26 December 2015

End of 2015 UPDATE: 516,102 entries!!!

Tonight I added new entries to my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index:

Cherkee Advocate  23 Dec 1881 through 22 Dec 1882  (131 entries)
City of Tulsa's Oaklawn Cemetery Report  surnames T-Z  (351 entries)
Creek Equalization Records  Full Blood #4059 through #5965  (3072 entries)
Daily Ardmoreite 16 Apr 1908 through 8 Dec 1908   (608 entries)
Daily Ardmoreite  21 Jan 1919 through 28 Jan 1919  (39 entries)
Sac & Fox/Shawnee Estates 1911-1919 [finished 1911-1913]  (183 records)

This is a total of over 4000 more death records/references, bringing the grand total to 516,102 records!

I have finished the records for Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa.

I continue working on extractions from Creek Equalization Records, SacFoxShawnee Estates, Daily Ardmoreite and the Cherokee Advocate.

Recently I traveled to the Lawton Public Library. There I found funeral home records for Lawton, Burial records for Lawton's big Highland Cemetery, and a funeral home record book for Tahlequah OK. Lawton's library has a fairly large collection of Oklahoma records, so I will be making periodic trips there to make extractions.

Tulsa's Hardesty Library also has a large genealogy collection with many books not easily available elsewhere. So I will be making quarterly trips to that Library.

The Native America Collection at the Oklahoma History Center is unrivaled! Ancestry has copied and made available SOME of the collection, and SOME records are on Fold3, but the best complete set of records is at the OHS. I continue to head there just about every Saturday morning to work through the records available.

The Downtown OKC Public Library also has a great Oklahoma genealogy/history collection. Due to construction and parking issues, I have not availed myself of their collection the past year. When those issues are solved, I will be there once a week looking for records unavailable elsewhere.

So my "project" is progressing. I have set a goal of 565,000 entries by the end of 2016. That will be a tall order at over 4000 records per month, but is doable. So until next time....May your research result I break throughs!

05 July 2015

Blog Update: 495,148 Entries

In the past 5 months, I have been active extracting information for record sources and entering that data into my Pre-1920 Oklahoma Death Index. I've also given talks to the Cleveland County Genealogical Society (at Norman), the Garfield County Genealogists (in Enid) and the Edmond Genealogical Society.

This morning I updated the database and added 4,267 entries. Those entries came from these sources:
  • Creek Equalization Records (1646 entries)
  • Choctaw County Probates (1192 entries)
  • Tulsa's Oaklawn Cemetery burial printout, surnames A-E (830 entries)
  • Tulsa's Rose Hill Memorial Park tombstones from the east half of cemetery (7 entries)
  • The Cherokee Advocate newspaper (283 entries)
  • Edmond's Gracelawn Cemetery tombstones (316 entries)
  • Blue County, Choctaw Nation probate records (238 entries)
  • Cheyenne/Arapaho Agency Deaths, Births, Adoptions and Guardianships (209 entries)
In total, this represents about 100 hours of work, including extracting and entering.

I will continue extracting records. Over the next few months I will be researching how to get this database on-line. My plans are to have it available on a subscription basis. I have consulted with a few librarians on what they see as a reasonable/viable price point. I'd like to hear from some individuals on what you think would be a reasonable subscription price for individuals. What would be a reasonable yearly price? Should I also offer a monthly price? Or even a one time/daily price?

Currently the database has 495,148 entries. At my current extraction and entry rate I should have about 505,000 entries by the end of the year.

08 March 2015

Native American Death Records

It is interesting that I have been told for the past 39 years of doing genealogy that "You just can't find any vital records for Native Americans (Indians) before statehood in Oklahoma". I have talked with officials at the Iowa Tribe (when working on my Payne County OK Cemetery Index) and the Pawnee Tribe (when working on my Pawnee County OK Cemetery Index) and in both cases was told that no vital records were kept for their tribes.

Well...for the past 2 years or so I have spent one to 2 hours just about every Saturday at the Oklahoma History Center reading page by page through microfilmed records of the various Indian Agencies. And you wouldn't believe the types and wealth of vital records! Since I'm interested in deaths, here are some of the types of records microfilmed:

Kiowa Agency correspondence regarding cemeteries
Pawnee Agency Death Record books
Kiowa Agency Report of Death cards
all Agencies: Correspondence on Deaths
all Agencies: Census records (usually list death date if died during census year).
     - these were taken somewhat yearly!
Cheyenne Register of Families
Sac & Fox Record of Births and Deaths
Sac & Fox Estates
Pawnee Guardianships
Ponca Births and Deaths
Pawnee Estates
Pawnee Record of Deaths of Allotees
Otoe Estates
Kaw Agency Deaths
Pawnee Agency: Indian Service Book for Deaths and Births

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I still have hundreds of rolls to go through, but suffice it to say that for pre1920 Indian (Native American) deaths in Oklahoma, the record appears to be much more complete that for pre1920 "white" pioneers and settlers!