28 August 2014

Does a Death Certificate Provide Evidence of an Employer Relationship?

An article on CNN/Money references a lawsuit filed by the heirs of "Aunt Jemima."

The family of "Aunt Jemima," Anna S. Harrington, filed suit against Quaker Oats, etal. saying they have not been paid money that should have been theirs based upon the company's use of Harrington's image. The purpose of this blog post is not to discuss the merits of this case, whether the case has any valid base, or whether it should have been filed years ago.

This is the item from the article that struck my interest purely as a genealogist:

Harrington's family, according to the complaint, filed the suit after it was able to obtain a death certificate that listed Quaker Oats as Harrington's employer.

Having used a number of death certificates and having a good idea of how information is obtained for those records, I'm not certain I would say that a certificate provides solid evidence of an employer-employee relationship.

That's the point of this post. Would you use one item from a death certificate as solid proof in the way the article indicates?

(off topic responses to this thread will not be published).

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