Many of my ancestors immigrated to, moved to, and/or lived in St. Louis, Missouri and the surrounding area, so I’ve been slowly researching what data bases, genealogical websites, etc. that I’ve been able to find for any information and documents concerning their lives (and deaths). This week I was on the Missouri Secretary Of State website (SOS) which has free access to a data base of Missouri birth and death certificates. I found a few surprises concerning my LONG and WERNSE ancestors (a great-grandmother who had more siblings that I knew about; two gr-gr-grandmothers’ surnames). My best find, however, was a scan of my gr-gr grandfather’s death certificate, of which I’ll transcribe at a later time:
MISSOURI STATE BOARD OF HEALTH
BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS
CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
Registration District No. 791 File No. 26089
Primary Registration No. 1003 Registration No. 6551
1. PLACE OF DEATH
Village of the City of St. Louis (NO. 5620 Maple St.; 28 Ward)
2. FULL NAME
William Frederick Wernse
PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS
4. COLOR OR RACE–white;
6. DATE OF BIRTH
October 19th, 1845
70 yrs 8 mos 22 ds.
Attorney at Law
10. NAME OF FATHER
11. BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER
12. MAIDEN NAME OF MOTHER
13. BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER
14. THE ABOVE IS TRUE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE
(Informant) E. H. Wernse
(Address) 5620 Maple Ave.
15. FILED–JUL 12 1916 Registrar–A.H.__?
MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
16. DATE OF DEATH
July 11th 1916
17. I HEREBY CERTIFY, that I attended deceased from May 14, 1916, to June 16, 1916, that I last saw him alive on June 16, 1916, and that death occured, on the date stated above, at 7 p.m.
The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows:
Suppurative Synovitis of right knee. his history indicated that the –?– as Synovitis
near duration 2 years
probably —?—Suppurative…6 mos or more
(Signed) —?— M. D.
7-12, 1916 (Address) 609 Hamdl–
19. PLACE OF BURIAL OR REMOVAL
Belle Fontaine Cemetery
DATE OF BURIAL
July 14, 1916
Missouri is slowly archiving actual copies of death certificates pre-1955 on this website. But it’s a arduous task so it will be some time before all certificates can be accessed like this. Several of W.F. Wernse’s children (and his wife, Minnie) have their certificates listed in the data base, but at this point I have to send in a request form with a limit of five death certificates for $1 per certificate. They state that they’re swamped and that the wait for a certificate is about 12 weeks. Quite the bargain, in my opinion, and well worth the wait.