Heart’s Death Certificate

Martha Carmichael Death Certificate

Heart’s death certificate is quite interesting and gives a lot of information, but contextual information makes a few details stand out.

  1. South Carolina began issuing death certificates January 1, 1915, less than 2 months before she died. The registered number on her certificate is 5, which means hers was the 5th death recorded in the district.
  2. There is also no informant listed, but the signing doctor, who seems to have filled out the form based on the handwriting, is Albert Rhett Nicholson, Jr. He and Heart were 2nd cousins, 2 times removed, both descendants of James Bones and Mary Adams on their maternal lines. They were the same age and spent time together as they grew up in Edgefield, South Carolina, including going to local baseball games, as she wrote in letters before she was married.
  3. The last bit of contextual information is about Martha’s health. Family lore said she had a heart condition and that is where her nickname came from. Her letters make it clear that she had health issues before she married, as she wrote to her future husband telling him not to worry on account of a doctor’s visit and her poor looks about 1913.