Monday, July 28, 2014

Death Certificate–Raymond Lucas

About a week ago I read a post over on the Michigan Family Trails blog about photo duplication requests from Family Search. I got a two-for-one deal for reading that post.

  1. I didn't know about this service from
  2. I don't know how I missed this in the past, and honestly, I haven't searched for my Lucas ancestors in a long while, but I haven't looked online for the Michigan Death Certificates, 1921 - 1952, let alone knowing that Family Search had the index.

So, immediately after reading her post I went to and searched for my Great Grandfather, Raymond Lucas, to see if his death certificate was among those. I found one that could be him, so I followed Michigan Family Trails advice and requested a photo duplication of that record.

Today, in my email, I was pleasantly surprised to find the record I requested, the Death Certificate of Raymond Lucas (below).


I need to do some analysis of this record and compare to the information I have about my Great Grandfather to be sure that this is him. But I am excited because my initial look at the record is telling me that this is him.

  • I estimated his death about 1922, the record date of death is 13 December 1921.
  • His wife's name was Catherine, but was called Katie - the wife and informant on the record is Katie.
  • He had said he was from Russia and/or Poland on other documents, the death cert says he was born in Russia.
  • I had estimated his birth abt 1880, the death cert says 1879.
  • On the 1920 Census he was a farmer, the death cert says he was a farmer.
  • They lived in Exeter Township for 7 months at the time of his death - Katie is found in Exeter township in the 1930 Census.

That's a lot of information that I've scanned over pretty quick, but with all the similarities, my confidence and excitement is high that I'll be able to say that this is the death cert of my Great Grandfather. But, I have a lot of analysis and some further research to do before I can be sure.

  1. I need to compare the information with the little information I do have on Raymond and see if I can match anything.
  2. I want to research the cemetery, Stoney Creek Cemetery, and see if I can get any records that may help.
  3. I want to check local papers for an obituary which may mention his kids and other information.

One last thing that really struck me in this record is that starvation is a contributing factor of his death. I wonder if the Tuberculosis had something to do with that? He had four kids along with his wife at home and I wonder if making sure they were fed was part of the cause - he was sick, so let them eat more. Plus, the rest of the family was fine and lasted at least until 1940. This, if it is him, is my Mom's Grandfather and she always said that the family was really poor. This fits into that story. These are my first thoughts on seeing the information, I'll probably never know the real story.

That is enough for this record for now but I will be back to revisit after I do some more research and a lot of analysis.

Does anyone have any suggestions on something I may have missed so far?

Thanks for reading and keep diggin for that family.


PS: I want to thank Diane over at the Michigan Family Trails blog for the great post which led to my potential find.


  1. Thanks for the mention Chris. Always appreciated. I see that you analyze a record in a very similar way to my own analysis. Now I'm going to go and read more of your posts and add your blog to my reading list.
    Happy hunting,

  2. Thanks Diane - analysis is the key. Unfortunately I have learned this the hard way but I did learn.