Friday, May 8, 2020

FRIDAY FINDS ~ The obituary for my paternal 2nd great grandfather, Horace H. Thorp (1836-1907) - Is ALL the information correct?

Spokane Chronicle, column 5, page 3, 22 Feb 1907

Transcription of this obituary:
Horace H. Thorpe, aged 71, died this morning at his residence at 01415 Ash street.  He leaves a brother, Monson Thorpe, residing in this city and three sons, Leo, Damon and Jay Thorpe.  The arrangements for the funeral will be made later.

Horace Henry Thorp is an ancestor that I have been researching for many years.  Just when you think you won’t find another piece of information, something pops up.  You wonder why you haven’t found it before, but are happy to have it.

Here is how I descend from Horace H. Thorp and Catherine C. Dorsey (2nd great grandparents)
Mae Eve Thorp & William V. Gould (great grandparents)
Harry Whipple Gould & Marie Wallace Lindsay (grandparents)
Harry Norman Gould & Patricia Ann Milne (parents)
I was poking around on Ancestry today, you know, kind of not knowing what I wanted to do.  I looked at my hints and saw one for Horace.  It was an obituary on  I went right to my Legacy database, thinking I surely have this obituary.  WHAT?!  No, I don’t.

There it was in the Spokane Chronicle, dated the day of his death.  I knew he was living in Spokane, Washington at the time of his death because I have his death register and death certificate.  I also knew his address at that time was the same one listed in this obituary, 01415 Ash, Spokane, Washington, as stated on his death certificate and the death register.  His brother’s name is Monson Thorp(e) as stated in the obituary.  And, he was 71 years old when he died.

Those are all perfect matches to my Horace.

Where it goes wrong is with the listed names of his sons.  I immediately noticed names that I recognize…..but not as Horace’s sons.  The 3 sons listed in this obituary are Lee, Damon & Jay.  These are Horace’s nephews.  They are the 3 sons of his brother Monson Thorp, Jr. 

Horace’s sons are Vincent F. (1866-1910), Horace H., Jr. (1868-1900), Stephen (1875-?), George S. (1876-1933) and William (1879-1881).

TIP:  This is a perfect example of why we cannot take one piece of information and say that it is conclusive evidence.  How many of us have seen incorrect information on birth, marriage and death certificates, headstones, obituaries and other records?  ALWAYS try to find at least 3 pieces of evidence for any “fact” about your ancestor.

And, by way of example.  Here is an Event list for Horace Thorp, from my Legacy database.  As you can see, I already had LOTS of information about him.  The obituary is my 39th event for his life.
What mistakes have you located in your ancestor’s records?  I’d love to hear about them.

If you are related to anyone mentioned in this blog, please contact me.  I’d love to exchange information.


MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Brick Walls Post #4 - Catherine Dorsey Thorp about 1842-1898 (Horace’s wife)  I still cannot find information on her parents & family

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall



  1. Hi, Diane,

    As you probably know, I live in Spokane. I know Ash Street well, as it is a major arterial running north/south through the city. I have never seen any Spokane address with a zero before the house number though, either currently or historically. I'm guessing it's a typo. Also, even in 1907, it should have been listed as N 1415 or S 1415 Ash. Have you dug through the Spokane directories online at the Internet Archive? It may clarify the address.

    Also, I'd be happy to take a photo of the house for you, and any other locations of interest, including his grave if he was buried here in Spokane.

  2. You may also wish to see if his obituary was published in other Spokane newspapers as well. The Spokesman-Review was another major newspaper at the time, and another was the Spokane Press. All those early ones are microfilmed and were available at our local downtown library branch (which is closed not only due to the virus, but for construction as well). If you can't find them online I can look for them after the library reopens in a couple of years.

  3. Wow! It makes you wonder who provided the information doesn't it? I know a sister-in-law told me that she provided a wrong death date for her mother though. She said there was so much going on and she was mourning the loss and just wasn't thinking straight. But three nephews listed as a sons is a really crazy error.

    1. It sure makes us careful about our "facts." I have an great granduncle who has the complete wrong parents on his death cert. Informant was a friend of his. In this case I suspect that Horace's brother Monson Jr., gave the information and due to stress or grief of whatever, named his own sons instead.

  4. Yes, good to remember that the information is not always reported correctly.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.