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18 November 2016

Ohio, County Death Records, 1840- 2001

In past posts on this blog we have discussed some of the records from the State of Ohio which were available at FamilySearch. Those records included the Death Certificates from 1908-1953, as well as various birth and marriage records from the county level.  Now, a new database has been added which helps complete the full picture of the people of Ohio. The Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001 collection includes almost 1 million images taken from the county courthouses. These images also include some records that exist from the time before statewide death certificates in 1908. More information on this database can be found in the FamilySearch wiki, at the following link, Ohio County Death Records.
When first studying any database I begin with the same surname, Cohen. I do this because I can get a good indication of how complete the collection is by how many records for the Cohen name are included. In the case of this collection a search of the collection shows that 3,118 results for the name are included.  I chose the very first entry which was the death of a 3 year old boy, Max Cohen, who died on 1 November 1881.
The record associated with young Max is the Coroner's verdict which was filed with the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas on 14 November 1881. This document came from a Coroner's Inquest which was held to examine the untimely death.
The death of the 3 year old boy is a very tragic story. From the account, given by his mother Bertha Cohen,  at the inquest we find that the family lived on the second story of a three story building in Cleveland. The third story was home to a saloon, from which every morning they threw the empty beer kegs out of the window. On this morning young Max went out to see what was causing the noise when he was hit by one of the empty kegs and killed. The first part of her statement is shown below.

While the record documents a tragic event, it is important because it comes almost 30 years before the State of Ohio began the keeping of death certificates. The records that would exist of this child are few and this is just a piece of a very small puzzle. Using the clues we have, the name and age of Max, his mothers name, Bertha, and their address we can find them in the 1880 Federal Census of Ohio. That record, shown below, further completes the puzzle.

The record tells us that at the time of the census, Max was the youngest of five children of E. and Bertha Cohen. It also shows us that at the same address lists John Lederer a saloon keeper, the same name given in the inquest.
With this information we are able to return to the Ohio, County Births, 1841 - 2003, database we mentioned earlier. There we are able to find the record of Marx Cohen the son of Elias and Bertha Cohen who was born in March of 1878 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. That record is shown below.

We can now follow young Max from birth to death. Even though he died young and was not able to leave a long paper trail we have enough information that we can make sure he is never forgotten. We should be supportive of all groups that make the effort needed for these records to be available for researchers to use.

03 November 2016

International Jewish Genealogy Month

Yesterday, November 1st was the beginning of International Jewish Genealogy Month sponsored by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). This is a great opportunity for all of us to do something this month to remember our Jewish ancestors. It is a wonderful time to gather as a family to remember those who made you possible. below are a few ideas to celebrate this month.
  • Call a living relative and document what they remember. It always a shame when someone passes and we realize we delayed doing this and will never have that chance again.
  • Gather your family together and teach the younger generations about the family they may never of had the chance to meet. keep those memories alive in those you will follow you.
  • Visit a cemetery and document any of the information who find there.
  • Join a Jewish Genealogical Society. This will not only provide people who can help you with your own family research but may also give you the chance to share with other what you know. The IAGJS has a list of the societies around the world, and it can be accessed from this link,
Let us all try to do something for our families this month, we never want our ancestors to be forgotten.