An Amended Death Certificate

I never knew my maternal grandfather, Oswville Lem Dukes. Because the purpose of my blog is to share some of my family’s history on significant dates in their lives, I thought I would use this anniversary of his death in 1957 to share his death certificate. That may not seem too exciting, but I think it is a bit unusual because it has an affidavit of amendment as part of the record.

My uncle was the informant and, for some reason, my grandfather’s first and middle names were incorrect on the death certificate. Four years later, my uncle took the family Bible and a birth certificate of one of his younger siblings to offer proof of the error. I can only wonder how the mistake was discovered and if there was a legal reason that it needed to be amended.

Here is the death certificate.[1] Notice there is a stamp “Amendment Attached Mar 28 1961.”


Here is the affidavit for amendment with the changes noted.[2]



Nothing is actually changed on the original document, but the affidavit for amendment is part of the actual document.  The paper is larger than a normal death certificate to accommodate the amendment. I have scanned the document in three parts – the original certificate, and the amendment in two parts deleting personal information (from the birth certificate) for privacy of the living.

Here is a portion of the page from the family Bible that my uncle used as proof for the amendment to his father’s name on the death certificate.[3]

DukesFamily Bible - Birthdates of parents

[1] Florida State Board of Health, amended death certificate no. 10980 (1957), Oswville Lem Dukes, formerly “Owsville Lenville Dukes”; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Jacksonville.

[2] Florida amended death certificate no. 10980 (1957), Oswville Lem Dukes.

[3] Oswville Lem Dukes Family Bible Records, 1887-1966, The Holy Bible (New York: James Pott, 1901), “Births”; privately held by Jay L. Brinson [address for private use,] 2012.

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