Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rejection letter

I really hate when this happens.  I wrote to the Georgia Department of Public Health for a death certificate.  I had the exact date of death so I thought I was in good shape.  Wrong.  I just got the dreaded “Certificate of Death Not on File.”  ARGGGG! 

I have this lady’s obituary and sexton records so I have her date of death, her name at death and her place of death.  She died in 1948 which is well after 1919 when Georgia first required death certificates. 

Well, at least I have a pretty, certified letter. 


Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I've found, in the South, required and done are two different things. My paternal lines are all in the South. At least you have other records to use.... Very frustrating, I know.

  2. I had a similar thing happen, Michele, except it was for a PA death certificate. From family records I knew my great-grandfather's death date and location but when I requested a copy of the certificate a few years ago (before PA's indexes were online) they returned to me a "No-Record Certificate of Death." When the indexes came online last year, I found my great-grandfather in the index but his name was misspelled. There is no way they would have found the death certificate if they were only looking for the name with its proper spelling. Perhaps GA's situation is similar: if they have an index, maybe you can search by year/date and spelling variations to find it. It's frustrating when this happens.

  3. You see missing records frequently in the earliest records after death records were required to be kept but 29 years after?

    I would hope that the person using the computerized index would think to search by date/county if he/she didn't find the person by name just as a double check. The person's last name was Davis. That is a pretty hard one to mess up.

  4. Is this where you wrote?

    2600 Skyland Drive
    Atlanta, Georgia 30319

  5. That would be them. I could go to the Richmond County health department BUT they are notorious for refusing to give out death certificates except to spouses/parents/children.

  6. I feel your pain! I got one of those for my great grandfather who died in 1900. I don't think I really expected to receive an actual certificate, but it was worth a try. At least I have a very short news article describing his death which provides details the death certificate wouldn't.

  7. I actually have a plan of attack but I am keeping that quiet for now (future blog post).

  8. A cousin that I met through genealogy told me that the state of PA did not have our great grandfather's death record. I had a copy and sent her a copy of it, his name is spelled correctly but he is not in the index. Who knows where it went?