Friday, March 29, 2013

7. A Birthdate in Dennis Buggy's Death Certificate

Dennis Buggy’s 1915 death certificate provides the following information about his birth: [1]

Full Name: Dennis Buggy
Dennis Buggy
Date of Birth: June 11, 1830
Birthplace: Ireland
Name of Father: Not Known
Birthplace of Father: Ireland
Maiden name of Mother: Not Known
Birthplace of Mother: Ireland
Informant: Richard Buggy

This document confirms the birthdate of June 1830 from the 1900 census.[2]  It was not created at or near the time of Dennis Buggy’s birth by a person in a position to know the information firsthand, so its reliability depends on the informant.  It contradicts the Phelan book’s 1833 birth year.[3]

The certificate gives Dennis’ date of death as May 20, 1915, and his age as 84 years, 11 months, 22 days.   This calculates to a birthdate of 28 May 1830.  The discrepancy could result from faulty calculation, either at the time of death or with present electronic tools.

It’s important to notice that the person who gave the information about Dennis Buggy was his son Richard, with whom he had lived the whole of his son’s life.  Richard probably knew the date his father celebrated his birthday, and he probably knew how old he thought he was.  The lack of information he was able to give about his grandparents may be attributed to the stress of his father’s death.  Surely he knew that he had been named after his father’s father.

Dennis Buggy’s death certificate gives a full date for his birth, a specific date to work with when researching in Irish records.  It is only as reliable as Dennis’ and his son’s memories, but it’s a help.

Next Time: Clues in More Original Death Records

            Microfilm of Freshford parish registers (ordered 21 March 2013)
            Microfilm of Naugatuck town records (ordered 26 March 2013)
            Response from Archdiocese of Hartford Archives (letter sent 25 March 2013)

[1] Minnesota Department of Health, death certificate 3719 (1915), Dennis Buggy; Office of Vital Records, Saint Paul.
[2] 1900 U. S. Census, Faribault County, Minnesota, population schedule, Pilot Grove, ED 90, sheet 8 (penned), dwelling 140, family 141, Dennis Buggy household; digital image,; NA microfilm T623, roll 763; FHL microfilm 1,240,763.
[3] “The Phelan Descendants: The Buggy Family, The Delaney Family, The Dollard Family,” privately held, 8.

© 2013 Judy Kellar Fox, CG,

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