When I checked my email this morning I had one from Ancestry.com, telling me I had hints in my tree. I was going to automatically delete it, since the hints I receive are usually records I've already found but haven't attached to my tree. But I thought: wait, let me look at it real quick. The hints were for my GGG-Uncle, Millard Waters, for records in Tennessee. My Waters family is from Georgia, but Tennessee is within the realm of possibility. Let's see what we've got... click, click...
OMG! It's Millard Waters' death certificate! From 1944. He fell off the face of genealogy records after the 1920 census. I thought he must have died before 1930! Well I was wrong. I now know that he died at the Veterans Hospital in Mountain Home, Tennessee.
Why am I so excited about a 3x Great Uncle's death certificate? Because I don't know his and his siblings parents names. I have many records for my Great-Great Grandfather Leverett Waters that give his parents names. The problem is that they all give different names! I have two different first and middle names for his father and three different maiden names for his mother.
I've been doing collateral research on Leverett's siblings to try and find the correct names. Unfortunately Leverett & Millard sister, Queen, didn't have any records that confirmed their parents' names. In fact, when Queen's obituary didn't mention Millard or his family, I incorrectly thought that he had died before she did.
And this new find? Does Millard's death certificate provide an answer? Yes, it does! And it's pretty good information too, as it comes from his hospital records which he provided himself. The information listed matches the information that Leverett listed on his Social Security Application. Based on the records I now have, my Great-Great-Great Grandparents were J Bayles Waters and Mary Elizabeth Pilgrim.