Saturday, October 3, 2009

DEATH CERTIFICATE

Believe it or not, this morning I sent for my first death certifcate. While out with my husbands Aunt Edna she said that Olive Stephens (great grandmother in law of mine) had died in Ohio. That was before I knew the woman's name was Olive.

I live in Pennsylvania, and to obtain a death certificate in this state requires many hurdles to jump through. The great and powerful and also antiquated bureaucracy does not have an online index from which you can search and then order certificates. They cite privacy issues, I think it is more like they do not want to spend the time and money on the index.

They started recording of vital statistics in 1906 or there about and getting them it is still tighter than a drum. You have to fill out a form, include a picture of your drivers license and mail the check to New Castle. I guess I could drive to New Castle but I doubt that I could search the index myself. I personally would just get frustrated with the hassle I know would be coming.

Now, on to Ohio. I found the index, which is managed by the Ohio Historical Society and ordered it and paid by credit card. They did not ask me anything about drivers license, but they were going to send me driving direction if I wanted to go to Ohio. The Ohio line is about 74 miles from where I live.

The certificate cost $7.00, it would cost me more than that to fill my tank, but a road trip to Ohio would be nice. I want to find, the maiden name of Olive, where she is buried and possibly a picture of her grave. Her death must have been sudden because Aunt Edna mention they got a call one evening that she had died. Aunt Edna said it was on Christmas Eve, but according to the record it was the eve of the Fourth of July. I guess a holiday eve was in the mix after all.

Ohio, I love your ease of access to get these records.


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