A reference to “John Smith, late of Bedford County, Pennsylvania,” probably means that Smith used to reside in Bedford County but no longer does. It does not necessarily mean that Smith was deceased. “John Smith, formerly of Bedford County, Pennsylvania,” means that Smith used to live in Bedford County, but that he no longer does.

Deceased usually means dead.

“Late” does not have to mean dead. Sometimes contextually clues will make that obvious and other times they will not.




2 Responses

  1. Perpetually runnng behind schedule, I was all but late for my late husband’s 11 a.m. memorial service — a bit of a problem, since I was bringing baskets of seashells to be placed in the caterer-provided cobalt glass plates as centerpieces for the reception lunch. Until the very moment I left home, I was at the computer, writing my eulogy.

    It wasn’t until my daughter, her children, my niece and I had artistically distributed the shells among the eight centerpieces and were ready to take our seats for the service that I realized (head slap!) that I had gone off and left my intended eulogy in the printer.

    I was grateful that I’d at least taken time to do that, though, because It enabled me to follow a rough outline of what I wanted to say, while maintaining direct eye contact with my friends and family, which any notes would have interfered with. My last half hour at the computer had served as my “dress rehearsal.” Sure, I forgot a couple things as I ad libbed, but also felt free to add a couple more memories spontaneously.

    Although all’s well that ends well, I don’t recommend arriving late for your late spouse’s (or parent’s) funeral.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book