With Appreciation for the Florida Department of Health
A wise family historian once taught me: if you can only get one record, hope that it’s a death certificate. Birth certificates, marriage licenses, and documents like wills are great, but death certificates can be amazing. In the United States, the variety of laws, regulations, guidelines, and procedures as to who can receive and under what circumstances, copies of these critical genealogy documents can be obtained vary as widely as our geography. Thankfully, Florida, unlike Colorado (more on this in a later blog post), is more “user-friendly” to possibly provide home-runs for researchers.
Florida Death Index
To distinguish between our Marthas, the following entries for Martha and/or Rebecca and Tyus and/or Hamilton1 in databases listed in the FamilySearch Research Wiki and the Ancestry.com card catalog should be added to our sources to evaluate:2
Name: Martha Jane Tyus Event Date: 04 Jul 1937 Event Place: Dellwood, Jackson, Florida Gender: Female Age (Original): 69y Birth Year (Estimated): 1868 Father’s Name: Arch Himiliton Mother’s Name: Martha Jane Himiliton “Florida Deaths, 1877-1939,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FP84-HLC : 9 March 2018), Martha Jane Tyus, 04 Jul 1937; citing Dellwood, Jackson, Florida, reference 12517; FHL microfilm 2,135,950.
Name: Martha Rebecca Hamilton Event Date: 1950 Event Place: Jackson, Florida, United States “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VVSH-SV8 : 25 December 2014), Martha Rebecca Hamilton, 1950; from “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” index, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing vol. 1432, certificate number 21551, Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Jacksonville.
These are both excellent finds! Because the first record is already available online, let’s place that one into an “in-progress” file. In a later blog post, I’ll walk through the availability and accessibility for the second record as well as my experiences in ordering vital records directly from state offices instead of secondary companies. Now though, let’s return to examining census records for our Marthas and their families.