Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Using Online Ohio Death Records to Solve Genealogical Problems — Part II

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent the past weekend searching the Ohio Death Records images as a participant in FamilySearch Lab's, Pilot for Family Search-Record Search Program. I haven't yet told you the coolest part of all. The Ohio Death Records have a pretty nifty feature. You can search by a spouse's name, a father's name, a mother's name, or any combination of the three.

So think about this for a second. How many times have you been researching a family and the females of the family simply disappear? Did they get married? Did they die? Did they join a convent? With the ability to search by an individual's parents, some of those missing females may finally be found!

My great-great-great-grandparents, Thomas and Catherine Jacobus came to Ohio sometime between 1840 and 1850 from New Jersey. Thomas died in 1854 and Catherine died in 1901. According to the 1900 census, Catherine had 12 children, none of whom was still living in 1900. I've only been able to come up with seven names, all having disappeared by the 1880 census. Only three were known to have had children, my great-great-grandfather, Edward, his brother Ezra and his sister Hannah Marie. I've been trying to locate Ezra's daughter Blanche and Hannah's two daughters Jaquetta and Josephine.

PROBLEM 3: Look for Blanche Jacobus, Jaquetta McColley and Josephine McColley in the Ohio Death Records to see if I can solve the mystery of what happened to them.

For Blanche, I search by putting in the father's last name as Jacobus. There are matching hits but none are correct. I then try just the first name, Ezra for the father's name — again nothing. I try both the mother's first name, which I know to be Awilda and then her last name, Crosby but still no luck. I have struck out on locating Blanche.

For Jaquetta and Josephine, I take a similar approach — first typing in Jacobus as a last name for the mother. This gives me 44 matches, none is correct. Next, I try typing in the father's last name McColley. I am a little nervous about this because I have also seen it spelled McCauley. This gives me 293 matches — I could look at all but decide that I will add the first name of Jaquetta to the search and see if I can find one of the daughters.

Bingo! There she is. Her married name was Overhuls. (Her mother is listed as Marie Jacovus.) I now have a name to use to search census records to find out more about the family. When I try the same tactic with her sister Josephine, she is also found. She is listed as Josephine Woodward.

PROBLEM 4: Yesterday I confirmed that George Lynch's mother is Margaret Anderson. According to stories from descendants of both Margaret's brother, John Anderson, and her sister, Jane Anderson Feasel, their mother's name was Margaret Scott Anderson. I want to see if any death records support this.

John Anderson died in 1878; Jane died in 1886 and Margaret, the daughter, died in 1884. Nothing helps me here. However, Margaret, the mother, remarried after her husband Ezekiel died during the War of 1812. She married a Jacob Isenhart and had three children from this marriage, Jacob Jr., Isaac and Harriet. Maybe one of them died between 1909 and 1953.

I search using Isenhart as the last name of the father. I find Harriet Sipple living in Williams County, Ohio (where I knew she had lived). Her father is listed as Jacob Isenhart and her mother's name is listed as Margaret Scott. I can further confirm that I have the right individual, as a son from Harriet's first marriage is the informant. Success, indeed, is sweet.

I hope the search capabilities of FamilySearch's Ohio Death Records become the gold standard for all records. Just think of all the missing female lines we might be able to find!

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging.

Note this post first published online, November 20, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02

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