Advice on how to find a death certificate

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
Italia1963
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Advice on how to find a death certificate

Postby Italia1963 » 23 Aug 2011, 01:18

My gf was married a second time in the late 1950s, and it only lasted a few years until his death. Our family did not keep in touch with this second wife and I see from the Social Security index that her last residence was Florida and she died in the 1980s. I wrote the Florida Department of Health but they are unable to find a death certificate for her, and they checked under her maiden and married name.
Does anyone have any ideas how I can find where my gf's wife died? I plan to write to cemeteries in Florida to see if they have such a person, but does anyone have know of any web site (Ancestry.com just shows her social security death index) that may help me? Thanks

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Advice on how to find a death certificate

Postby johnnyonthespot » 23 Aug 2011, 01:26

Your grandfather's wife would have had at least two surnames, her maiden name and your grandfather's name. Guessing that she may have been married at least once before, that adds a third surname. Most importantly, she may very well have married again after your grandfather's death.

Under which of these names did you find her SS death record?

My best guess is that she may have remarried after your grandfather died and - while not bothering to update her SS record, her actual Florida death record may be in that latest surname.

Start by checking the Florida marriage indexes under all known surnames she may have used. If you would care to share that info, one of us may be able to find something.
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Italia1963
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Re: Advice on how to find a death certificate

Postby Italia1963 » 23 Aug 2011, 13:03

Thanks Johnny, I didn't think of that possibility - that she may have been married after my grandfather, and thus had yet another surname, and didn't bother to change her name on her social security documents - although Im wondering if she would have been able to receive ss payments made out into a name she no longer used. However, the problem is that I don't know what her new name would have been. The only other thought I had is that its possible she may have lived in Florida, but died in another state and that is why the Florida Dept. of Health does not have her death certificate.
Im not sure why the Consulate would require any documents other than the marriage certificate since she is not a blood relative.

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Advice on how to find a death certificate

Postby johnnyonthespot » 23 Aug 2011, 13:21

In point of fact, many consulates do not require birth or death certificates for non direct-line persons, regardless of what their websites say. We have many cases of applicants who collected such documents only to have them ignored by the consulate, myself included (NYC, 2008).

It seems likely that she might have remarried in Florida. Luckily, Florida has marriage and divorce indexes online at ancestry.com (perhaps other places as well?); these indexes are very current - my brother's 1985 marriage is there, and I see others at least into 2001. If you have an ancestry.com account, try searching for her using whatever surnames you are aware of and see if anything turns up.

Italia1963 wrote:Thanks Johnny, I didn't think of that possibility - that she may have been married after my grandfather, and thus had yet another surname, and didn't bother to change her name on her social security documents - although Im wondering if she would have been able to receive ss payments made out into a name she no longer used.


Much depends on the timing. For example, she might have died just a short time after remarrying - not enough time to bother notifying SS about her change of name.

Or, as a modern, emancipated, woman, she might have decided to keep her old bank account in her former name and continue to receive her SS checks there. I think as any married woman in the US can tell you, it is not at all uncommon to use both maiden and married names for some period of time after marriage. In many cases, for example, a woman may not bother to update her driver's license until its next expiration which may be years after the marriage date.
Carmine

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