Errors in death certificates can be frustrating.

Sometimes the errors are outright lies or guesses. But other times they could be based upon a misconception on the part of the informant. When my aunt died in 1927 her husband was the informant. My aunt’s parents died before she was married. Her husband indicated that her parents were born in Ottumwa, Iowa.

That was wrong.

But there was an Ottumwa connection. Several older members of my aunt’s family lived in Ottumwa for some time–even after my aunt was married. It’s easy to see how her husband might have thought that’s where her parents were born.

Or where he thought they were from.

And he could have easily confused “where born” with “where from?”



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