Friday, April 18, 2014

PA Death Certificates 1906-24 go online

Folks on the Facebook page were awaiting the availability of Pennsylvania death certificates. They're now at for 1906-1924. I have g-g-gf Henry A. Herrick's DC. It's been so long since I checked — I think I already had it in my files for many years now. Oh well; more impetus for entering all this stuff into a software program.

A search was not in vain, however. Much of what I've been finding lately have been on collaterals. This is good, because my direct line hasn't exactly left a trail of breadcrumbs — at least, not online.

I was disturbed to find two death certificates connected to Jennie Herrick Mitchel(l) and her husband, James Osburn Mitchell. Jennie was the sister of my great-grandfather, Harry Herrick. According to their marriage license, James, age 24, was born in Greene Co., PA and living in Cleveland, OH. Jennie, age 23, was born in, and was living in, Washington, PA, where they married on 5 June 1902. The officiant was M. [Marshall] Blaine Lytle, husband of Katherine S. Herrick, who was Jennie and Harry's sister. M. Blaine Lytle also officiated at the marriage of their youngest Herrick sibling, William Wiley/Wylie Herrick, to LaVeda Ullom.

The 1910 census shows James and Jennie MITCHELL in Washington, Washington Co., PA. They have been married for 8 years. They have two children: Walter O., age 1, and Jean M., age 7 (enumerated in that order).

The death certificates were for twin sons of Jennie and J. O. Mitchell. Both certificates spell the surname with only one "L". According to the certificates, James Alexander Mitchel and William Herrick Mitchel were born 18 Feb 1911. Dr. M. H. Alexander of Canonsburg, PA, certified that he attended William from 16 July 1911 to 19 July, when William died. William was buried on 21 July at "Oak Spg Cem" (Oak Spring Cemetery*) in Canonsburg. Sadly, Dr. Alexander attended James from 17 July until his death on 23 July. Little James was buried on 24 July. *Find-A-Grave does not list any Mitchel/Mitchells in this cemetery.

The 1920 census shows Jennie and James MITCHELL (2 "L"s) in Chartiers Township, Washington Co., with two children, Jean M., now age 16, and Walter O., age 10. In 1930, Jennie and James MITCHEL (one "L") are in Fairview Township, Mercer Co., PA; Walter O. is listed as 27, and Jean M. as 21. In 1940, James O. and Jennie Mitchell are in Fairview, Mercer Co., PA, with daughter Jeanne M. Mitchell, age 36. Walter O. and wife, Eva, are in Fredonia, Mercer Co., PA, with sons James A., age 3, and Paul O., 1 month.

The Greenville, PA Record-Argus of 7 June 1952 describes James's and Jennie's 50th anniversary fete, which was a "quiet family gathering" due to Jennie's ill health. It states that the couple were married in the home of Mrs. Mitchell's brother, the late Frank Herrick, in Washington, PA. Guests at the gathering included Mr. & Mrs. Walter O. Mitchell and two sons, Jimmy Alan and Paul, of Fredonia; Jeanne Mitchell of Greenville; and Mr. and Mrs. William G. Mitchell of Washington, PA, Mr. Mitchell being the only brother of the honoree. The couple came to Mercer Co. in 1931.

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