As happy as I am that I finally have some concrete information about what happened to my great-grandmother, Josephine Burton Ford, the documents that laid the mystery to rest have also raised more questions.
I did a happy dance when I received her funeral record which listed May 15, 1922 as her date of death, the following day as her date of burial, and Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi as her final resting place. But when I ordered her death certificate based on this new information, it listed May 25, 1922 as her date of death. The doctor who signed the death certificate even stated that he’d last seen Josephine alive on May 24th. That’s more than a week after the May 16th funeral date indicated on the funeral record.
And speaking of doctors, did the same Dr. A.B. Powell who is the certifying physician for the funeral record also sign the death certificate? His name is very clear on the Bradford O’Keefe Funeral record, but less so on the Mississippi State death certificate. Another discrepancy between the two documents is Josephine’s age. She’s 46 on the funeral record and 44 on the death certificate. What can account for all of these inconsistencies?
At least I know where she is buried…sort of. When I saw on the funeral record that she was interred at Evergreen Cemetery, I thought for sure it would just be a matter of a phone call to determine what plot she was buried in. Three phone calls later to the city, the funeral home and the county record department, none of them had a record of a plot in that cemetery with her name on it. They do have several unknown persons buried in plots near Josephine’s mother, Temple Burton and brother, Alfred Burton Stuart. I assume one of those unknown plots could be her. But how can I ever know for certain which one if any is her? Just when I thought Josephine was found, she’s kind of lost again.