31 December 2012

Progress at end of 2012

     The year 2012 is at an end tonight. I have not made any posts for several months and for that I apologize. No resolutions for 2013, but I do have a few goals for the pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index:

• Add at least 50,000 more entries.
• Ideally, I'd like to hit 500,000 entries by the end of the year, but 450,000 seems more realistic.
• Blog at least once a week, if not twice a week.
• Post more information on sources of pre-1920 deaths in Oklahoma.

     Here are a few highlights from 2012:

• Ended the year with 402,442 entries.
• Finished Dawes Enrollment Cards for Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Tribes.
• Finished all cemeteries I have been able to track down on-line and at OHS Library.
• Added thousands from death notice/obit info, mainly from Ardmore, Antlers, and Beaver newspapers.
• Added 8200+ records from the OKC Death Record Volume 1. Only 3100 more records to go!
• Added thousands of records from County Probate Record Indices (available on Familysearch.org).

     Sources I will "attack" in 2013:

• The rest of the County Probate Record Indices at Familysearch.org.
• Finish the OKC Death Record Volume 1.
• Tulsa Funeral Home records.
• Rose Hill Burial Park (in OKC) sexton's records.
• Finish obits in the Beaver Herald (1915-1920).
• Continue extracting obit/death info from the Daily Ardmoreite (in 1902 currently).
• Find records  for or visit missing cemeteries.
• Probate records for counties that do not have indices with years included.

     Let me know what you think of the blog and of the death index! Happy New Year!!!

29 August 2012

What's In a Name?

     I once heard a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

"I won't trust a man who can't spell his name at least three different ways."

     I guess that kind of sums up most of the problems in genealogy and not being able to find our ancestors. I hear so many people claim that their family was "missed" on the census. I guess they never head this quote!

     In going through the Dawes Rolls Creek packets, I came across an interesting transcript. One of the "chiefs" of a village gave an explanation, under oath, of how names were dealt with. Children were given their father's name if they lived in the father's village and mother's name if in her village. To complicate things more, there were separate rules if the husband or wife was Cherokee living in the Creek nation or vice/versa.

     The most interesting statement I read was the "chief's" identification of a child's father. He gave the father's name he was known by. And then he also gave the dad's Creek name. AND he went on to identify the man's Warrior name. So each Creek male had a "White" name, a "Creek" name, and a "Warrior" name. A genealogist unaware of this naming system is doomed!

     Perhaps the Creeks took Thomas Jefferson's supposed quote too seriously :)

26 August 2012

Duplication of Records???...So What!!!

     My purpose for the Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index database is to accumulate as many references to pre-1920 Oklahoma deaths as I can find. I have been chastised for having duplicate entries, for wasting my time, etc. One person thought it was "stupid" to extract information from a published cemetery book and then go walk the cemetery, including deaths from both sources, most being duplicates. What that person doesn't realize is that although many of the entries are duplicates, many entries have slightly different name spellings or death dates. Often I see new stones for previously unmarked graves and the published book has old stones that have disappeared or become unreadable over time. In Tyner's "Our People and Where They Rest" 12 volume set, most entries have only birth and death year. A reading of the actual tombstone will often add month and day to those years.

     To illustrate what I see as the great value to my database, here are two entries. One entry was added last year from a findagrave.com. The other is from a newspaper article extract:

Hughes, George Vaughan  32 years  buried Coalgate Cemetery (no death date on old stone)

Hughes, George V.  died Saturday at Weston TX. Buried Coalgate Cemetery  [from the Wayne OK Gazette 26 Nov 1909 p1 c6]

     Neither source provides the same information. from the tombstone we have an age with no reference point since there is no death date or death year. From the death notice, we have a death date (I would need to look up the paper and see the publication date to determine the death day), death location and burial location. Combine the two and we now have a good idea of the life span of George V. Hughes and a better idea of what records would available on him and which ones to search.

     With my alphabetical death index, I can easily find and match multiple references for one individual. The more sources, the more information and better the information is substantiated.

13 July 2012

     I just added 14,249 new records:

- 1200 death notices/obits from the Beaver Herald
     (still have 1910 through 1919 to extract)

- 1400 death notices/obits from the Daily Ardmoreite
     (still have 1903 through 1919 to extract)

- 6000+ deaths from Creek by Blood Dawes Enrollment cards
     (still have 1100 cards to go through)

- 4000+ deaths from Creek Freedmen Dawes Enrollment cards
     (still have 100 cards to go through)

-1000+ deaths from Chaney Funeral Home of McAlester OK books
     (still have vols 1-3, 9B and 10 to go through)

These are my current ongoing projects. As smaller sources become available, I take time off to do through those sources.

After I finish the Creek records, I will still have Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee card to go through.

*** Current Total:  353,507  pre-1920 Oklahoma deaths!! ***

20 June 2012

Here's an update of "projects" I'm currently working on:

Beaver Herald (from Chronicling America)
 - currently at July 1908 (over 1000 entries so far)

Daily Ardmoreite (from Chronicling America)
 - currently at May 1902 (over 1300 entries so far)

Gardens of Stone: Cemeteries of Harper County OK
 - have T through Z to finish

Dawes Commission Enrollment Cards
 - working on Creek Indians...have finished Creeks by Blood and am now working in Creek Freedmen. (over 4000 entries so far)
 - finished Seminole Indians...all records on Fold3 checked.

Rose Hill Burial Park in OKC
- going through sexton's card file...finished through surnames starting with J.

 Soon I will have some comments on Indian records created by the Dawes Cimmission. And I won't make you wait five months for the next post!