Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Search for the Death Date of Nathan Thomas Beals

My maternal 3GGF, Nathan Thomas BEALS, is buried at the Cicero Cemetery, Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana along with his wife, Elizabeth.  A photograph of the tombstone can be found at the FindAGrave.com website.

The tombstone states he was born in 1857 and died in 1915.  Other sources state that his date of birth was February 17, 1856 in Westfield, Hamilton County, Indiana.  The 1900 census lists February 1856 as his date a birth.

When I first started working on genealogy many years ago, I entered his place of death as Hamilton County, Indiana.  After all, he was buried there, right?  That was back when I naively thought that everyone was buried right where they died.

In attempting to document and make corrections to my data, I had run into a problem when I could not locate Nathan's death in Hamilton County, Indiana.  I knew he was living in Jackson Township, Hamilton County, Indiana in the 1910 census, so at least I thought I knew he was in Indiana at the time of his death.

An interesting clue showed up in the obituary of his father, John T. BEALS, in 1917.  In that obituary, my Nathan was referred to as "the late Nathan T. of Leola, Ark."

What in the world was he doing in Arkansas?  There is another mystery to solve.

Last week, I contacted my brother, who works for the Hamilton County, Indiana Health Department, to see if he knew who I should contact at the Cicero Cemetery in hopes that they had records of the exact burial date.  With an exact burial date, I hoped I could locate an obituary in the newspaper.

My brother gave me the name of the sexton of the cemetery, Mr. Wills, and I called him yesterday.  He was very polite, but I was a bit disheartened when he told me they had burial records back to 1927, and only some of it was computerized.  I gave him the dates of Nathan and his wife, who died in 1935, hoping that he would be able to locate something.

A few hours later, I received a phone call with Mr. Wills with great news!  They did have a date for Nathan of February 16, 1915.  Now I have something to go by.  Not sure if this is the death date or the burial date, but the other dates for Beals family members that Mr. Wills gave me match death dates.  

Now when I head to the library, I only have a couple of dates to search for an obituary instead of 365 days in 1915. Stay tuned for the results.

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