I toppled my self-created brick wall!

Cynthia (Day) Bursley death certificate

Cynthia (Day) Bursley death certificate

Death certificates are great sources of info – but the one above was frustrating to me.  I wanted to see the original death register from which the data had been taken.  However, I was told that privacy laws prohibited me from viewing the nearly 150-year-old book containing the death of Cynthia (Day) Bursley, my 3rd great grandmother.  After contemplating this dilemma, last week I found my nicest, kindest voice and called the County Recorder.  I followed my call up with a sweet-as-pie email thanking the Recorder for her time and asking for additional clarification as the state statutes showed that death records in Minnesota are actually public.  My persistence paid off.  Today I received the following:

Copy of the death register showing Cynthia (Day) Bursley's parents: Aaron and Martha Day!

Copy of the death register showing Cynthia (Day) Bursley’s parents: Aaron and Martha Day!

Talk about Christmas in July!  Since the certificate above completed by the Clerk of Court did not list Cynthia’s parents, I assumed the register also did not have this info.  I was wrong!  After 2 1/2 years of working on a proof argument for Cynthia’s parentage, I finally have the smoking gun:  a piece of paper clearly stating Cynthia Bursley was the daughter of Aaron Day and his wife, Martha.  That brick wall wasn’t so thick after all!

Yup, it’s Christmas in July.  🙂

5 responses to “I toppled my self-created brick wall!

  • David Weymouth

    Very cool. Well done. Congratulations!


    I have researched this same line because it is possible that Aaron is my 2nd great grandfather. My great grandfather, James Seymour Day, was born July 2, 1822 in Rome, New York to Aaron Day and Sophia Joslin. They were never married and James was raised by Sophia’s sister and husband, name of Leroy. James used the name Leroy when he signed the register of attorneys in Wisconsin. He practiced law in New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. It is said that Aaron was captain of a sea vessel and never returned from one of his voyages. If I had a DNA test done, would it show if there is a relationship between me and this Aaron Day? Betty Rodengen


    • Lauren Mahieu

      Hi Betty – autosomal DNA tests sometimes will pick up DNA that far back, but a Y-DNA test, which tests the male Y-chromosome, would let you know if there is a relationship. Does James have any male descendants also with the name of Day? (In other words, his son’s, son’s, son, etc?)

  • Barbara Rodgers

    Oh how exciting! I’m so happy for you! I guess that’s why genealogical experts are always stressing the importance of going back to the original record. 🙂

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