Death Date Discrepency

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stiles_mike
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Death Date Discrepency

Postby stiles_mike » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:51 am

A member of our ward passed away. We have an obituary showing March 22. The assisted living home she resided in has records of her dying on March 21. Our RS President also got word that the member passed away on March 21. Which record should we use to record the death?

russellhltn
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Re: Death Date Discrepency

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:01 am

I wouldn't worry too much about it.

The discrepancy might be based on the details of what happened. The person could have become stricken and unresponsive late on the night of the 21st, but not declared dead until they arrived at the hospital after midnight (the 22). So "legally" they died early morning on the 22, but everyone around them will say it was late the 21st. Then again, the obit could be wrong. Short of seeing the death certificate, you won't know what the "legal" death date was. Nor do I think it's going to be a major stumbling block to any genealogist.
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aebrown
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Re: Death Date Discrepency

Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:27 pm

russellhltn wrote:I wouldn't worry too much about it.
,,,
Short of seeing the death certificate, you won't know what the "legal" death date was. Nor do I think it's going to be a major stumbling block to any genealogist.

I disagree. This is an important genealogical fact and it is important for it to be correct. You'll create headaches for future genealogists if you are casual in your responsibility to record the death date accurately.

If the care center was where she passed away and they have actual records that show the date as the 21st, that sounds to me like the more reliable information. If you have access to family members who would be in possession of the death certificate, then it would be worth a phone call or two to see if someone can give you the death date from the actual death certificate.

russellhltn
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Re: Death Date Discrepency

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:07 pm

stiles_mike wrote:Our RS President also got word that the member passed away on March 21.

In re-reading this, if the RS President was notified of the death (and not just a major incident) on the 21st, it seems highly likely that the person did die that day. I wouldn't take an obituary as "gospel" since it could be wrong.

But short of seeing the death certificate, you're not going to know what the "legal" date of death was. And as I pointed out, the legal date may not be the same as actual date. I've been though that, twice.

I think you're going to have to do with the best you can within the limits of the resources that you have.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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