CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
File No. 29357 [stamped numbers]
Registration District No. 279, Primary Registration District No. 1110
1. Place of Death
County of Butler
Borough of Bruin
2. Full Name Fredrick K. Gerner
PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULAR
3. Sex Male
4. Color White
5. Single, Married.... Married
6. Date of Birth Sept. 28, 1847
7. Age 78 years 2 mos. 27 da
(a) Trade, profession or particular kind of work Farmer
(b) General nature of industry, business.... Oil producer
9. Birthplace Germany
10. Name of Father Christian Gerner
11. Birthplace of Father Germany
12. Maiden Name of Mother Don't know
13. Birthplace of Mother Germany
14. The above is true to the best of my knowledge.
(Informant) Mrs. Fred K. Gerner [signature]
(Address) Bruin, Pa
15. Filed [illegible]
MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
16. Date of Death March 26, 1926
17. I Hereby Certify, That I attended deceased from March 5, 1926 to Mar 26, 1926 and that death occurred on the date stated above, at 5 P.M.
The Cause of Death was as follows:
Chronic Interstitial Hepatitis
129 [written before (Duration)....]
Signed R. L. Sheets M.D. [signature]
March 27, 1926 (Address) Bruin, Pa
18. Length of Residence [blank]
19. Place of Burial or Removal Bear Creek
Date of Burial Mar 29, 1926
20. Undertaker J. W. Knox
Address Bruin Pa
Observations and Comments
- Fred's given name is spelled inconsistently from record to record. Sometimes it is Fredrick, other times it's Frederick. But most often his name appears as just plain Fred.
- Fred's birth year still seems uncertain. This record gives 1847. A photocopy of a page from a family Bible gives the date as 1848. Birth year calculated from census records would indicate that either 1848 or 1849 could be his year of birth. Is it possible that a some future date a birth record may be found? I can only hope.
- The surprise for me in this death certificate is Fred's cause of death: chronic interstitial hepatitis. It is now known as cirrhosis of the liver. When I mentioned that to my family their immediate response was, "Maybe he was an alcoholic." It's possible but if so, he was a very productive one.
Common causes of cirrhosis of the liver include:
- fatty liver associated with obesity and/or diabetes. I have only several photos of Fred but in all of them he is a very thin man. Diabetes is a possibility.
- hepatitis or some other chronic viral infection of the liver
- blockage of a bile duct causing bile to back up in the liver
- alcohol abuse
Unless Dr. J. W. Knox's records are preserved somewhere and are available for viewing and research, I'll never know details of how Fred came to have cirrhosis of the liver.