04 June 2017

UPDATE: Blog and Indexing are Back on Track!

It has been a Whirlwind past 20 months...one lay off followed by 3 job changes and one retirement from a profession. Now that I have my feet fairly firmly set again, I will start posting again to this blog.

During this time period, I did NOT stop extracting records for my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index. Today I added 4400+ more entries from:
- The Daily Ardmoreite (1910-1913)
- The Cherokee Advocate (1882-1906)
- "Fatalities in the Coal Mines of Indian Territory and Southeastern Oklahoma 1885-1962" by   
   Thurman Shuller (NOTE: this includes records from churches in SE Oklahoma)
- Woodward News 15 & 24 June 1894

This brings the total of the dataset to 539,363 entries!!

In the next queue I already have:
- 150+ entries from the Altus Times (1907-1909)
- 17,000+ entries from OK2Explore for 1908-1909-1910
- 5000+ entries from OK2Explore for 1915

I will not be adding the OK2Explore records to the database until I have finished all years 1908-1919.

That will be  a total of 125,592 records, all from the "official" OKlahoma State Department of Health's Index of Deaths (which is available on-line, but has TONS of mistakes in it).

Hopefully I will have them all done by the end of 2017.

My plan is to add a new blog post every Wednesday.

So until next time...Good Hunting!!

31 March 2016

Recent Progress...Another 5,488 Records!!

Over the month of March 2016 I have added another 5,488 records to my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index. This includes:
  • Daily Ardmoreite  17 Jan 1910-16 Feb 1910  (62 records)
  • Daily Ardmoreite  30 Nov 1894-26 Aug 1895  (289 records)
  • Cherokee Advocate (Tahlequah) 5 Jan 1883-21 Oct 1893  (363 records)
  • Creek Equalization Records  Creek #8279-#9290  (2,451 records)
  • Harvey Funeral Home (Ardmore)  21 Sept 1898-7 Nov 1904  (1,185 records)
  • J. Wood Taliaferro Funeral Home (Ardmore) 31 May 1918-31 Dec 1919 (96 records)
  • St. Clair Funeral Home (Lawton)  2 Aug 1916-26 Aug 1918  (617 records)
  • South Cemetery (Ardmore) Sexton's Records  1900-1905  (410 records)
  • Woodward Star  1 June 1894 & 29 Aug 1894-19 Sept 1896 (15 records)
My plans for the next several months are to focus on:
  1. Daily Ardmoreite obits and Harvey Funeral Home records (Ardmore area deaths);
  2. St. Clair County Funeral Home records, Ritter-Gray Funeral Home records and Highland Cemetery records (Lawton area deaths);
  3. Creek Equalization Records (Creek Indians, but also quite a few Seminoles);
  4. Cherokee Advocate obits (Tahlequah)
I am making a list of sources as they become available and/or as I "discover" them.

This brings the total to 530,439 death references!!

11 February 2016

Status Update: 4637 New Records added!

As of 31 Jan 2016 my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index has 520,739 total entries, up 4637 from Dec 2015!

Record sets I am currently working on are:
  •  Creek Full Blood Equalization Records...This data set is amazing in the number of deaths recorded. I am roughly 2/3 of the way through the complete file and have over 10,700 pre1920 death references. Many of these are multiple entries for the same person from the proofs of heirship for different individuals. Sometimes the dates match, sometimes they don't. In all cases though, death dates or year are provided for many Creek Indians whose deaths are unlikely to be recorded anywhere else.
  • J. Wood Taliaferro Funeral Home of Ardmore OK starting in 1901. So far I have added years 1901 through 1907. These records vary greatly in the information provided. When researching early funeral home records, one must remember that the purpose of the records was not genealogical, not was the purpose medical. The purpose was to make sure information was recorded so the funeral home could collect payment for services rendered. So keep this in mind when you come across very incomplete information. I get frustrated with this data set since often only a month and year is recorded for the death. Also, often the name of the deceased is NOT recorded, only the person or group who ordered the service. On another somber note, I have extracted obits from the Daily Ardmoreite for this time period. Of the 397 records from 1901 through the end of 1907, only 35% have the death referenced in the Ardmoreite.
  • The Daily Armoreite...I have now extracted obits from July 1894 through 25 Oct 1909, and 1 Sept 1918 through 1 Feb 1919. In all that is over 8400 death references in that one newspaper for the 15 year period.
  • Sac & Fox Estates...These records are very time consuming to go through. I have extracted death information through late 1914. I probably have another 2 months of Saturday research to finish this data set. I have put it "on the back burner" until I have finished the Taliaferro Funeral Home records.
  • I have just turned over the "old records" index I created for Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Home in Oklahoma City to the Funeral Home. There are over 30,000 entries covering 1894 through 1966. By indexing ALL their old records, I will likely gain access to the early records held by another funeral home in the OKC metroplex. Combine those records with the Oklahoma Death Register records of 1908 through 1920, then I will have the most complete death index for Oklahoma City with all records in one place.
In  future post I will provide a complete list of sources I am currently researching AND sources on my future "To Do" list. Until then...Be sure to check every source available in your genealogy research!

