Here are a couple of examples of those “DUH” moments we all have. And maybe wish we didn’t. The idea for this post came from a fellow genealogist who shared her moment.
Several years ago I was trying desperately to locate the death record and/or burial location of my 2nd great grandmother, Susan Caroline BOGGS. She was born in 1842 in Lawrence Co., Ohio (daughter of William Allen BOGGS and Nancy Delilah LUNSFORD) and died in 1913. Along the way she married James Gillen HUNTER with whom she had 9 children and after his death she married William CRESSE.
At least that’s the information I had. Some of that information was found in my research, other information was from the journal of names & dates kept by her granddaughter (my maternal grandmother). Other information was taken from a handwritten obituary found among my grandmother’s effects.
Here is that record.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
So why couldn’t I locate a death record for her?
I have notes of my various research strategies beginning in 2006. I even sent a death certificate request to the State of Ohio, based on the information I had. NO RECORD FOUND.
THE BREAK THROUGH….SLAP MY FOREHEAD MOMENT
I had placed the obituary document in page protectors back in 2006. One day in 2008, I realized I had never scanned the document.
I take it out of the page protectors to scan it and…………….DRUM ROLL……….when I turned over page 3 there on the back was the following:
“OBITUARY OF S. C. HANKINS”
WHAT? She married a third time? Is that what this means?
Yes, that’s exactly what that meant. My next steps were:
- Check the Ohio Historical Society Death Index – Found her listed in Volume 1017, cert #13435 and the date of death listed exactly as my grandmother had it in her journal. I sent for her death certificate immediately.
- Sent an email to the Service Director for Miamiville, Ohio, where the death index had indicated she died. I received an email in return verifying she was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Section B, Lots 128. The email from the very kind Director included photos of her headstone and the headstone next to her which was her oldest son. Surprise! I didn’t know where Clyde was buried until I received this information.
Here is her death certificate, verifying all I had learned.
I was given permission to share this situation by a fellow genealogist in a group I belong to on Facebook called The Lawrence Register. We are a group of people with ancestors from Lawrence County, Ohio.
Here is the exact entry she shared with us.
“Sometimes you just want to smack yourself up side the head, kick yourself in the butt and yell stupid!!! My gr-grandfathers 2nd marriage was recorded in the family bible so I never bothered sending for the original certificate. I have been trying to 20 years to find his mothers maiden name. 20 years. It is on the original certificate. Don't know whether to jump for joy or bang my head against the wall. Maybe I'll do both.”
- Just because we have names & dates in our family Bible, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still seek records to give further proof. What if the person making those Bible entries was wrong?
- Scan ALL documents BEFORE you put them safely away in binders, page protectors or files.
- Look at every document you receive from anyone or any place. Look at it again and then look at it a third or fourth time.
- For gosh sakes – turn pages over and look on the back.
- Maybe it’s time to take another look at your documents or Bibles?
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
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SURPRISE! A BIRTH RECORD WHERE IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE
EVERNOTE - A VERY USEFUL AND FREE TOOL TO HELP YOU ORGANIZE GENEALOGY AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Copyright © 2014 Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION
All such great lessons to learn and relearn and we all sure do it. This makes me think that I need to pull some of my stuff out and take another look.ReplyDelete
It was a good lesson Michelle. I'm sure I still have documents I need to look at again.Delete
I found that not only should you scan all of your documents, you should also transcribe it word-for-word. I spent years looking for the death certificate of my husband's grandfather, waiting for the Missouri Deaths to get to the 1960's. Well, he wasn't in them! Re-reading and transcribing the obituary found he had died in a nursing home in Pittsburg, Kansas (which isn't that far from Joplin MO where he lived before and is buried).ReplyDelete
That's so true Lisa. We often miss things in our excitement at having found a document or just because there's so much information to take in. Transcribing is definitely a good way to really take in every detail.Delete
Yikes! Thanks for sharing your story. Great tips that will hopefully help us avoid some mistakes!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the comment Dana. I hope the same thing.Delete
This has definitely happened to me! I wrote about one such occurrence on my blog here: http://whereyoucamefrom.blogspot.com/2013/11/blind-spots.htmlReplyDelete
I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/11/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-november-21.html
Have a wonderful weekend!
Woohoo! Thanks Jana. It's always an honor. You have a wonderful weekend too.Delete