Sunday, December 7, 2014

Look Alike, Transcribe Alike

Here's another one about finding the original record and not relying on an index.

The surnames DWYER and DURYEA look very similar in script.

Some years of New Jersey deaths, 1878-1892, are indexed online at the website of the State Archives.  (The web address keeps changing.  The current site for indexed records, which is free, is  (You can also find indexes for New Jersey's births, marriages, and deaths at for free.)

In the search box I entered "Durye" to bring up both spellings- Duryea and Duryee.  An entry for the death of Mary Duryer, age 50, appeared for Jersey City in Hudson County, one of my geographic target areas.

Deaths for July 31, 1889 through June 30, 1890 are on one microfilm.  47 is the place code for Jersey City.  Records for Jersey City are separate from the rest of Hudson County.  The certificate is D87; D for Duryea.

The death certificate was for Mary Dwyer, not Duryer or Duryea.

My family tree contains a Duryea-Dwyer marriage.  You can imagine the transcription errors.  So always seek the original record and do not stop with the index.

Birth certificate for Agnes Duryea, born July 4, 1907 in Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey.
This baby lived just a few months and died on October 29, 1907.
Daughter of John Duryea and Katharine Dwyer.
Number 11- but not the last child born to this couple.
Also note that the birth certificate for Agnes Duryea was created March 31, 1908--- five months after her death.  I wonder why.

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