New Ottawa County, Oklahoma Book Tuesday, Feb 28 2012 

Hot off the Presses!

Now available for sale,  Fredas L. Cook’s latest published book in his ongoing effort to preserve history as well as make it accessible:

Newspaper Microfilm Mining in Northern Ottawa County, Oklahoma, Volume 1, by Fredas L. Cook, 2012. 174 pages, 8.5×11″, softbound book, ISBN 978-1-936091-20-1. This first volume of a new series contains information from The Commerce News (1916), The Douthit Independent (1917), The Quapaw World (1917-1918), and The Quapaw Mining Herald (1919) and contains lots of information allowing a glimpse into life in northeast Oklahoma just after the turn of the nineteenth century. This fully indexed book encompasses everything from family information to advertisements and talk about the weather!

Gregath Order Information AD2444-$30.00

Click here for book information page from publisher.

October 2008, V7#10: Genealogy Saturday, Jan 10 2009 

Use Funeral Homes When Researching

 Genealogists are fascinated with cemeteries.  Besides being the final resting place for ones ancestors, cemeteries provide vital information.  Tombstone and cemetery records often reveal more than death information.  Cemeteries, however, are not the only sources of information regarding the deceased.  Do not forget funeral homes. 

Funeral homes are another resource for providing family information.  Their records often contain biographical information not found on the deth certificate or in the obituary.  They may also have a copy of the funeral program, printed eulogies, as well as a copy of the death certificate and obituary. 

Funeral home records are private business documents.  You do not have a legal right to view them.  They are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.  Most funeral directors, however, are individuals who are more than willing to help genealogists. 

Many funeral directors have allowed their records to be microfilmed.  Often genealogical societies have published the records.  For example, the Tulsa Genealogical Society has published 12 volumes of funeral home records.  The Lawton Ritter-Gray funeral home records to 1994 are on microfilm and available at the Lawton Public Library.

If you do not know what funeral home was used, the death certificate or obituary should provide this information.

If you are looking for a list of funeral homes and cemeteries currently operating, go to www.imortuary.com.  Select by location or browse the state and town.  The address, phone number, web address and location on a map are given. 

That web site is a quick and easy way to locate funeral homes and cemeteries throughout the country.  Memorial parks, such as Sunset Memorial (Lawton) are listed under funeral homes and not cemeteries. 

The site does not list all known cemeteries for an area.  Not included are rural, inactive, family and small cemeteries.  For example, Highland Cemetery (Lawton) is listed, but not the cemeteries in Cache, Indiahoma or Elgin.  Local funeral homes can often provide you with a list of local cemeteries.  They are experts on this subject. 

The National Yellow Book of Funeral Directors and The National Directory of Morticians, both published annually, are excellent print guides to funeral homes.  Arrangement is by state and town.  Genealogy libraries, including the Lawton Public Library, often own a copy. 

What if the funeral home is no longer in business? Again, ask the funeral home still in business as it may have the records of the old funeral homes or know where they may be located. 

(This information was taken from Paul Follett’s column Tree Tracers published in the Lawton Constitution on December 10, 2007.)

March 2006, V5#3: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Always be sure to double check with your library to see if they participate in an inter-library loan program. Many books/microform, etc. you may be interested in researching from may be available through one of these programs. Many libraries do ask for payment to help defray postage for this service.

August 2005, V4#8: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

A lot of LDS research resources are available through local LDS Churches.  “Stake Libraries” in your local LDS family history center can order any microfilm available in Salt Lake City +++  All this, without having to sit in front of your computer all day.

December 2002, V1#4: Genealogy Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

Having trouble deciphering old records?  In addition to spidery hand (which can’t be helped) and bad reproduction (you might seek out another copy – even in microfilm), a culprit may be differing styles of writing.  Check out information on old handwriting.  One example if the instance of double s’s (ss) was often written like a misshapen lowercase cursive “f”…