31 January 2013

Oklahoma Probate Records Now On-Line!!!

     Familysearch.org has now scanned and made available on-line early probate records for most of Oklahoma. The amount and types of probate records vary by county depending on what records the LDS Church microfilm crews were allowed to film. Several counties have indexes included in scanned files!

     When looking for death dates, don't limit your searches to just estate and will files. I have found death dates of parents in guardianship files. A death date can also be roughly determined from the Appearance Docket (death before the filing date, but close to that filing date).

     Nearly all counties have SOME scanned files. So below are those counties for which NO files are accessible:

Coal              Grady           Love              Sequoyah
Craig             Johnston       Murray
Creek           Kiowa          Osage
Garfield         Lincoln         Pawnee

     There is also one county that no longer exists that had files: Day County. This county covered all or parts of Ellis, Roger Mills and Dewey counties before statehood.

To access these files go to Family Search at this URL:


27 January 2013

Oklahoma City Death Record Books

     Several years ago two volumes of OKC death records were donated to the Oklahoma History Center. The OHS has finally ironed out the problems with digitizing the oversized volumes and have put the two volumes covering 1908 through 1924 onto a single CD. Work is in progress to extract information into a searchable database with basic information from the two volumes.

     The information in records is amazing. Included are:
• Name
• Death location
• Gender and race
• Birth date and/or age (usually age)
• Marital status
• Birth place (usually just the state)
• Names of parents and their birth places (states)
• Occupation (usually left blank)
• Death date
• Cause of death
• Contributing cause of death
• Place of burial (cemetery if local, city if elsewhere)
• Funeral Home
• Date record was filed
• Comments column (usually for homicide, auto death, suicide, or WWI service info)

    As you can see, there is a wealth of information in these death volumes. I have extracted information for the 11,638 deaths that occurred before 1920. These records will soon be incorporated into my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index.

     Suprisingly, 40 records were recorded after 1 Jan 1920! Most of these were WWI reburials (disinterred in France for burial in OKC) or disinterments from elsewhere to Fairlawn Cemetery or Rose Hill Cemetery in OKC. Even though entries start on 17 Feb 1908, there are 12 deaths recorded for people who died before 1908. The earliest recorded death is for L.C. Hubbell aged 17y who died 14 June 1893 at Monroe City LA and was disinterred to Fairlawn Cemetery in May 1921.

     Keep a look out for these records to be available at the OHS in the not too distant future. Also, for the time being I am doing free look ups from my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index which now has over 410,000 entries.