When someone firsts starts their genealogy journey, they buy or are given documents. These can be certificates, wills, other peoples attempts at ‘finding’ the family, anything!
What I want to discuss it certificates and how to really, really squeeze out every tiny bit of information on them. I made the mistake, 30+ years ago of getting a birth certificate and just glancing at it and going, “yes, right person.” I then forgot it. Many years latter, while I was trying to work out who was the mother of this child, I turned to the birth certificate and made a discovery that was there all along. Once I had that everything else fell into place.
With things costing more, you have to be selective in which certificates you purchase, so select wisely and only order one at a time. I say this so you don’t get caught with the wrong certificate.
Some things to look for;
Birth certificate, Where was the child born? Was it Grandma’s house or a friends house?
Who was present at the birth? Was it Grandma, friend, doctor, midwife?
Who registered the birth? Mum, dad or someone else?
Marriage certificate, Where was the ceremony held? Church, Someone’s house, registry office?
Who were the witnesses? Family, future in-laws, friends, strangers?
Father’s names? Do they match what you have on the birth certificate? Are they missing?
Ages? Is someone dropping or adding a few years?
Death certificate, This is the most difficult as the person with all the information is dead.
Where did the person die? Home, work, hospital, accident, murder?
What did they die from? Illness, accident etc.?
Who was the informant? Close family, friend, co-worker, doctor, registrar of a hospital, police?
If it is something like an accident, murder etc., there could be articles in the newspaper, at Trove or you might even find the coroner’s notes. If in a small town, the local historical society might even be able to help.
I hope that these hints help you find that missing piece. Good Luck.
Bye for now,