[APG Public List] Texas State Death Index boo-boo

Jan Tripp Jan_Tripp at comcast.net
Tue Dec 8 18:29:46 MST 2009


I’ll bet she is indexed but in a way you would ever find her!  I noticed the
index you pointed to was nicely typed up which suggests it might have been a
do-over of an earlier index. I guess they would copy the index and not
re-index it, so perhaps they omitted your g-grandmother’s index entry in
copying.   Here in Michigan we have vital records at the county and state
level so you get two sets of records and indexes. Occasionally you will find
a record in one place and not the other. 

I’m inspired by your story to go back and look “digitally” for records that
I was “sure” existed but couldn’t be found. I think I will start with those
long-distance searches that returned negative results. 

Ann Arbor
From: apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org
[mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org] On Behalf Of Rondina Muncy
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 4:47 PM
Subject: [APG Public List] Texas State Death Index boo-boo

This morning I began messing around with some of my own family lines.
Another DAR application in the works. Most of the needed documentation, I
already have, but I came back to the fact that I still didn't have my
great-grandmother's death certificate. She died in 1910 in Williamson
County, Texas. Texas began recording deaths on the state level in 1903,
however, it took 33 years for all counties to come into compliance.
Williamson dragged its feet. I knew that from the enormous amount of
research I've done there over the years.
I had searched the microfilmed rolls of the Texas State Death Index for her
name. These have been available at ancestry.com for a long time. My research
was before they appeared there. The page "Ida Mae Phillips" should be on is
I had also attempted to find any record of her death at the courthouse on
five separate trips without success. This was back before attempting to get
a death certificate in this state could earn you a spot on death row. (Even
if it was way over waiting period. However, if you wanted to see a probate
package or the military service records, the clerk's would wrestle you to
the ground dumping the larger volumes on you OR make you haul all the books
up the spiral staircase from the basement and use the upstairs copy machine.
I always wondered how they got the copy machine in the basement down there
as this was the only way to get out of the basement.)
So I'm messing around this morning and decided to try the new pilot search
on familysearch.org. I typed in "Ida Phillips" and cha-zam:
At least the "Phillips" surname was spelled correctly. My point is that I
found a Texas death certificate in the pilot program that is not indexed.
So, although I have never seen a Texas death certificate NOT indexed---this
one was not. Warning: not all Texas death certificates are indexed. This
warning is from someone who knows that indexes are often unreliable. If I
live another ten years, just think of the other little situations with my
research that I will be able to straighten out through Internet magic. 
Rondina P. Muncy
Ancestral Analysis
2960 Trail Lake Drive
Grapevine, Texas 76051
rondina.muncy at gmail.com

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