Thursday, July 15, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday – Death Certificate of Osceola Davis Clark

Two years ago I wrote about my 2nd great-grandmother Lou Ella Godwin (See Lou Ella Godwin puzzle post # 1 here, post # 2 here, and post # 3 conclusion here) who’s parentage had both my grandfather and I stumped for a couple of years due to a discrepancy between a marriage record and an obituary. 
According to their marriage certificate, Lou Ella DAVIS married my 2nd great-grandfather, Alvin Godwin in 1899, however, Lou Ella’s obituary stated she had 3 brothers, Marland, William, and Ernest CARPENTER, one sister, Mrs. Ed Clark, and one half sister, Mrs. Roy Eckert.
The 1900 Sharp County, Arkansas census report corroborated this obituary with the head of household being William Carpenter, his wife, Dora Carpenter, daughter Lou A CARPENTER, step-daughter Osceola DAVIS (Mrs. Ed Clark from the obituary), and sons Acy, William, Marlin, and Ernest CARPENTER.
How could Lou Ella have been both a Davis and a Carpenter? I posted a copy of Lou Ella Otten’s death certificate (Shawnee, OK) in the conclusion (post # 3) of my story and it clearly stated that Lou Ella’s parents were Bill DAVIS and Dora NIX, therefore Lou Ella’s maiden name was DAVIS and not CARPENTER.
The 1900 Sharp County, Arkansas census mentioned above in the household of William and Dora Carpenter had an Osceola DAVIS listed as a “step-daughter” to William Carpenter.  I contacted Osceola’s grandson, Michael Peters and got a copy of Osceola’s death certificate from him. It turns out that her father was also a DAVIS , albeit not exactly the same name – her father was listed as James F DAVIS (Lou Ella’s father was Bill DAVIS ) and mother was Dora NIX. I’m not too worried about this discrepancy though. Osceola and Lou Ella were very close, even though one lived in OK and the other lived in CA. In fact we have pictures of both and could not even tell them apart. Michael Peters had to tell me which one was which when I showed him the pictures.
Here is a copy of Osceola’s death certificate:

A copy of this death certificate was sent to me by Osceola’s grandson, Mike Peters on 19 Sept 2008.  The original was obtained from the Los Angeles County Clerk Registrar/Recorder’s Office of the State of California Department of Public Health.
I learned the following from this certificate:
Name: Osceola Clark
Born: 20 Jan 1885
Father’s name: James F. DAVIS , birthplace unknown
Mother’s name: Dora NIX, birthplace unknown
Died: 22 Mar 1995 at St. Vincent’s Hospital at 2131 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA from colon cancer
Burial: in Park Lawn Cemetery in Montebello, CA
Informant: Gladys Loyd Peters (Osceola’s daughter)
By the way, as a side note, I wouldn’t have been able to make this find without the help of Mike Peters.  I found his file and his name and address on the website and I actually sent him an old fashioned snail mail letter with stamp and envelope and he wrote me back!  You can read about our initial exchange in my post “Lessons Learned about Family trees on Rootsweb.” I sent him quite a few pictures of his family that my grandfather had in his collection because Osceola and Lou Ella traded pictures and wrote back and forth quite a bit. I hope to be adding more posts on these two families soon!

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