Don’t Just Scratch the Surface

While viewing a newspaper account of a relative’s accidental death in 1906, I noticed a reference to a woman’s murder in an adjacent county. She was shot by her husband. Somewhat curious, I decided to do a little “quick” online research into the woman and her husband.

She was mentioned in quite a few online trees, but none referenced her short marriage to her husband or the circumstances of her death.

It was easy to see in this case why nothing else had been located:

  • The woman was born after 1880 and in 1900 was living with her parents.
  • By 1910 she was dead.
  • Her tombstone does not mention her husband’s name–just the names of her parents.
  • The marriage records for the county where she likely married are not online and not microfilmed.
  • The court records for the county where the case was held are not online in digital format. They have not been microfilmed.
  • Most of the references to her murder refer to her by her husband’s name–using “Mrs.” almost consistently.

Another reminder of the importance of getting beyond what is easy to find and not relying on the online trees.

It is easy to understand in this case why her married name was not put on her tombstone (she’s buried with her parents) and why the family may not have mentioned her marriage and her husband.

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