26 December 2015

End of 2015 UPDATE: 516,102 entries!!!

Tonight I added new entries to my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index:

Cherkee Advocate  23 Dec 1881 through 22 Dec 1882  (131 entries)
City of Tulsa's Oaklawn Cemetery Report  surnames T-Z  (351 entries)
Creek Equalization Records  Full Blood #4059 through #5965  (3072 entries)
Daily Ardmoreite 16 Apr 1908 through 8 Dec 1908   (608 entries)
Daily Ardmoreite  21 Jan 1919 through 28 Jan 1919  (39 entries)
Sac & Fox/Shawnee Estates 1911-1919 [finished 1911-1913]  (183 records)

This is a total of over 4000 more death records/references, bringing the grand total to 516,102 records!

I have finished the records for Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa.

I continue working on extractions from Creek Equalization Records, SacFoxShawnee Estates, Daily Ardmoreite and the Cherokee Advocate.

Recently I traveled to the Lawton Public Library. There I found funeral home records for Lawton, Burial records for Lawton's big Highland Cemetery, and a funeral home record book for Tahlequah OK. Lawton's library has a fairly large collection of Oklahoma records, so I will be making periodic trips there to make extractions.

Tulsa's Hardesty Library also has a large genealogy collection with many books not easily available elsewhere. So I will be making quarterly trips to that Library.

The Native America Collection at the Oklahoma History Center is unrivaled! Ancestry has copied and made available SOME of the collection, and SOME records are on Fold3, but the best complete set of records is at the OHS. I continue to head there just about every Saturday morning to work through the records available.

The Downtown OKC Public Library also has a great Oklahoma genealogy/history collection. Due to construction and parking issues, I have not availed myself of their collection the past year. When those issues are solved, I will be there once a week looking for records unavailable elsewhere.

So my "project" is progressing. I have set a goal of 565,000 entries by the end of 2016. That will be a tall order at over 4000 records per month, but is doable. So until next time....May your research result I break throughs!

05 July 2015

Blog Update: 495,148 Entries

In the past 5 months, I have been active extracting information for record sources and entering that data into my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index. I've also given talks to the Cleveland County Genealogical Society (at Norman), the Garfield County Genealogists (in Enid) and the Edmond Genealogical Society.

This morning I updated the database and added 4,267 entries. Those entries came from these sources:
  • Creek Equalization Records (1646 entries)
  • Choctaw County Probates (1192 entries)
  • Tulsa's Oaklawn Cemetery burial printout, surnames A-E (830 entries)
  • Tulsa's Rose Hill Memorial Park tombstones from the east half of cemetery (7 entries)
  • The Cherokee Advocate newspaper (283 entries)
  • Edmond's Gracelawn Cemetery tombstones (316 entries)
  • Blue County, Choctaw Nation probate records (238 entries)
  • Cheyenne/Arapaho Agency Deaths, Births, Adoptions and Guardianships (209 entries)
In total, this represents about 100 hours of work, including extracting and entering.

I will continue extracting records. Over the next few months I will be researching how to get this database on-line. My plans are to have it available on a subscription basis. I have consulted with a few librarians on what they see as a reasonable/viable price point. I'd like to hear from some individuals on what you think would be a reasonable subscription price for individuals. What would be a reasonable yearly price? Should I also offer a monthly price? Or even a one time/daily price?

