The Mysterious Ms. Mowbray

[Note: Since my field doesn’t particularly lend itself to image annotation, here’s an image from my erratic family history research.  I notice that the embed leaves much to be desired in the realm of formatting.]

Below is the death certificate of my 3x great-grandfather’s second wife.  It’s of interest because of a bizarre discrepancy in her recorded birth dates (or maybe not that bizarre.  Frankly, I’m not familiar enough with the history of these things to know how often this happens.  I like to think it has to do with murder ;).  My longer research notes are attached below the photo.

“BIRTHDATE MYSTERY NOTE: Marriage Certificate to Thomas Doyle lists Josephine’s birthdate as 13 Nov 1863. The month and year are supported by the 1900 Federal Census. However, on Josephine’s Marriage Certificate to Dallas Chambers her birthdate is listed as 19 Sept 1865. The logical conclusion would be that these are different people. Except that the 1900 census that supports the first birthdate supports the exact residence address as the second marriage certificate, Josephine’s first husband is listed as having died two and a half years earlier on the Chambers marriage certificate, which corresponds with a death certificate for a Thomas Doyle that lives at the exact same residence address as the 1900 census and the Chambers marriage certificate list. It follows that these two Josephines are likely the same person.

ADDITIONAL: Based on Josephine’s death certificate, it appears that at her death she was using the new year but the old date or, at least, not the date on the Chambers marriage certificate. If she was using the Sept date from that certificate, she would be listed as 38 years old; however, if she was using the Nov date from the first marriage certificate, she could (relatively) correctly be stated as 37 years old at the time of death.

I’ll have to do a full post on Josephine sometime.

Comments 3

  1. avatar Laura wrote:

    This post is so interesting! Not only did you annotate an image, but this image and the story behind it had me hooked! Thank you for sharing this. It is neat to think of how annotated images could be useful in other contexts like this, too.

    Posted 04 Feb 2012 at 11:49 am
  2. avatar Cris Crissman wrote:

    You’ve demonstrated how annotations can work great for providing clues to the “rest of the story,” Brandon. Can’t wait to hear more about Josephine!

    Posted 05 Feb 2012 at 6:42 pm
  3. avatar Brandon wrote:

    Thanks Laura and Cris. I actually really like Flickr precisely because of the notes feature, but I also don’t use it (I’ve had the account for a bit and this is my first photo). This is mainly because of the limits Flickr places on the number of photos a free account can have up (understandable, but I don’t like not having access to my own photos). I’m exploring the possibility of using an Omeka install to do the same thing (they have a plugin with notes functionality that is so-so).

    Posted 07 Feb 2012 at 3:51 pm

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