recently added a whole slew of new records from the state of Arkansas, including new birth, marriage and death records. Here is the death certificate for my grand uncle William Thomas Graham, who died one hundred years ago today.

Death certificate for William Thomas Graham, 1920.

1. Place of Death: Watts, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

2. Full Name: William Thomas Graham

3. Sex: Male

4. Color or Race: White

5. Marital Status: Married.

William was married to Virgie Viola Copeland on 4 November 1917 and they had two children together, son Erman Z. Graham and daughter Pernie W. Graham. Erman was two years old and Pernie was just seven months old when their daddy died.

6. Date of Birth: 21 January 1894.

This is yet another variation of William’s birth date. The 1900 census reported his birth as January 1893. His 1917 draft card reported it as 20 February 1894. His card in the Veterans Master Index recorded 20 January 1894. Which one is correct? No way to know for certain, but I prefer 20 January 1893 in my tree.

7. Age: 26 years, 7 months, 21 days.

This was calculated from the birth and death dates on this form.

8. Occupation: Farmer

9. Birthplace: The certificate reads Searcy, Arkansas, but to be clear, this is Searcy County, not the city of Searcy.

10. Name of father: John Henry Graham

William’s parents, John and Mary Graham.

11. Birthplace of father: What does that say? Allabamy? I suspect that’s supposed to be Alabama, but John was actually born in Texas.

12. Maiden name of mother: Mary Matildy Bohanan.

13. Birthplace of mother: Searcy, Arkansas. Again, the county not the city.

14. Informant: F. M. Kimbrell, Watts, Arkansas.

That would be Francis Marion Kimbrell, but call him Frank.

15. Filed: 23 September 1920 by M? G. Griffin, Registrar.

16: Date of death: 12 September 1920.

17. Doctor’s affidavit: Dr. W. W. Heard attended the deceased from 6 September until 12 September, last saw him alive on the 12th, and death occurred on that date at 11 a. m. The cause of death was acute yellow atrophy of the liver. This can be caused by a fulminant viral infection or exposure to toxic materials. Liver failure could also lead to excessive bleeding since the liver stops making enough platelets to form clots. So, the family story that William died of a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop is only half true. He may have had a nosebleed, but that was a symptom of the liver failure that actually killed him.

18. Residence: Watts.

19: Place of burial: Mainord Cemetery, no date given. Mainord is one of the former names of the cemetery currently called Rambo. William was actually buried elsewhere, at Shady Grove Cemetery.

Bibliography, Arkansas, Death Certificates, 1914-1969 (Lehi, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2019),,, Arkansas Department of Vital Records; Little Rock, Arkansas; Death Certificates; Year: 1920; Roll: 4. Record for William Thomas Graham.

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 05 September 2020), memorial page for William Thomas Graham (20 Feb 1894–12 Sep 1920), Find a Grave Memorial no. 43001725, citing Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by nancy weaver (contributor 46992548) .

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, August 12). Liver. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:21, September 5, 2020, from

“Acute yellow atrophy.” Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Sep. 2020.