Thursday, October 29, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 286: 1847 Death Certificate of Jonathan White (1805-1850) of Killingly, Conn.

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the  1847 death certificate for Jonathan White (1805-1850) in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut:

The pertinent information on this record, obtained from the Killingly, Connecticut Town Clerk's office is:

*  Name:  Jonathan White
*  Sex:  Male
*  Race:  White
*  Date of Death:  April 19, 1847
*  County of Death:  Windham [Connecticut]
*  Town of Death:  Killingly
*  City and State of Birth:  Gloucester [R.I.]
*  Usual Occupation:  Farmer
*  County and Town:  Windham, Killingly
*  Immediate Cause of Death:  Lung Fever

The source citation for this record is:

Connecticut. Windham County. Killingly. Town Registrar's Office. Birth Registrations, Certified Copy of Death Record, Jonathan White, 19 April 1847; Registrar of Vital Statistics, Killingly, Ct. (certificate dated 27 November 1990).

I obtained this death certificate early in my genealogy research career - in 1990 - by writing to the Killingly town clerk.  

There's a date of death on this certificate - 19 April 1847.  It must be right - it's right out of the Killingly town clerk records.  The note on the certificate in the left margin says:

"Recorded in Vol. 2 P466 of the Killingly Vital Statistics Records including 1849-1885."

I have other records, including a will written by Jonathan White (1805-1850) dated 18 April 1850, and proved 27 April 1850 (see Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Jonathan White (1806-1850) dated 12 April 2010). He is also included in the 1850 U.S. Census Mortality Schedule (see Searching From within the FamilySearch Family Tree - Found a Goodie, that indicates he died in April 1850, dated 31 October 2013).

So I have some conflicting evidence - a death certificate (a derivative source, with primary information and direct evidence for the name and date of death) that indicates he died in 1847; a will that indicates he was alive one day before 19 April 1850 (a derivative source since it's a probate court transcription, with primary information and direct evidence), plus a federal census record (an original source, with secondary information and indirect evidence) that says he died in April 1850.  Do I have two different persons here?  I don't think so.  Or did the Town Clerk err in transcribing information onto the death certificate?  I think it's the latter.  After all, the record is in the book for 1849-1885.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at