The Three Death Certificates of Patrick Henry Hudson

When it comes to Texas genealogy, I just have a few collateral lines that headed for the Lone Star state.  Sometimes I wish I had more ties to the area just so I could take more advantage of all the wonderful resources available.  One of these 'wonderful resources' is the collection of Texas Death Certificates online (both FamilySearch and Footnote have collections).  My third great-grandmother's nephew (Patrick Henry "Dobe" Hudson) and his family appear in the collection.  They settled in Fannin Co. where Patrick died in 1911.  Interestingly, he has not one, not two, but three death certificates:

Certificate #1 doesn't offer much information at all - not even his full middle name.  Note the death date of April 5th.  No medical or personal information is provided, beyond the fact that he was a farmer.  If this was the only death certificate available for him I'd be thoroughly disappointed.  Luckily...

Certificate #2 is much better.  This one, however, gives Patrick a death date of the 6th, not the 5th like above.  It also provides some personal information on him like his birthday (Feb. 19, 1840), place of birth (Pulaski Co., Kentucky), his father's name (Vincent Jackson Hudson) and his mother's maiden name (Vaughn).  I was also able to learn where he was buried: Hampton Cemetery in Bonham.
Certificate #3 fills in the rest of the picture.  Medical information (like cause of death) is included in this one.  His death also changes again to the 5th.  This certificate also asks something that the others didn't, how long he had been at the residence where he died and in state.  Unfortunately, whoever filled out the certificate was a little vague on this one.  When it comes to the question about how long he had been at his residence (Edhube), "some years" is given.  When it comes to the question about how long he had been in the state, "many years" is given.

The death certificates for Patrick's widow and their children aren't in triplicate so I don't know why Patrick alone had three, or why they couldn't seem to get all the information on one.  Looking at the certificates, I imagine the first one was rejected because there isn't much of anything filled out.  Two was probably rejected because no medical information was provided, including a physician's signature.  Interestingly, certificate #2 is the only one with a registered number (104).  I wonder if I were to order his death certificate from the county, which one would they send me?  #2?  All three of them?  It makes me curious about how many more relatives I have out there with more than one vital record for one event...

Patrick's FindAGrave entry (including a picture of his tombstone), is here.  His father, Vincent Jackson Hudson, was my third great-grandmother's brother.


  1. I was surprised the first time I saw a death certificate with the parents' names UNKNOWN. But now I realize that 100 years ago the surviving spouse or child might never have known their in-laws or grandparents like we do today. When someone immigrated from another country they typically left everything, including their family, in their home country never to be seen again. Very sad.

    I'm glad you were able to get all of the information, even if it took three tries :-)

  2. You are right about how many awesome resources there are for Texas - I'm so glad that's where my parents' families are from! Those death certificates in particular are amazing. And I have probably mentioned to you before, there are still members of my father's family in Bonham/Fannin. Gotta get back there for a research trip some time.


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