The Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1944, database is at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=5164. The database description says:
"Pennsylvania’s Department of Health began keeping birth and death records on a statewide basis on January 1, 1906. This collection includes death records beginning on that date through 1944. Later records will eventually be added to this collection.
Here is the search page for this database:
I wanted to "mine" this database for Carringer persons, since many of my distant Carringer cousins died in Pennsylvania in this time period. I added Carringer to the last name field in the screen above and clicked on "Search:"
There were 50 matches, and I worked on them one at a time. for this post, I clicked on the second one on the list - Margaret R. Carringer. The record summary is below:
The indexed information for this entry includes the age, birth date, birth place, death date, death place, father's name and birthplace, and the mother's name and birthplace.
Clicking on the "View original image" link provides the actual death certificate for Margaret R. Carringer:
When I first clicked on Margaret's certificate, I did not know her maiden name, or her death date. I knew only that she was born in 1824 in Pennsylvania based on census records. I was able to add the following information to her person profile in my family tree database:
* Maiden name
* Parent's names
* Birth date and place
* Death date and place
* Cause of death
* Relationship to parents
The death date, death place, and cause of death are Primary Information (a contemporaneous record provided by an eyewitness or knowledgeable person to the County authorities). The other items are Secondary Information (based on hearsay, not a contemporaneous record from an eyewitness or knowledgeable person). But the Secondary Information provides much more information than I had before, and I added it to my database with a source citation to (using the Vital Records (state, certificates, online) source template in RootsMagic):
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1944, No. 12801 (stamped), Margaret R. Carringer entry, died 9 February 1909; indexed database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 July 2014); citing Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/).
I marked the source quality for the maiden name, birth date, birth place, and parents' names as Original Source, Secondary Information, and Direct Evidence.
I was able to add 5 or 6 maiden names, and parents names, to my database just from this set of 50 Carringer matches. I had all but 5 of the 50 entries in my database already. I added about 100 source citations to the database also. In some cases, I had the death information from the Pennsylvania Death Index, 1906-1961 collection, but did not have the birth information nor the parents' names of the decedents. In some cases, the name of the spouse was provided.
One of the neat things that Ancestry.com indexed in this database is the parent's names. They appear as matches even when the death certificate is for a person who died with another surname than what I searched. This finds many, but probably not all, of the death certificates for persons born with the target surname.
I still have a lot of names to check in this database. I've now done the Seaver and Carringer names, and need to do Feather, Spangler, Vaux and Remley.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/07/finding-genealogy-gems-in-pennsylvania.html
copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver