William Harvey Ward: Analysis of a Death Certificate

Ward genealogyWilliam H. “Buddy” Ward was my third great-grandfather.  His is the penultimate name I have in the Ward line, so while he is not a brick-wall ancestor, both of his parents are.  His death certificate has been a valuable document, confirming some data, providing new information and leading to new documents.


  • He was a farmer.
  • His father’s name was Harvey Ward.
  • He was born September 1864 (based on an age of 68 years, 7 months).

New Information

  • He died in Newport.  I knew he died in Fannin County, but now I have a city.
  • His middle name was Harvey.
  • He was born in Roy, Georgia.  I’m not aware of a town called “Roy,” but there is a Roy Road in Fannin County.  All I had before was Georgia, so this is a huge find.
  • His mother’s name was Mary Tucker.  I had previous, unsourced information that her name was Ann or Jane Tucker.
  • William’s wife, Mary, was the informant on the death certificate and her residence was Newport.
  • I had previous information from a couple of census records that Mary could read and write; however, she made her mark on the death certificate.
  • William was buried in Dial.  I still don’t know the cemetery, but this is very helpful.  Mary’s parents are buried at Dial Church of Christ Cemetery and I know there are some Wards there as well, so that is a possibility.
  • He died of chronic myocarditis and intestinal nephritis, complicated by high blood pressure.

New Documents

  • Learning that Williams’ mother’s name was Mary quickly led me to the 1870 census record for this family. This is the first census record I have for Harvey and Mary; it provided two siblings for William as well as approximate birth years and states for Harvey and Mary. I can feel the brick wall crumbling!

Research To-Dos

  • Look up William on Find-a-Grave to try to locate the cemetery where he is buried.
  • Follow-up on new census record and go from there.

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  1. says

    I run across the ‘no town named that’ thing a lot in Rural Ohio and Kentucky. There isn’t a “town” but there is something like Lenoxburg-Foster Road. That was how I actually eneded up finding Lenoxburg Cemetery on a map after getting lost in Kentucky many years before and finding it that way.

    I really do love when the information is there on the records! I’m always a little nervous right before they come that it’ll be blank. So when so much new information is found, it’s always nice!

    I like how you do bullet points to show what’s new and what’s confirmed. It makes it seem much more organized. I always have a tendancy to ramble, so I might have to try that next time!
    Kathleen Moore´s last blog post ..Family- Herbert REDFORD-Sarah Ann SUTCLIFFE F67

  2. Tonia Kendrick says

    Thanks for the comment! Yes, I get nervous, too. I hate it when I’ve paid for a document that turns out to have nothing new. This was a good one. : )


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