Monday, February 13, 2012

Eureka! I Found Him!

Or, better said, I found his name (misspelled!) in the online index to Pennsylvania Death Certificates. A few years ago I requested my great-grandfather Fred Gerner's death certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. They took my $17.00 and returned a "No Record Certification" of death saying they couldn't find any record of him. I guessed Fred's surname name was probably misspelled in their indexes.

Tonight when I learned from Claudia's Genealogy Blog that the Pennsylvania Death Index was available online, I immediately went to the website and began searching name variations for Gerner. I was almost certain I would find him under "Garner" but he wasn't there. Then I began to think of misinterpretations of handwriting and continued down the pages to the names beginning with "Ge." Sure enough, there was "Gener, Fredrick K., Bruin, died March 26." His certificate number is not completely legible but I hope the employees at the public records office will be helpful.

Finding Fred's death certificate is important to me because I am optimistically hopeful that the names of his parents will be on it. From his youngest daughter I know that his parents' names were known to family members but when I asked her for information she was in her late 90s and couldn't remember their names.

Thank you, Claudia, for posting the link, and thank you, Governor Tom Corbett for approving PA Senate Bill 361.

I don't know how long it will take for a death certificate to arrive but perhaps I'll be writing about another named generation in the next month or so.

An additional note: I don't have a death certificate for my great-grandmother Tressa Rose Froman Doyle. I found her in the index, too. I will be sending two requests in the same envelope. I'll be looking forward to my colorful return-addressed envelope in the mail in coming weeks.

One more note: It looks like I'll be waiting longer than a few weeks. The website states, "Mail requests are processed in approximately sixteen to eighteen weeks from the date of receipt." I've been patient this long, I guess I can continue to be patient.


  1. Nice find! Claudia's blog helped me, too. Cathy

  2. Nancy, I celebrate your find! I will do the happy jig in your behalf! Renee

  3. You are the Indiana Jones of Genealogy!

  4. Hurrah for you! I love to hear of happy finds.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...