I found a reference to Xaver Schillinger’s death certificate in the New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 on Ancestry.com. The reference gave me the certificate number, which I then obtained from the NYC Municipal Archives. It arrived in the mail yesterday!
So let’s take a look at what we can learn from his death certificate.
1. Xaver Schillinger died at Brooklyn Hospital. (The Brooklyn Hospital is located at 121 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn.
2. The death certificate confirms, not only the date of death, his sex and race, but it also confirms that his wife Catherine predeceased him. This allows me to look for her death records sometime between when she last shows up in a census (1900) and his year of death (1923).
3. I have his approximate year of birth as 1836. His death certificate lists his age as 87. Since he died in 1923 (1923-87=1836), his death certificate agrees with what I know to be his birth year. Unfortunately, it does not list the months or day, nor does it list his specific birth date, so I cannot confirm his birth beyond the year.
4. The death certificates agrees that he is an immigrant from Germany and it lists his number of years in the United States as 62. This would place his year of immigration as 1861. My previous records had his immigration occurring in 1860, with his enlistment in the US Army by March 1861. So his death certificate is consistent (within 1 year) of the information I already had on record. Taking in to account that the information on the death certificate is being reported by a 3rd party (his daughter Catherine), who was not alive at the time of his immigration, I am satisfied that the record is consistent with other documentation.
5. The death certificated gives me his parents’ names! This is probably the most exciting piece of information on the document. I had his parents listed as “Franz Xaver Schillinger” and “Franziska Stockel”. Now these names are close, but I never had documentation of these names – just information from other people’s family trees. This is the first official record that I’ve come across with their names on it. It’s important to note that his father is not listed as Franz, but as Xaver. The one issue I’ve had is that I have found no documentation for this Xaver to have a first name of Franz either, though that is how I’ve come across him being recorded in others’ trees. Also, his mother’s last name is spelled with an “a” on the death certificate, not an “o”. These are great leads for tracking down more information about the family in Germany, as neither of his parents appear to have immigrated to the United States.
6. His residence at his time of death was 148 Logan Street. This is consistent with my other records. In the 1920 census, he is listed as living with his daughter Catherine Fausner (who is also the reporting party on the death certificate) at the Logan Street address. This information helps to confirm that I have the death certificate for the correct person.
7. Xaver Schillinger was in the hospital from 2 Oct 1923 until 6 Oct 1923, when he passed away at 12:30pm. He was attended by Dr. T.M. Dudley. His cause of death is: “right strangulated femoral hernia. Left sliding inguinal hernia. Hernioplasty.” The duration of the condition is listed as “many” years. A contributing/secondary cause of death is listed as “broncho pneumonia“. So it would appear that Xaver went to the hospital to have to hernias repaired, one of which, at least, is a very serious condition. The right strangulated femoral hernia can cause the blood to be cut off to the bowels and result in necrosis – which is life threatening. His stay in the hospital was complicated by a bout of pneumonia, which was even made more dangerous because of his age.
8. He is buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery. I had found a previous reference to an Xaver Schillinger being buried in Trinity Cemetery, but had no confirmation which Trinity Cemetery or that it was my Xaver Schillinger. The death certificate is consistent with the burial record I found, which also includes the plot information (Block 5, Row 6). Most Holy Trinity Cemetery is located next to The Evergreens Cemetery on Central Avenue in Brooklyn.