Death certificates have proven to be valuable sources of information for me in my research, especially when it comes to figuring out the maiden names of my female ancestors. Based on information from a death certificate, I recently discovered one more set of my fourth great-grandparents.
I was trying to find out more information about the Brown relatives on the paternal side of my family when I happened upon a death certificate for Harriet Brown, my third-great-grandmother. (Harriet married Edmond Brown, and they had five children, including a daughter named Flora. Flora went on to marry a man named Frank Gilley (formerly Frank Tindall) and their only daughter, Mamie, is my great-grandmother. She was married to J.E. Nance.)
According to the certificate, Harriet’s parents were William Watt and P. Watt. And that’s it. That’s all the document contained.
This is where the sleuthing begins. According the 1880 U.S. Census, Harriet Brown’s parents were both born in North Carolina. Harriet, however, was born in Alabama. Those few clues are what I’ll use to start fleshing out this new generation of ancestors I’ve found.