A relative passed away in the last few years. There’s no online mention of her death. She’s not in any of the online databases that might mention a date of death for her and, at this point, my only knowledge of her date of death comes from an email from a relative.

What do I do?

I cite the email. I’ve changed some details in this sample citation to the 2020 death of Luella Ottoman, but it’s based on the format in Evidence Explained.

Firstname Lastname, Los Angeles, California, [(e-address for private use),] to Michael John Neill, e-mail, 1 February 2024, “checking email,” Personal Correspondence Folder, Neill Research Files, privately held by Neill, [(mjnrootdig@gmail.com, street address for private use,] Galesburg, Illinois, 2023. Firstname Lastname is a nephew of Luella Ottoman who died in 2020.

Of course, the email needs to actually be preserved and filed as indicated in the citation. An image of the email could even be included in my genealogy database. The comment is provided to give information as to how Firstname Lastname knows the date of death.

I’ll use the date provided by the relative to assist in locating another reference to this person’s death, but until I locate something else, this will be the only citation I have for her date of death.



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