct evidence that these two were father and son and that is important to understand.  I know this from other evidence.
  • He was buried in the Grantham Cemetery on 20 May 1925.  This is in the Oak Grove area of Lamar County.  George’s grave is marked and I have seen the marker in person.
  • The “undertaker” was J. E. Simmons.  J. E. Simmons would be James Elexander Simmons, my great-grandfather.  He was George’s brother-in-law. George was married to James’ sister.  James was not an undertaker by trade but rather just a family member taking care of what needed to be done.  I can add a residence event for James since he was listed as living in Purvis on this date.

That is quite a lot of information from one document!

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for breaking this down and showing us your process for getting all the little nuggets of information in a death certificate.