After two tries and a wait of nearly six months (instead of the usual four), my great-grandfather Fredrick K. Gerner's Pennsylvania death certificate arrived. What a Christmas gift! It's been a long wait. After the requisite four-month wait the first request was returned with death certificates for people who were not Fred because the index number was not decipherable. I sent a second request and included the line from the index with Fred's name and several possible interpretations of the numbers. I also suggested that if they had a paper copy of the index they might be able to read it better than the online index.
Whenever I send a request that requires a self-addressed envelope, I enclose a colored one because I can easily tell when a family history document has arrived in the mail. I've been watching for a colored envelope since early early November, four months after sending my request. I explained to my husband about waiting a second time for the death certificate. Since early November he's been telling me they'd probably never send it. You can only imagine my excitement -- and his surprise -- when there was a robin's egg blue envelope in our mail the day before Christmas!
I suspected Fred's father's name based on other research but now that I see it on a document, I will begin an in depth search. I'll put the information from this record together with other documents to compare, then continue research.
What a nice Christmas gift. What a nice start to my new year!