Family Stories

Herbert Logan Moran, Death Certificate

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?

4 replies »

  1. I would think, we could also check with the railroad if they may possibly still have in their archives an Employment document.If one exisists(spelling), it may provide other information wouldn’t it? With them living on Saint Cecilia Street, from my own personal research of other family members, I have found in some cases other family members may live with them or near them. That is why I like to look at the full census for area.Even though he may have been from Springfield area, most jobs were in Louisville and many family members would move to a large area as in that time it was Louisville.With him passing in 1932, we could also look at the telephone directories at that time. Some years will include other information,such as if the wife may have an occupation.I found this while researching on my husbands side of the family from Ohio to Louisville. I hope I am on the right track!

  2. city directories offer confirmation of bits of information, as available. for instance, spouse, work (location, position, company), address, others living at the address. in my case, the savannah (ga) city directory of a particular year lists all my correct information, except with the wrong WIFE! so sometimes, cross-referencing with as many sources as possible (though it may seem redundant) is invaluable.

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