Monday, December 22, 2014

AMANUENSIS MONDAY–Death Certificate of Joseph Jackson Hunter–Age 25

What does Amanuensis mean anyway?

To put it simply, it means a “person employed to write what another dictates or copy what has been written by another.”
Today I will transcribe a death certificate.
It is a death certificate for Joseph Jackson HUNTER, first cousin twice removed. Son of Raphael HUNTER & Lucy SILER.

You know those wonderful Photo Duplication Requests that many of us have been using?  Yes, the ones that have been discontinued.
I had a couple of last minute requests I turned in before the December 5th deadline and have received one of them back.  I felt that same excitement when the email came. Oh boy, another record!

I ordered this certificate because I was curious why Joseph Hunter had died at the age of only 25 yrs.  I had located his death record index on the family search site.  From there I had created a memorial on memorial #92249329.  I requested a photo of the headstone and the request was kindly fulfilled.

Here is his death certificate:

HUNTER_Joseph Jackson_death cert_1938_Dupo_StClair_Illinois 
Let’s take a good look at this certificate top to bottom.  Will it confirm information I already know?  Give me new information? Let’s find out.

Place of death:  St. Clair County, East St. Louis, Illinois
Registration No. 856, Primary Dist. No. 3647, number stamped in the top middle of certificate appears to be 31905.
This is a Coroner’s Certificate of Death
Died at St. Mary’s Hospital
Length of residence where death occurred: 1 mos. 0 ds
1a. Place of residence: State-Illinois, County-St. Clair, Township-Sugarloaf, City or Village-Dupo
2.  Full Name: Joseph Jackson Hunter
3.  Sex – Male
4.  Color or Race – White
5.  Single, married, widowed or divorced – divorced
5a.  If married, widowed or divorced husband of – Louise Hunter
6.  Date of birth – March 2, 1913
7.  Age – 25 years, 5 months, 0 days
8.  Trade, profession etc – Electrician Helper
9.  Industry or business – Montsanto Chem. Co.
10. Date deceased last worked at this occupation – July 38 [should that be 18?]
11. Total time (years) spent in this occupation – 5
12.  Birthplace – East St. Louis, Ill.
13. Name of father – Raphael Hunter
14. Birthplace of father – Kentucky
15. Maiden name of mother – Lucy Siler
16. Birthplace of mother – Tennessee
17. Informant – Mrs. R. Hunter, P.O. Address – Dupo, Illinois
18. Place of burial – Cemetery – St. Paul; location – Columbia, Illinois; Monore County, Illinois
19. Date – Aug. 4, 1938
20. Undertaker – Albert L. Dashner, Dashner Funeral Home, Dupo, Ill.
21. Date of death – Aug. 2, 1938
22. Inquest & autopsy held and deceased came to his death on the date stated above…….death was from compression fracture to 5th cervical vertebrae.
Date of Onset or occurrence:  July 3, 1938
Manner of injury was: Dived in Mississippi river at E. Corondlete
Accidental, suicidal or homicidal – Accidental
Was injury related to occupation – No
23. Injury rec’d in E. Corondlete township
Specify whether injury occurred in industry, in home or    in public place:  Mississippi River
24. Signed: Leo L. Madden, MD Coroner
Address 403A Collinsville Ave.  E. St. Louis, Ill.
Date Aug 3, 1938  Telephone – E2213
25. Filed Aug 4 1938 (stamped) R. C. Fannier registrar
P.O. Address  E. St. Louis, Ill

When I went over this certificate the first couple of times, I had missed some things.  Transcribing the record brought those to my attention.

  • See if there is a newspaper article about this incident.  If he dove into the Mississippi River and was injured that would certainly be news worthy.
  • Find the divorce record for he and his wife Louise.
  • Since there was a Coroner’s inquest, I may be able to order that record.
  • Enter this as a source in Legacy and link it to all appropriate data & events.  And, enter the image of the certificate in the photo gallery (plus sign next to his death info).
So, now I know why Joseph Jackson Hunter died at the age of 25 years.  And don’t I know so much more about him?

MICHIGAN DEATH RECORDS ONLINE - Where can you find them?
CORONER'S CASE FILE - Robert L. Bowden - An analysis

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Wow! How very sad and tragic. He was so young when he died.

    1. I know huh Jana. I always wonder why. Can't help myself.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Diane, this is an excellent post. I always stress in my classes how important it is to look over every bit of information found in a death record. You have certainly done the job on this one!

    1. Thank you Peggy. I've certainly learned through the years. I missed quite a bit when I first began researching. Still do unless I take the time to really read every entry.
      Thanks for stopping by.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.