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.

No comments:

Post a Comment