Monday, July 9, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ Death Certificate for Arville Chapin Adsit

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 (index and images, FamilySearch,, from Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois, accessed May 2011),
Record for Arville S. Chapin, died 6 May 1906, citing Death Records FHL microfilm 1,239,733
[note: indexed as Arville S. Chafini Ad...]

The handwritten entries are in blue:
Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Department of Health: City of Chicago.
Undertaker's Report of Death.
  1. Name of Deceased (in full): Mrs. Arville S. Chapin Adsit
  2. Sex: M [sic: s/b F]   Color: W
  3. Place of Birth: Mass.   Father's Birthplace: N.Y.   Mother's Birthplace: Mass.
  4. Age: 85 Years 11 Months - Days
  5. Lived in Illinois 65 Years, in Chicago: 65 Years
  6. Died on the 6th Day of May 1906 at about 3:45 A.M.
  7. Widowed.   Occupation: None
  8. Place of Death: 400 Dearborn Ave   Ward: 21st
  9. Place of Burial: Graceland
      Date of Burial: May 8, 1906
      Hour: 2:30 P.M.
10. Undertaker: C. H. Jordan + Co.  Address: 14 E. Madison St.   Tel. C1604   License No. 51

Physician's Certificate of Cause of Death
Immediate and Determining: Hypostatic Pneumonia   Duration of Cause: 6 Days
Contributing Cause or Complication: Cerebral Haemorrhage, arteriosclerosis  Duration of Cause: 8 months, 14 Days

1906 Chicago Directory, p. 2909,
(Signature:) Jas. Murray Washburn
Address: 15 Bellevue Place   Tel.: North823

Previous posts about this second great grandmother of mine can be found at:
Matrilineal Monday
Sunday's Obituary
Wordless Wednesday
Chapin Family Sampler
And you can see her gravestone in Graceland Cemetery at Find A Grave.


  1. She was male, huh? This goes to show that there can be errors on even official documents- it looks as though whoever filled this out didn't realize she was a woman at first, then caught himself and added "Mrs" but forgot to change the sex...

    1. Yes, even official documents contain errors. I like your theory about the addition of "Mrs."

      In fact, I forgot to note that her father was born in Massachusetts (not New York, as noted here). I haven't found a birth record for her mother, but it's possible her mother was born in New York (not Massachusetts).

      Thanks for reading and commenting.