Using Obituaries for Genealogy Research

Obits provide all kinds of information!

Obituaries provide a great deal of information, and these notices can be found either in newspaper or funeral home records.  In this case study, the second case here that puts a little baby back with her family in everyone’s tree.

This notice found in the Sallisaw, Oklahoma Star Gazette for August 29, 1913 tells of Mrs Miranda Rich.

Miranda had been staying with her sister Mrs. Bentley, for some time.

This clearly provides for a family connection and names of other involved with the arrangements.

This entry tells us the precise day she was buried and the location.

Mrs. Miranda Rich

Newspaper write-ups about the family and places are great sources for finding burial and cemetery information.  Often, these provide so many other clues. In this record we learned that Miranda had been sick for some time with the “lingering illness of consumption.”

I’ve used the cause of death in a number of search patterns to discover that several in my family had been diabetic. I’ve found that even young children have it recorded on the death certificate so it seems to be a problem in my entire family.  This can help in looking at health issues for other family members.

The brother of Geneosity’s founder in fact passed at a young age from the lung disease Cystic Fibrosis.  This genetic condition was poorly understood until about 40 years ago.  Looking back at generations of family members that died young revealed several likely occurrences of this disease before it could be properly diagnosed.  These individuals were listed as having asthma, acute respiratory illness and other lingering problems.

She had no name in the paper!

This obituary from Sallisaw, Oklahoma from the same newspaper states that “On the 16th day of August, 1913, the death angel visited the home of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Graham and took from among our midst the little daughter of Elmer and Ella Boydston.” So this makes me think the little girl was with other family members or maybe friends.

It also states that her parents were Elmer and Ella Boydston.

This little girl depending on her age will be hard to track down without a name. The census in 1910, if she was old enough would be the only help. Maybe if another article could be found in the paper it would be have been helpful. So I got lucky, this may help others.

I did not know her name but I put in the death date, the last name from her parents, and Sallisaw, Oklahoma in Ancestry and it took me to her in Find A Grave. She was not showing up in any of the census records.

She was only one year old!

The only thing that I could use to match her up with the newspaper article was the part at the end that told me she was only around a year old (which I did not put together to start with). This is Mabel Boydston born May 13, 1912 and passed away on August 16, 1913.

I’m very happy that they listed the parents because that gives me some proof. Why is this important to me? Because she is not connected to any one on Find A Grave or Ancestry trees. So this will help add her back in with her family.

Find A Grave

She has a headstone in Find A Grave, but with her not showing up on a census no one has her in any of their trees. So now I’m off to help a few people out by fixing some of this, and giving this baby a family to be remembered for.

And while I’m there as always, I added some flowers for her on Find A grave and added in her Obit so it would help others some. I also put all of the information on so that it will help her family trees out as well. Always try to help others when you find information like this. This is why I like reading the newspapers so much.

Always record your sources!  Download the Geneosity Research Source Record form here.

Meet Mrs. Ellizabeth Lynn 1799-1890

Obit: Alabama Enquirer (Hartselle, Alabama) 21 Aug. 1890 reads:

“Died, Aug 10th 1890, Mrs. Elizabeth Lynn. She was the daughter of Sam & Lucretia Kyle, born in South Carolina, January 27th 1799 and moved to Madison County Georgia, and the moved to Madison County, Ala. 1812 and married William Lynn in 1817 moved to Morgan county in 1818 and died at her brother Grant T. Kyles 5 miles East of Somerville.”

“She leaves one brother, two sisters, five sons, two daughters, and a host of grand and great grand children & connection and friends to mourn her loss. She was raised in the Methodist church and was a member of Antioch Somerville Circuit, when she departed this life. She expressed a willingness to die and was ready to meet her God in peace. She was a Christian sister kind to all.”

“She was a wife indeed and a devoted mother and a pious grand mother, and an exceptional aunt. She has gone to rest to await the final of the faithful. She crossed the River quiet and gentle, and her remains were laid in the mother earth near her brothers home to await the resurrection where all will be peace and joy and gladness. May God bless us all and save us to meet our dear aunt in that home of Glory. Her Nephew, C. W. Kyle.”

This obit was great! It had all kinds of information and would help a great deal not only with the family, but the newspaper told all the places that she had lived. I looked for her first in Find A Grave and didn’t find her. I had decided she was buried and had no headstone for a while or even a cemetery. After I did some research though I did end up finding her and she is buried in the Kyle family cemetery, that I guess is on the family land.

This obituary article also provided the number of family members to match that with the year and see if there are other facts that need to be looked at. Happy hunting as always and don’t forget to read the newspapers.