His Date of Death May Be Buried on His Tombstone–If He Has One

Sometimes you simply won’t find the record you want. Clark Sargent died in the late 1840s, probably in Winnebago County, Illinois. A genealogy of his family written approximately fifty years later gives a year of death, but it is unsourced. I have no reason to doubt what that book says as it is consistent with county records, census records, etc. But just because it fits doesn’t necessarily mean it is correct either.

It is too early for a death record in Illinois. There is no probate (I looked). He owned real estate, but there is no guardianship for his children (I looked). The land records for his real estate mention nothing of his death–but that’s typical. There is no apparent tombstone, but one could be buried somewhere. It does not appear that the family were regular church attenders, so church records have not been helpful. I keep my eyes peeled for something new that I have not seen, but I likely will have no document that provides a specific date of death. And that is ok. The records I do have provide a roughly two-year time frame for when he died. That’s better than nothing.

I am lucky that there are other slightly later records that document all his children and materials that also document his wife and his parents.