Big Fat Zero

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I sent off to the Pennsylvania Department of health for the death record on my third great grandmother, Margaret W. Bush Davis and came up with nothing. I did get an official looking document with a big bold “NO RECORD CERTIFICATION” blazing across the top. My Davis line was the one that I went to Somerset, Pennsylvania looking for during my trek north in September.


Margaret died in 1908, two years following the law that all death records had to be filed with the state and could no longer be held locally. What in the world happened with her death record and how many more in Somerset weren’t filed according to law. I was hoping that I could find more information on her, aside from the fact that her mother’s given name was Nancy, and that would lead me to even further information on her husband, who is yet another brick wall.  


I know that I have the correct death date for her; I found her obituary at the Historical Society in Somerset.


Somerset, Pennsylvania, Herald, Wednesday, January 6, 1909


Margaret M. Davis


Margaret, widow of the late Daniel E. Davis, died at the residence of her son, Ross F. Davis, of Main Street, Tuesday night, December 22, aged 89 years. Mrs. Davis was born in Dauphin county, pa., where she afterwards became the wife of Daniel E. Davis. The young couple came to Somerset following their marriage and throughout their lives were esteemed by all of their neighbors. Mrs.. Davis was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church and during the greater portion of her life took an active part in the midweek meetings of the local congregation. She is survived by three sons: William of Bradford, Pa., George W. and Ross, Somerset. 

All of the Davises were “townies” in Somerset, living and working in the city. Even though they owned businesses and buildings in town, the information available is not as well documented as those people that owned farms and land outside of town.


I am back to the drawing board with Margaret. It is looking like I will have to hunt through Dauphin County, Pennsylvania to find any further information on Daniel and Margaret.


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