Malachi's Promise "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers...." Malachi 4:6

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Qualified Treasures - Treasure Chest Thursday

Individually, I know each of these death certificates is a treasure.   They are for two brothers, Fredrick and Charles Gerner.  I received Great-grandfather Fred's certificate several months ago and learned that Fred's father's name is Christian.  I ordered Charles's death certificate with the hope that it would confirm their father's name.  When it arrived I was excited to see Christian Gerner named as his father.  Perfect, I thought.  Seeing his mother's name, Mary E. Sthal, was a bonus.  I was pleased and satisfied that I could now search more deeply for Fred's and Charles's siblings and their parents.

I wasn't able to immediately continue work on the family that day.  Then, as I was thinking about this new information the next morning, something seemed wrong.  I pulled out the census records I'd collected for Christian and his family:  his wife's name was Elizabeth.  Which is exactly what makes these qualified treasures (especially Charles's).  A death certificate doesn't necessarily solve any problems and sometimes creates them.  Does that every happen to you?

It seems to me that there are several possibilities here.
  1. Christian Garner/Gardner of the 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses is not the man I'm looking for.
  2. The informant for Charles's death certificate was confused and gave his/her own mother's name or possibly a grandmother's name.
  3. The informant for Charles's death certificate misremembered Charles's mother's name (or made up a name).
  4. Mary E. could be Mary Elizabeth and she used Elizabeth as her first name after arriving in America.
I'll continue research.

Images of both certificates are below.  Click on the image to enlarge.  Fred's is first, Charles's second.

CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
File No. 29357
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistic
PLACE OF DEATH
1. County of  Butler    Borough of Bruin
2. Full Name   Fredrick K. Gerner

PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS
3. Sex   Male
4. Color...   White
5. Single, Married...   Married
6. Date of Birth   Sept. 29, 1847
7. Age   78 years 5 months 27 days
8. (a) Occupation/Trade   Farmer
8. (b) Occupation/industry   Oil producer
9. Birthplace   Germany
10. Name of Father   Christian Gerner
11. Birthplace of Father   Germany
12. Maiden Name of Mother   Don't know
13. Birthplace of Mother   Germany
14. The Above is true to the best of my knowledge   (Informant) Mrs. Fred K. Gerner     (Address)  Bruin, Pa
15. Filed Mar 29, 1926     Local Registar   A. R. Orr [signature]

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
16. Date of Death   March 26, 1926
17. I hereby certify, that I attended deceased from Mar 5, 1926 to Mar 26 1926, that I last saw him alive on March 26, 1926, and that death occurred, on the date stated above, at 5 P.m. The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows:  Chronic Interstitial Hepatitis.  (Signed) R. L. Sheets, M.D.   Mar 27, 1926   (Address)  Bruin, Pa
18. [blank]
19. Place of Burial or Removal   Bear Creek   Date of Burial  Mar 29, 1926
20. Undertaker  J W Knox   Address  Bruin Pa


CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
File No. 64248
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistic
PLACE OF DEATH
1. County of  Butler    Township of Butler
2. Full Name   Charles Gerner

PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS
3. Sex   Male
4. Color...   White
5. Single, Married...   Married
5a. If married... WIFE  Mrs. Eva. Gerner
6. Date of Birth   Mar. 21, 1851
7. Age   78 years 10 months 23 days
8. (a) Occupation/Trade   Oil opertar [sic]
8. (b) Occupation/industry   Retired
9. Birthplace   Germany
10. Name of Father   Chritian Gerner [sic]
11. Birthplace of Father   Germany
12. Maiden Name of Mother   Mary E Sthal [sic]
13. Birthplace of Mother   Germany
14. [illegible]
15. Filed [illegible]   Local Registar   H. M. Maxwell [signature]

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
16. Date of Death   June 12, 1929
17. I hereby certify, that I attended deceased from June 10, 1929 to June 12, 1929, that I last saw him alive on June 12, 1929, and that death occurred, on the date stated above, at 8.15 P.m. The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows:  Pneumonia Bronchial.  Contributory  Acute Bronchitis   (duration)  7 days
18. ... Did an operation precede death?  No   Was there an autopsy?  No   What test contributed to diagnosis?  Clinical Signs    Signed R. M. Christian M. D.   6-13-29   (Address) Conoquenessing [sic] Pa
19. Place of Burial or Removal   Ross [illegible word] Cem.   Date of Burial  June 14, 1929
20. Undertaker  M. A. Berkemer   Address  Butler, Pa

--Nancy.
.

2 comments:

  1. It is possible that the E. in Mary E. Sthal stands for Elizabeth and it is one and the same person. You might want to look into German naming traditions. It has been awhile since I read up on this, but I believe in some traditions the first name was just the "official"/ceremonial name and the second was the "common" name that the person actually went by. There is a good article on this up at the FamilySearch Wiki.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing this thought, Leah. It crossed my mind as I was pondering the situation but dismissed it as too far-fetched. I also wondered about Mary being a German name, though perhaps it was Marie in German. I think I'll see if I can find her as Elizabeth Sthal (or Stahl!). And I'm adding that possibility to my list in the post. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

      Delete

I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...