Herbert Logan Moran, Death Certificate
A death certificate gives more information per person than any other vital statistics record. That’s the silver lining in every cloud. Now lets talk about the black clouds forming on the horizon – how good that information is depends on the knowledge of the informant.
In the example above, the informant was the deceased’s wife – who should know the most information of all. Sometimes the informant is a cousin, uncle, grandchild, who may know less pertinent facts.
From the death certificate we know Herbert Logan Moran lived at 2512 St. Cecilia in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a white male, married, age 35 years and 23 days at his death on April 16, 1932, at 6:20 p.m., at St. Anthony Hospital, in Louisville. He was born March 24, 1897 – with Kentucky listed as place of birth. Herbert’s wife is Mary Sallie Moran – no maiden name given. He was a railroad conductor. Parents are James L. Moran and Catherine Janes, both born in Kentucky. He was buried in Springfield, Kentucky, April 18, 1932.
The second half of the death certificate gives the information about illness and eventual death. The doctor was John Stites and he states cause of death was actinomycosis, which began in June of 1931. Actinomycosis is an infection, often occurring in the neck or face region, and characterized by a slowly enlarging, hard, red lump. This is caused by bacteria normally found in the mouth, but which can cause disease when it enters tissues following an injury. Tooth extraction, root canal, tooth disease or jaw surgery can allow this to begin to grow. Today this is probably not as serious a problem as it would have been in 1931.
Taking the information from the certificate, how would we proceed to find other facts about this couple and possible children? Since Herbert was buried in Springfield, Kentucky, Washington County, it is possible he was born there, or has other family living there. A check of their marriage records and the Louisville, Jefferson County, records, may produce a marriage date. Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 of both counties may give information about parents and/or children. Cemetery records from Washington County would give place of burial. Jefferson County newspapers, and possibly Washington County, should have obituaries which may list survivors other than spouse. These are just a few ideas – does anyone have others?