Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Finding George Levi Meredith
WikiTree forces one to be accurate when detailing people's lives. Or maybe only I feel forced. Because there are no online connected sources, I have to look them up and verify their accuracy. This has been a learning process. I was so spoiled by just clicking on a census record and having its contents magically appear as a source on Ancestry.com. I don't ever just click on other people's trees and then add them to mine anymore. I mostly use them as hints on where to look and names to research.
So George Meredith presents a challenge. He's well documented, except for his death. I searched most of the day, following his children around the state, until I found a headstone on Billion Graves for him. The date of birth on the marker is off by 9 years, but whatever. I'm sure it's him. His wife is there, and a lot of his children, so it's a pretty safe guess that it's him. Of course, to be sure, I should have his death record. I can't find it. It's like John Bowman all over again, only this time, because of the headstone, I know when he died and where he's buried. I just can't get his name to come up with a death certificate on Family Search, no matter how hard I try.
And speaking of death certificates, I'll never be able to express my gratitude to the Mitten State for allowing so much family history to be put online. I was trying to find a family for someone on WikiTree last night and discovered that Maryland is a VERY hard state to research in. There are only 3700 death and burial records for the entire state on Family Search. Here in Michigan if someone died between 1897 and 1952, I'll find their record eventually. There's the Library of Michigan site for actual death certificates online from 1897 to 1920, and Family Search just indexed all death certificates for the state of Michigan from 1921 to 1952. To show my appreciation, I downloaded the software to index from the Family Search site onto Bruce's computer and indexed a batch of marriages for North Caroline. Believe me, if they'd had anything to index for Maryland, I'd have done them instead. Indexing records makes me feel good, like I'm contributing instead of just taking.
If you'd like to try, go here.