Sunday, June 26, 2016

Which Death Information Is Better? Susan Bentz Hamman/Hammond

About 2 months ago I sent for 5 death certificates and 1 birth certificate for my maternal Hammond side of the family in Remsen, Iowa.  It took several long phone calls to find out where to request information and then all my individual requests needed to be notarized….ugh.  I have waited very impatiently for the information to arrive and it finally did…yea!! 

When I opened the envelope I was disappointed to find out that the birth record I requested for my grandfather James Jacob Hammond….they couldn’t find…ugh. (see the post Celebrating the Life of James Jacob Hammond).  I have 2 different baptismal certificates with 2 different names for my grandfather, so, I think it’s a name issue.  I am guessing I will next try to get a copy of his Social Security application to see if there was a birth certificate used there and what the name was.

Shortly after I sent the above request I found a microfilm through the Family Search and was able to read it at the local Family History Center.  That film contained death info from 1908 when my maternal great-grandmother Susan Benz Hamman/Hammond died and my great-great-grandmother Kate Hamman/Hammond (Susan’s mother-in-law) also died.  I found the following information:
Susan Hamman transcript 1 Susan Hamman transcript 2
My first thought was the shock of knowing that Susan died at age 29.  I knew from an obituary I had found online that when she died she had 6 children under the age of 9 but to actually see her age was difficult.
Mrs. Henry Hammond died at the family home here last Thursday evening at 8 o'clock. She had been ill for nearly a year from the dread disease, cancer. She had been at Sioux City and LeMars twice in the hopes of obtaining relief but all treatment was in vain. In her death she leaves motherless six children, all less than nine years of age.
Susan Bentz was born in Worthington, Iowa, August 20, 1878. When 8 years old her parents moved to LeMars and later, about 16 years ago, they moved to Remsen. In 1898 she was married to Henry Hammond and to them six children were born which are now left without a mother-the best friend and most loving adviser anyone ever had. She also leaves to mourn her death a sister and three brothers: Mrs. Clara Rieling, of Emery; Jake Bentz, of Emery, S. D.; Henry Bentz, of Granville and John Bentz, of this town, all of which were present at the funeral which was held from St. Mary's church Saturday forenoon at 10 o'clock. The bereaved and motherless children have the sympathy of the community.
                                                       [The Remsen News, Remsen, Iowa, May 28, 1908, submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]

I remember thinking when I had a copy of the Death Transcript that the Death Certificate I had paid for and was waiting for was a waste of money….until I got it.

Hamman Susan death certificate 1908 highlighted
  • While the first death transcript has the basic information that Susan died of cancer it isn’t until I look at the death certificate that I see she died of cancer of the cervix uterus which she had for about 2 years.  (Her last child Joseph was born in 1907.) 
  • It’s interesting that in the first record Susan’s parents are from Germany and in the second they are from Luxembourg.
  • I know from the second one that Susan is buried at St. Mary’s cemetery in Remsen, Iowa.
  • I think it’s interesting that in both notices it is Susan’s mother who is giving the information and not her husband Henry.  It’s also interesting in the obituary that there is no mention of Henry.
  • In both notices Susan is listed as Mrs. Henry Hamman and not by her given name Susan.
I am glad that I was able to get both of the records.  The first, the Death Transcript gives me the basic information and the Death Certificate gives me some additional information, definitely worth the cost and hassle.  I was able to get copies of death certificates for Susan’s parents also but after more looking….I think there must have been 2 ‘John and Mary Bentz’ families in Remsen since both of the Mary Bentz have different maiden names…ugh…back to the drawing board on that one.
I would appreciate any additional information or corrections you may have.
Enjoy the journey,


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