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Obituaries

Or "Rednecks, Dead Folks and Newspaper Write Ups"

by Uncle Hiram

The blonde and I were just sitting on the porch enjoying the afterglow of a great meal, (Brisket, corn on the cob, mashed taters and home made bread with her home made strawberry preserves), when the phone rang. I don't want y'all to think I am antisocial by nature, but everyone knows I hate talking on the phone. So when it rings I know it's either real important or Tyrel. Either way I knew it was gonna be a pain in the brisket.

I answered the phone, and naturally, my luck being the way it is, it was Tyrel. Tyrel asked "Hiram, why do I want to look at obits?"

"Hi Tyrel, you want a short explanation or the whole nine yards?"

"Hiram, give it all to me, I gotta figure this stuff out."

"Okay, lets take a look in this week's Greenville Herald Banner. You see the obituary for Mary Hibbetts? You will notice it states when and where she died. (Vital information for the genealogist.) It goes on to tell us where the funeral will be held and who the preacher is gonna be. In the second paragraph it gives us her birthdate and place of birth. Even though this is not a primary source for this information, it is an excellent secondary source. It goes on to give her husband's name, marriage date and place. (Secondary Source)

"In the third paragraph it gives her church affiliation, information that helps put flesh on the bones in our family tree.

"The fourth paragraph lists the surviving members of her family. In the case of Mrs. Hibbettts this allows us to learn the surnames of the men her daughters married. It also mentions one granddaughter so we know at least one of her kids had kids. It also states that her husband and a grandchild preceded her in death. So now we know her husband died before 1 July 2001.

On the other side of the page you see a second obit that gives even more information about the person who died. It lists the persons occupation, where they retired from and several other pertinent facts about the person.

So you see we can find out a great deal of information from a simple obit. They are a valuable took and well worth the effort it takes to find them.

Coming Attractions:

July 31st -- Gentrek chat in the Golden Gates Forum on AOL - Uncle Hiram gives a talk on what to include and what not to include in your family history.

Aug 7th -- Leonard, Texas - Uncle Hiram gives a talk on Internet Genealogy to the Tri-County Gen Society.

September -- About.com/Genealogy Chat - Uncle Hiram gives a talk on Mail List Manners

Remember to check out Dear Myrtle's Online Radio Talk Show at www.DearMyrtle.com. Tell her Uncle Hiram sent you and that I said she was giving away free beef jerky (GRIN).

- Adios and Keep Smiling!

Return to the Adventures in Genealogy home page.

About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."

- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)

Additional Information
  • International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists
  • Family Newsletters
  • The County Courthouse
  • What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
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