22 July 2011

The Tulsa Star

The Tulsa Star was a newspaper in Tulsa from 1913 to at least 1922. Copies have been scanned and scanned images are available at the National Archives "Chronicling Amearica" site.

For the past week I have been extracting notices of death from this newspaper. The unique aspect is that the paper was a Black/Negro/Colored newspaper, so the vast majority of local news articles were about Blacks in Tulsa. At least that is what one would think.

This paper served ALL of northeast Oklahoma and had regular "correspondent" columsn with local news from McAlester, Bartlesville, Okmulgee, Claremore, Boley, Sapulpa, Coweta, and many other towns in Oklahoma.

Most of the death notices simply contain the person's name, death date, perhaps a relationship, date and location of the funeral, and the name of the undertaker/funeral home. BUT...a great source for Tulsans not likely recorded elsewhere.

In all, I was able to find 288 different death notices from 1913 through the end of 1919. Only a few are for the prominent in the community. Many are for infants and those murdered. Many others are from correspondent columns from across northeast Oklahoma or for the Greenwood neighborhood and Gurley Addition in Tulsa.

The search "engine" on Chronicling America leaves much to be desired. In one case I was searching for all occurrences of the word "funeral". It brought up a page with the word funeral highlighted within a death notice. But it failed to recognize the word "funeral" in the headline for another death entry on the same page. So I'm sure I missed many death notices, but that will be the case for all papers I search on-line.

Also added to the index this week are pre1920 burials in Riverside Cemetery at Mangum OK, Fairview Cemetery at Tuttle, and more entries from Oklahoma's Confederate Pension Index cards.

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