Genealogy Tips: Finding More of Mary Bird’s Story

This is the death certificate of the young infant, Mary Elizabeth Bird (1850-1851), who died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, 15 July 1851.

Source: FamilySearch, “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( 9 December 2014), Mary Elizabeth Bird, 15 Jul 1851; citing item 1, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,939,907.

The death certificate is brief and covers the basic facts: her name, partial age, date and cause of her death.

Here is her obituary that appeared the day after her death on Wednesday, 16 July 1851.

Public Ledger (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 16 July 1851, page 2

The obituary gives us important additional information:

  • Her age was not just 14 months – but 14 months and 25 days
  • The names of her parents
  • The date, place and time of her funeral
  • The elegy poem selected by her parents to memorialize their daughter

It is essential that genealogists gather all of the primary sources for their relatives. Having Mary Elizabeth Bird’s death certificate is valuable – and having her detailed obituary gives us more of her story.

Newspapers are essential for documenting your family tree.

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Find them and document them using GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

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