15 December 2010

16 Civil War Veterans Identified!

One of my reasons for starting this pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index was to help in identifying Civil War veterans' graves. As a member of the Sons of Union Veterans (SUVCW) National Graves Registration Committee, and as the Graves Registration Officer for the Department of Oklahoma, it is my job to locate and identify the graves of Civil War veterans.

So this past weekend I spent about an hour scrolling through the index in the file that covers surnames A through E. Starting at the end of the file and scrolling upwards, I was able to identify 16 men as veterans of the Civil War. Now these are men NOT among the 13,000+ already identified (all buried in Oklahoma).

They are:

- Dougherty, William B. Capt 33 OH Inf Hennessey Cemetery, Kingfisher Co.
- Doutheit, Levi Pvt E 2 AR Inf Cummings Cemetery, Pottawatomie Co.
- Dowling, Finton Pvt A 18 IA Inf Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln Co.
- Doyle, William Pvt F 18 IA Inf Vaughn Cemetery, LeFlore Co.
- Doyle, John B. Pvt K 18 IA Inf Green Hill Cemetery Muskogee Co.
- Dukes, John F. Pvt E 16 MO Cav & E 6 MO PEM New Mellette Cemetery, McIntosh Co.
- Dunlap, Robert W. Pvt A 6 MO Inf CSA Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland, Pawnee Co.
- Derr, John J. Transport Service QM Dept US Vols Cashion Cemetery, Kingfisher Co.
- Easley, John T. Pvt E,G 9 TN Cav Retrop Cemetery, Washita Co.
- Echols, Charles E. Pvt E 59 USC Inf Lewisville Cemetery, Haskell Co.
- Edgar, Sylvester C. Pvt F 17 KY Cav Canute Cemetery, Washita Co.
- Elder, Thomas Confederate Army Old Canute Cemetery, Washita Co.
- Eschler, John Pvt F 5 MO Cav & Pvt F Benton Hussars MO Cav Independence Cemetery, Custer Co.
- Evans, Haiden W. Pvt H 14 MO Cav & Pvt D 76 MO EM Oakley Cemetery, Dewey Co.
- Evans, William M. Pvt C 23 IA Inf Carnegie/Oak Grove Cemetery, Caddo Co.
- Ewing, William Pvt D 145 IL Inf Rossville, Lincoln Co.

I can't imagine how many "new" veterans I'll find when I finish the entire alphabet. The one that really excites me is William M. Evans. He served in the same regiment as my ancestor, Sylvester Gridley Beckwith.

09 December 2010

"Col." equals Colonel???

In copying some cemetery records and also some info from obit indices, I came across several people whose names, depending on the arrangement of given names and surnames, were preceded or followed by the abbreviation "Col."

To anyone with any experience in genealogy, and especially with military history, this abbreviation has one specific meaning. "Col." stands for the rank of Colonel.

HOWEVER... "Col." did usually mean Colonel, but it did not always indicate a rank. A military veteran who had achieved prominence later in civilian life was often referred to "Colonel". This was often the case even for men who served in the military at the rank of private.

There is another possibility, though. "Col." might be an abbreviation for "colored". This term was often used for blacks. Negroes were often called "colored". The term "Adrican-American" had not yet surfaced.

So if you see an entry in an index preceded or followed by "Col.", do not assume it refers to military rank. It may be an indication of the person's race!

08 December 2010

Infant Death Statistics

It's been eye-opening going through cemetery records and finding out how many infants/children never made it to adulthood.

In some rural cemeteries, infants comprise up to 90% of the burials. An average of urban and rural cemeteries, from my data collection the past two years, is in the 40% to 50% range. And if you look at unmarked graves, infants are the large majority.

Most people ignore the infant siblings/children of their ancestors. BUT...they can often place a couple/family in a location between census years, which helps identify their migrations across the US. So many infants are buried in cemeteries that their parents are not buried in.

I'm thankful for the medical care and vaccinations available today!

05 December 2010

NEW TOTAL: 200,204 Entries!!!!

I started the year with a goal of reaching 150,000 entries by the end of 2010. In about July I revised that to 175,000, and in September to 200,000. Well, as of yesterday, my database of deaths in Oklahoma up to 31 Dec 1919 is now 200,204 entries!

I get easily bored just sitting down watching sports these days (in my old age). So while I watched OU and Nebraska beat on each other, I had my computer on my lap and did "data entry". It's amazing how many entries I was able to type in while watching the game. Over 400 new additions from the Cleveland County probate index are now in the index.

Some call this multitasking. Others blame such actions on ADD or hyperactivity. It's also been referred to as "work-aholism". But I simply love "doing genealogy". And I'm at my best when compiling records and information.

So by the end of 2010, I expect to have 210,000 entries in my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index. If you need me to check the index for you, email me and I'll do a quick check for free. If it proves useful, a donation would be greatly appreciated. It will help with the cost of gas to go to cemeteries, court houses and libraries around Oklahoma.

03 December 2010

The #1 Oklahoma Genealogy Periodical

In my opinion, from the perspective of the purpose of this blog, my pick for the #1 genealogy periodical for all of Oklahoma is The Tree Tracers. This periodical is published by the Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society (SWOGS) out of Lawton OK.

Each issue is packed full of plenty of information on deaths in SW Oklahoma. In the issues at the Stillwater Publc Library (volumes 19 through 27) are SO MANY records. These include obituaries from Cotton, Jefferson and Comanche Counties; cemetery transcriptions from Cotton, Jefferson, Stephens and Comanche counties; Bible records; queries, pedigree charts and family group sheets; Indian deaths; and many more records.

Don't forget to check out the local genealogical society newsletters. They often include records unique to that locality. If you have ancestors in SW Oklahoma, you are truly blessed to have such a great resource as The Tree Tracers available! It gets my vote for the best genealogy periodical in Oklahoma!

01 December 2010

NEW TOTAL: 194,890 entries!!!

The total number of entries in the pre1920 Oklahoma Death Index has broken the 190,000 entries mark. And since last Saturday I have nearly 4,000 more in my temporary files to add. So sometime in the next two weeks the total will surpass 200,000 entries.

Many entries are from southeastern Oklahoma counties. And nearly 6,000 are from the Indian Pioneer History Papers interviews. My plans for the near future are to finish most of Pittsburg County and finish Garfield County.

Once I finish Pittsburg and Garfield Counties, I plan to take a break and catch up on my Civil War veteran research. As the Graves Registration Officer for the Department of Oklahoma, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), I locate and document graves of both Union and Confederate veterans in Oklahoma. I have entered many men of the right age to have served, and will spend a week or so comparing their entries to entries from the federal Civil War pension index.

If you have questions, please contact me at okdeathindex@hotmail.com!