On this day: the Benjamin N. Ogles

On this day, Benjamin N. Ogle and his grandson Ben N. Ogle passed away, 102 years apart.

Benjamin N. Ogle was born about 1815 in Delaware and passed away 27 Apr 1889 in Delaware City, Delaware. He was the son of Howard Ogle and Charlotte. He married Clara Matthews in 1841. He was a carpenter and for many years was the superintendent of the Delaware and Chesapeake canal. He and his wife had five children in Delaware City: Josephine, Anna, Lucy, Sarah and William, who was Ben N. Ogle’s father.

Thomas N. Ogle went to Delaware City this morning to visit his brother, Benjamin Ogle, who is lying very ill, with but little hopes of his recovery. He is 74 years of age, and for many years has been the superintendent of the Delaware and Chesapeake canal. He has always been faithful in the discharge of his duties, and his present dangerous illness is attributed to the exposure he has been obliged to undergo in attending to them.
Thomas Ogle visits his brother Benjamin Ogle, on his death bed (Wilmington Daily Republican 4/23/1889)

Ben N. Ogle was born 20 Jun 1918 in Trinidad, Colorado and died 27 Apr 1991 in San Bernardino, California. He was the only son of William M. Ogle & Margaret McDougal. His parents separated early in his life and when he moved to California with his mother around 1920 or 1921, his father stayed behind in Colorado where he was a physician for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.

Ben N. Ogle, 72, of San Bernardino died of cancer Saturday at his home. Ogle, a native of Trinidad, Colo., lived in San Bernardino for 70 years.
Ben N. Ogle obituary, San Bernardino County Sun (4/30/1991)


Was Annie Ogle the informant on her own death certificate?

The informant: it is one of the most important sections of a death certificate. It provides an indication of the accuracy of the personal and familial history of the subject. If it was a sister or brother, then the parents’ names are likely, but not always, correct. If it was a parent, then the parents’ names are probably correct and the birth date might be trusted. If it was a spouse, we would like to trust the information but should be skeptical. If it was someone at the nursing home, hospital or funeral home, then all bets are off.

But what if the informant was the dead person herself?

Here is the name and address of the deceased:


Here is the name and address of the informant:


This is the first time I have come across this. I don’t know how common it is. I imagine that whoever filled out this section must have questioned Annie C. Ogle prior to her death (and not after!)  and used the information she provided.

The information about her parents agrees with other sources. The only new information on this death certificate besides the date and place of death is her birthdate and given the close relationship of the informant to the deceased I’ll accept it. For now.



Annie C. Ogle Death 1917

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Registered No. 31515

Place of death: 2306 Adam St, Ward 31, Philadelphia

Full name: Annie C. Ogle
Sex: F
Color or race: W
Date of birth: Aug 27 1845
Age: 72 yrs
Occupation: Retired
Birthplace: Delaware
Name of father: Benjamin N. Ogle
Birthplace of father: Delaware
Name of mother: Clara A. Mathiews
Birthplace of mother: Delaware
Informant: Miss Annie C. Ogle, 2306 E. Adam St.
Date of Death: Dec 31, 1917
Burial: St. Georges Cem. Del, Jan 5, 1918
Undertaker: Wm. H. Eppley, 3200 Fkd ave

Original source citation:
Pennsylvania, Department of Health, death certificate 31515 (1924), Annie C. Ogle; Division of Vital Records, New Castle.