A Cautionary Tale

Death Index
Death Index
Death Index Entry from

Always look at the image, if it’s available. I submitted some edits a few days ago to the memorial for Theresa C. Rogers’ Findagrave memorial. The death date on the stone was 1965, and the birth date matched the Theresa Cecelia Partington I was researching Her parents were in buried in the same cemetery, and if you look at the wider photo at Findagrave, you’ll see she’s in the Partington family plot. Her husband, Frances Rogers, is not buried there. He was apparently cremated and his ashes buried on a golf course.

So when I saw this death index entry, I had a moment of panic. The entry is definitely for her. It includes both her maiden and married surnames. But the death date was 1958. Did I mess up and submit edits for the wrong memorial at Findagrave? That would be bad. I almost messaged the memorial owner to ask them to ignore the edits I’d submitted (they hadn’t been approved at that point). But then I looked at the death index image. Someone had mistranscribed the death date. They’d used the age at death instead. I added a correction at Ancestry.

Always, always, always look at the image, if there is one. The death index is short on details, but it also gives a death location, which I didn’t have. I’m glad I found it and took the time to figure out what was going on.