Currently the database has 495,148 entries. At my current extraction and entry rate I should have about 505,000 entries by the end of the year.

08 March 2015

Native American Death Records

It is interesting that I have been told for the past 39 years of doing genealogy that "You just can't find any vital records for Native Americans (Indians) before statehood in Oklahoma". I have talked with officials at the Iowa Tribe (when working on my Payne County OK Cemetery Index) and the Pawnee Tribe (when working on my Pawnee County OK Cemetery Index) and in both cases was told that no vital records were kept for their tribes.

Well...for the past 2 years or so I have spent one to 2 hours just about every Saturday at the Oklahoma History Center reading page by page through microfilmed records of the various Indian Agencies. And you wouldn't believe the types and wealth of vital records! Since I'm interested in deaths, here are some of the types of records microfilmed:

Kiowa Agency correspondence regarding cemeteries
Pawnee Agency Death Record books
Kiowa Agency Report of Death cards
all Agencies: Correspondence on Deaths
all Agencies: Census records (usually list death date if died during census year).
     - these were taken somewhat yearly!
Cheyenne Register of Families
Sac & Fox Record of Births and Deaths
Sac & Fox Estates
Pawnee Guardianships
Ponca Births and Deaths
Pawnee Estates
Pawnee Record of Deaths of Allotees
Otoe Estates
Kaw Agency Deaths
Pawnee Agency: Indian Service Book for Deaths and Births

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I still have hundreds of rolls to go through, but suffice it to say that for pre1920 Indian (Native American) deaths in Oklahoma, the record appears to be much more complete that for pre1920 "white" pioneers and settlers!

14 November 2014

Database Progress Update: 479,660 Entries!!

     Yesterday I uploaded 5,411 more entries into my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index database. The grand total is now 479,660 entries!

New entries from these sources:

• Mills Funeral Home Records, Grant Co. OK 1916-1956

Panhandle Pioneers v6 1976

The Geronimo Advocate  Jan 1907-Aug 1912

• Early Cemetery found near Wetumka, Hughes Co. OK ©1977 by Teressa Tyler Daniel

Ottawa County OK Families v1 ©2008, v2 ©2006, v3 ©2007

• “1st Baptist Church Kiowa-Rainey Mountain” (on OHS microfilm)

• “Henryetta Cumberland Presbyterian Church, register of communicants” (OCR#4)

• “ 1st Presbyterian Church of Henryetta” (OCR#4)

The Goingsnake Messenger Feb 1984 v1 #1, Sept 1984 v1 #2, Mar 1895 v2 #1

A History of Tulsa OK: A City With a Personality v2 © 1921

• Custer County Probate Packets #418-#1321  (1910-1922)

• Major County Probate Packets #1-#587   (1907-1921)

• Woodward County Probate Packets #1-#478   (1890s-1914)

Tecumseh Herald  17 June 1893-16 Sept 1893

The Shawnee News Daily  2 Feb 1898-24 Mar 1898

Mulhall Enterprise  5 Oct 1895-25 Sept 1903 and 9 July 1909-22 Dec 1911

Britton Weekly Sentinel  13 Mar 1908-25 Dec 1909

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Estates (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: US Indian Service 1900-1909 allottee deaths (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Estate/Death Documents (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Affidavits as to Lawful Heirs (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Correspondence  (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Affidavits of Heirship (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Notices of Hearing to Determine Heirs (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Letters of Administration (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Estates Book US Indian Service  2 Feb 1915  (in PA#51)

• Ponca Agency: Wills  (in PA#51)

• US Indian Service Book for Deaths and Births 1890-1893  (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Vital Statistics (Kaw & Tonkawa deaths)   (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Vital Statistics (Tonkawa, Kaw & Ponca correspondence) 

(in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies:  Kaw Vital Statistics 1904-1924  (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies:  Otoe Estates 1911-1915  (in PA#51)

• Pawnee & Subagencies: Otoe Vital Statistics 1910-1919: Deaths  (in PA#51)