Vital Records are so important in genealogical research. It helps to know when the state began to require record Birth, Marriage, and Death to be recorded. Be aware that a death record does NOT mean that death certificate was required or recorded. In Alabama, the years are: Birth – 1908 | Marriage – 1936 | …
Genealogists LOVE Obituaries
Obituaries are filled with wonderful pieces of information such as place of birth, parents names, spouse, children, grand-children. I personally love reading the “old” obits which often would tell the sad story of what caused the death. I once read one that basically said that the poor young man had been stupid (he was killed in an accident) otherwise he’d be alive that day and not a sorrow to his dear mother.
BUT do not assume that all “facts” in an obituary are accurate.
Is there a relative who never had any children of their own, had no siblings and died owning enough property to require a probate or an estate settlement?
If so, the records of that settlement may be particularly interesting. The deceased person’s heirs-at-law typically would have been their first cousins or their first cousin’s descendants. Even if there was a will, these heirs-at-law typically would have had to have been notified of the probate. Those records could help determine relationships and indicate where people were living at the time the relative died.
These estate or probate records would typically be filed at the local court level.
© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 06 Sep 2012..
When a document is located on a relative, look at the pages before and after the document for additional references to your relative. Deeds sometimes get recorded in “batches,” when it is realized that they were forgotten. Children sometimes get baptized in groups when a minister finally arrives or someone decides it is time.
And occasionally there is a supplemental death certificate when a correction needs to be made.
Indexes will take you to a direct, exact page. It’s up to you to turn a few pages before and after that page to see if there’s an additional find.
© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 3 Sep 2012.
Always analyze a date in the context of other events taking place at about the same time. In comparing the death date of my great-grandfather with the date the will was brought to court for recording, I realized the dates were close–the date of death was 1 February and the will was brought for recording on 3 February. The time frame was even closer than I thought.
The great-grandfather died on a Saturday and on the following Monday the potential executor brought the will to be recorded. This was the first business day after the ancestor died–meaning that there wasn’t really any delay at all–the executor didn’t mess around.
© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 25 Jul 2012.