Archiver > MOCAMDEN > 2002-10 > 1034842170

From: "Bob Doerr" <>
Subject: [MOCAMDEN] Vital Records follow-up
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 03:09:30 -0500

This is a follow-up to my recent post about needed access to Vital Records.

The problem is not that the vital records cannot be accessed; they can. For a fee, the staff at the Department of Health will search for a record. If they find it, they will send a copy. Too often the response is that they found no record.

I sought birth and death data re my aunt, who died before her brother, my father, was born. He told me that her given name was Mildred. I sent my money for searches and was advised that no records were found. I found her baptismal record by a different given name. It happens that the relevant records in this case were not held by the Mo. Dept. of Health, and I was able to review the hand-written birth and death records. I found her birth record by a third given name, but, by the time she died, she was indeed Mildred. A staff simply cannot locate a record under such circumstances. A researcher can, but depends on access to the data.

My grandmother's maiden name was very difficult to spell. I knew the ship and arrival date of her aunt (same surname). It took me three times thru a transcription of the ship list to recognize her thoroughly-butchered name. Of course, I could not find her name in the index. I never did find her sister who was with her.

My name is Doerr; in an old list, it is spelled 'Ter'. Only by searching the original records, or microforms thereof, can one find the needed data in such cases. (I guess I now have an idea as to how my ancestors pronounced our name.)

The researcher has patience and incentive to find the data; any staff must depend on their imperfect indexes and the Health Department has incentive to send a 'no find' letter.

Bob Doerr in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks

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