Eventually, this problem was solved by a small personal announcement in Trove stating Percy Watkinson had died in Paris, France on January 7, 1907.
So now I just needed to get a death certificate to authenticate it was the man I was seeking. I assumed this would just be a matter of contacting the French Births, Deaths and Marriages, paying some money and “Voila”, there it would be.
The discovery of Percy’s death whereabouts occurred in 2013. The intervening years have been an education as well as a test of patience. When a person dies in Paris the death is registered at the City Hall of the Arrondissement where the death occurs. I had no way of finding out this information as all the people who may have known were deceased.
So, once again, I put Percy to one side and tried to forget about him.
However, from time to time I would type Percy’s name and search in Ancestry or Trove. It seemed to be a hopeless task until this last year, when someone else's family tree popped up and there he was. But was it him?
There were the same parents, but his birthplace was a different country, even though his siblings were born in Germany. I followed it up and there was a place of death. The date of death was the same and the address was in the Tenth Arrondissement.
Armed with this information, I wrote a letter to the City Hall and requested a death certificate, including a stamped self-addressed envelope. Please note that there was no cost involved.
I waited for between six to eight weeks, with frequent trips to our mail box, much to the amusement of my husband. Eventually the envelope arrived and there it was. Now I had positive proof that the certificate was for my man. To add to my joy, one of my fellow classmates in Family Research had found the cemetery where he is buried.
My next trip to Paris will involve a visit to Percy’s grave, but also a visit to the City Hall with a packet of Tim Tams to show my gratitude.
Which do you think is my “One Moment This Year”?
I chose the finding of his place of death, as the rest was the result of that lucky browse.