Barbara Baxter Kendrick: Analysis of a Death Certificate

by Tonia Kendrick on July 18, 2010 in Research

Baxter Kendrick genealogyThe Baxters are one of my major brick walls, as regular readers will know.  Barbara Baxter was my great-great-grandmother; for a long time, she was the only Baxter I knew about.  I recently discovered her father’s name, but I haven’t been able to go much further.  A few months ago, I obtained Barbara’s death certificate, hoping for a clue to Barbara’s origins.  Like many genealogical documents, this one confirmed some facts, conflicted with other facts, provided a few tidbits of new information, and opened up new questions.

Confirmations

  • Barbara’s name.
  • She was a widow.
  • Her parents were Dave Baxter and Polly Lowery.
  • Her usual occupation was “housewife.”

Conflicts

Her birth year is reported as 1852.  I have 1854; she is reported as 76, 66, 56, and 46 in the 1930 to 1900 censuses, which argues for 1854.  The 1900 census states her birth month and year as Feb 1854.  I’m more inclined too believe the census information as it was provided closer to the birth event, whereas the information on her death certificate was provided by someone much further away.

Her birth place is reported as Murray County, Georgia.  This may well be true.  Her birthplace is reported as Georgia on all the census records I have for her, with the exception of 1920.  She was only 25 in 1880, the earliest enumeration I have for her, and it says Georgia; I tend to trust the earlier census records for birth information.  Until I find her on the 1860 census, where the information would likely have been provided by her mother, I’m sticking with Georgia.  I think that her parents were married in Murray County, so it’s possible she was born there.

New Information

  • Her mother’s birthplace is recorded as Murray County, Georgia.  I’m taking this with a grain of salt, but since I didn’t have any information on Polly’s birthplace, it is a good clue.
  • She was buried at Calvary, which I’m assuming is Calvary Baptist Church, near Cisco, Georgia.
  • Kenemer Brothers Funeral Home handled the burial.
  • Her usual residence at the time of her death was Murray County.  There is no surprise here, but it’s nice to have documentation.
  • She died of “Flu Pneumonia” and had been ill for three days, according to her physician, J. E. Bradford of Spring Place.

New Questions

The informant on her death certificate was T. F. Edwards of 931 Washington Avenue, Etowah, Tennessee.  Who is this?  It may say Mrs. T. F. Edwards, but I can’t tell because of a large ink blot.  Barbara had two daughters, Cordelia and Mary, for whom I don’t have marriage information.  My hypothesis is that one of them married T. F. Edwards.  If that idea doesn’t pan out, then I have no idea who this person is and why he or she would be the informant.

Research To-Dos

  • Visit the cemetery at Calvary Baptist Church to look for the graves of Barbara and her husband.  Also look for potential relatives.
  • Research marriage records for Cordelia and Mary.  If unavailable, then:
  • Look for T. F. Edwards on the 1930 census in McMinn County, Tennessee.
  • Look for Barbara on the 1860 census (again).

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