Brickwall Breakthrough with County Death Index

A great advantage to living in the same small town where many of my ancestors have lived for 150 years is that I can do genealogy research during my lunch break.  Every few weeks, I”ll drop by the county probate office and look through one resource.  I knew that county death registers existed, but I didn’t know what information they contained.  I thought it was probably the decedent’s name, date of death, and maybe the spouse’s name.  I woke up this morning and decided that today was the day to find out if there was more.

So I breezed into the probate office, asked to look at the Death Index, flipped to the K’s (for Kendrick) and BAM!, there is was. . .the brickwall breakthrough I’ve been trying to make for two years.

I first posted about Barbara (Baxter) Kendrick in October 2008.  Since that time, I’ve found her widow’s pension application based on Francis Marion Kendrick‘s Civil War service, I’ve found the record of their marriage, and I have a lead on the location of the Baxter Cemetery.  But I still had no idea who her parents were.  It was like she dropped out of the sky the day she married Francis Marion.  I’ve even looked at every single Baxter who was enumerated on Murray County censuses from 1850 to 1930, hoping against hope for a clue, all to no avail.

Today was my lucky day.  It turns out that the Death Index (at least in Murray County) records the decedent’s parents’ names, including the maiden name of the mother.   There they were in black and white:  Dave Baxter and Polly Lowery. So now I have another generation to research and a fabulous new resource to comb through.

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