Genealogy is like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don't have the box top, so you don't know what the picture is supposed to look like. As you start putting the puzzle together, you realize some pieces are missing, and eventually you figure out that some of the pieces you started with don't actually belong to this puzzle. I'll help you discover the right pieces for your puzzle and assemble them into a picture of your family.
Monday, October 24, 2016
She Was the Informant for Her Own Death Certificate
It's October, the month of Hallowe'en and strange and scary things, so Elizabeth O'Neal of the Genealogy Blog Party asked people to write about the strangest things they had found during their research. Besides my grandfather being registered as a girl on his birth record (which is strange in the sense of odd and confusing, but not particularly scary), the strangest thing I have found is the death certificate where the information was provided by the deceased herself.
I ordered this certificate while I was doing research for a friend. As I worked my way down the page — past name (Taisia Swanson), birthplace (Russia), parents' names (Vladimir Gussakosky and Maria Akinfieva), occupation (self-employed vocal instructor), and usual residence (Ojai) — I reached the box labeled "Name and Address of Informant–Relationship", and found "Self Before Demise."
Say what? This was the first time I had seen that on a death certificate. Why in the world would she have given the information for her death ceratificate before she died?
My eyes had gone straight from the usual residence to the informant. When I looked at the other information, I found that she had died in a convalescent hospital. So she didn't really give the info specifically for the certificate; she likely provided it while she was filling in the intake forms that the hospital required, and the person at the hospital copied it from there. But it certainly was startling to read, and I've never seen another like it!
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Never heard of "self" as informant, but it makes sense in this situation. Spooky enough for Halloween!ReplyDelete
I can picture the hospital administrator holding a seance and asking the dearly departed the questions on the form . . . .Delete
I can just imagine your shock in seeing that. A Zombie birth certificate!ReplyDelete
I love that name for it! You don't mind if I use it, do you?Delete
Well this is cool!!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you think so too!Delete
That is a really interesting find! Perfect for a spooky blog party! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
When I read the theme, this was the first record that came to my mind!Delete
This is a new one for me too. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
You're welcome. There's always something new to learn, right?Delete
This is perfect! I wish more of the deceased would fill out their own death certificates! It might cut out some of those glaring errors that happen when their next door neighbor or grandchild fills it out! Maybe I'll start carrying a filled out form on my person.ReplyDelete
Sounds kind of like the trend of writing your obituary beforehand, so it says what you want remembered! But it also lets you obscure things you don't want known . . . .Delete