I went to the newspapers.com website and entered his name “John Tibbits” and the year 1903 along with the state, Michigan.
The only two records that showed up were an estate hearing notice and a list of those who had died. No obituary.
Here’s the results of my first search.
(Click on any image to enlarge it)
Here’s the hearing notice.
This is good information, but I wanted more.
Was there an obituary published? If so, why isn’t it coming up in my search?
We all know that broad searches result in more hits. I could narrow it down to the exact month and year. But, I decided to look for this obituary by going directly to the newspaper itself. I happen to know that this was then a small newspaper, not like a big city paper with dozens of pages.
I brought up the image that took me directly to the page with the notice of his estate hearing. The green arrows indicate the entry for John Tibbits. The red arrow shows you the name of the newspaper, date and page number.
The next thing I did was click on the name of the newspaper, to take me directly to that publication.
Since I had information that John Tibbits died on 3 Oct 1903, I didn’t want that exact date. Obituaries are usually published a day or several days later. In this case, there was no option for 4 Oct 1903 (perhaps that day of the publication hasn’t been scanned yet).
So, I selected 5 Oct 1903. LOOK! Only 6 pages!
Such a small newspaper, so let’s begin with page 1. Although, I generally wouldn’t expect obituaries to appear on the first page.
ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
Right there on page 1, about half way down, in column 5 is a section titled OBITUARY
Would I find John Tibbits’ obituary in that article? Yes!
Here’s a readable close up of John’s obituary.
Now we have a little more information than we got from the death notice, which only gave his name and age. Or, the estate hearing notice, which only gave his name and the date of the hearing in 1903.
I know that John’s wife, Olive Parmelia Hart Tibbits did outlive him (she died in 1915). And I know that he is buried in Armada, Macomb, Michigan at Rose Hill Cemetery, FindAGrave #32188509. I’ve been to that cemetery and taken photos of headstones, including his.
REMEMBER – Just because you don’t find what you’re looking for on your first or second or tenth try, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Try to think of others ways you can search.
I hope this tip has been helpful. I’d love to hear how you may have located a record by thinking outside the box.
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