Friday, January 17, 2014

Finding my lost uncle

How I found my lost uncle.

Growing up I always heard that my grandmother had 11 children, but try as I might I can only come up with seven aunts and uncles and my mother. Growing up it seems that the adults never really wanted to talk to you about it, they would say "grandma had 11 children and three died young", but never saying who, when, where or why.
Now that I am searching my ancestry and doing genealogy I decided that I would get the answer to this. After searching all available census records I went to the cemetery where a good portion of the family are buried including my grandmother and grandfather. When talking to the caretaker in the office I did get a tip that there was a child by the name of Milan Dokmanovic buried in the family plot. He was buried there April 2, 1926 but there was no other information available and prior to that the records had been destroyed in a fire in the early 1920s.

My next step was to go to Pennsylvania vital statistics and locate a death certificate for Milan. You can locate and send for Pennsylvania death certificates that are over 50 years old (1906-1964) at the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health website. After searching in the year for 1926 I located his state file number and used the form from the state to send for the record, the records cost five dollars a piece and you can order five of them at a time.
After about three weeks I received the copy in the mail.

Now I have a record of another one of my grandmother's children, number 9 with still 2 more to go.
Milan Dokmanovic, born July 1, 1923, died April 1, 1926, two years nine months old. This is why he did not appear on any Federal census'. Milan is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery presumably next to his mother and father in the family plot.

Next I will begin the task of searching the Pennsylvania death records between years of 1906 and 1925 to see if I can find anymore Dokmanovic surnames. Some years are alphabetized very nicely with the D's all in order, but with some years Da might be followed by Di then Du then back to Da.
Finding these records in genealogical research can be bittersweet. At first you are happy you've finally found that much sought after info but then very sad imagining how distraught my grandparents would have been watching this active two year old go from his active self to an extremely ill child and then dying. 
Having a grandchild at this age makes it vividly evident to us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment