>I have done alot of work on this Downing family group but I still >have not been able to 'document' the maiden name of the mother. >Hoping this son, William Harvey Downing, death certificate will have >info on his mother. I have a copy of his OBIT & cemetery record.
but you have not done a lot of work learning about the area where they lived/ died.
Also appears you have missed the place of death. I don't know much about Kansas records. Perhaps a death certificate/ funeral home records from Kansas will have her maiden name. A Kansas funeral home probably handled the body/ records before sending it to Commerce funeral home for burial.
Oklahoma law did not require recording of birth & death records until Oct 1908 when a statewide registration of births and deaths was established BUT generally not complied with until 1930's (when babies started being born in hospitals). Any person born before Oct 1908 in Oklahoma would not have birth certificate available, unless the person requested a “delayed” certificate later.
From 1908 to 1916 only sketchy records are available
Although some county records predate 1908, a few as early as 1891, most did not start until after statehood in 1907. The early records, which are quite incomplete, are housed at county courthouses. For now, you will need to visit the county of interest to ascertain what information, if any, is available.
During WWII it was difficult to get a public job without a birth certificate. Many people who were not issued one at birth applied for a "Delayed Birth Certificate". A delayed birth certificate required documents and/or statements of siblings/relatives confirming date of birth, place of birth and parents names.
Try to get funeral home records first, then write for the death certificate. There was not a lot of early funeral homes in parts of OK, but they have valuable records. Some funeral home records list names of parents on their funeral records, plus dates of birth and location. This might have mistakes, however, as do death certificates; a relative usually filled it out, and if the parent was very old, children sometimes did not know the correct locations. Funeral home records are one of the most valuable resources available and the most unused resource by genealogist. Many families in early days buried there own, without benefit of funeral homes or records being kept.
Many delayed birth certificates have been granted to people born in the mid to late 1800s seeking Social Security benefits and are filed at the state vital records department.
Where to Order Birth & Death Records
Vital Records Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health,
PO Box 53551, Oklahoma City, OK 73152
1000 Northeast 10th - Room 117, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
405-271-4040 Hours: 8:30 am-4:00 pm M-F
No search by telephone or fax
No online access available
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