Friday, February 17, 2006

2nd Great-grandmother's obit search

My GGGrandmother Hannora (Nora) was born in Ireland. According to the 1900 Census, she was living in [Joplin] Jasper County, Missouri. The census stated she came to America in 1855 and that her father was born in Scotland and her mother was born in Ireland. She married Daniel Flanery on 2 June 1856, in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio.

They migrated to Racine, Wisconsin where they had their children. Their first child Margaret was born 16 Mar 1857, in Painesville, Ohio. In the 1860 Census they were living in Burlington Township Racine, Wisconsin. Living with them was a Mary Holland born in Ireland and a son. James Holland born Ohio. Hannora died 19 Feb 1903 in Prosperity Township, Jasper County, Missouri. She was a Catholic. Every one of her children's death certificates shows her with a different maiden name.

Death certificates were not issued at the time of her death. How do I get an obituary on her, or some kind of death certificate? I'm 56 years old and I have been working on this, line since I was 13 years old. Can you give me some kind of advise or a miracle?

Sometimes family records are all that has survived for an ancestor, particularly when documents either weren't kept or didn't survive from the time period. However, there are a number of alternate sources to review. I checked the 11th edition of THE HANDYBOOK FOR GENEALOGISTS, sent to me by the editor Holly Hansen and discovered:

-- "JASPER COUNTY, MISSOURI was created 29 Jan 1841 from Newton County. Offices are located at: 302 S Main Street, Carthage, MO 64836-1696; phone 417-358-0441, The courthouse was destroyed in 1863 but the records had been moved and were returned in 1865. Courthouse burned in 1883, no mention of fate of records. The County Clerk has birth records 1883-1900, death records 1883-1891; Recorder of Deeds has marriage and land records, Probate Judge has probate and court records."

"County Clerks were required to register births and deaths from 1883 to 1893. [...] State registration began in 1863, but did not reach full compliance until 1911. The records after 1910 can be obtained from the Bureau of Vital Records."

This means the official death certificate for your ancestress was probably never created.

HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS FOR EVIDENCE ABOUT YOUR 2nd great-grandmother's death, some of which ol' Myrt has searched for you:

-- PUBLIC LIBRARY NEWSPAPER HOLDINGS I believe the nearest large library is the Joplin Public Library Ask for a volunteer or paid researcher who can look at the old issues perhaps on microfilm for Nora's notice and her obituary.

-- JASPER COUNTY COURT RECORDS Did her estate go through probate? It may have even if she didn't have a will. You never know until you look. The FHL (Family History Library) Catalog has microfilm records of all types. See:

Specify place, type in Jasper as part of Missouri and work through the listings to determine which microfilms you'd like to order through your local Family History Center. If you don't know about the local center, check for a listing on the home page at


-- A search for "Flannery" and "Flanery" in's Jasper County, Missouri Deaths
1878-1905 only showed 1 man: Thomas (Charles Rambo) Flannery, died 26 Dec 1906.

-- A search for Flannery" and "Flanery" at the Missouri State Pre-1910 online database didn't show a likely match.

-- A search of Jasper County cemeteries returned no matches:
Cave Springs Cemetery
Fairview Cemetery
Forest Park Cemetery
Mitchell Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery
Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery
Twin Grove Cemetery
Webb City Cemetery

-- A search of online obituaries for Missouri for "Flannery" and "Flanery" proved fruitless.


Search the FLANARY archives.
Browse the FLANARY threaded archives.

Search the Flannery archives.
Browse the Flannery threaded archives.

-- US CIVIL WAR PENSION FILE. Soldiers must list the full name and birth date of wife and children. This would help with her maiden name. This would be found at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Be sure to specify the complete file. A preliminary search for Daniel Flanery at the US Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database returned the following hits for Union soldiers. (Remember one did not have to "muster in" for the state of residence. Sometimes bounties offered by a neighboring state encouraged enlistment there.)
---- Flanery, Daniel, Union, 12th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry
---- Flanery, Daniel, Union, 16th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry
---- Flanery, Daniel, Union, 6th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry
---- Flanery, Daniel, Union, 80th Regiment, Illinois Infantry
---- Flannery, Daniel, Union 29th Regiment, Michigan Infantry
---- Flannery, Daniel, Union, 80th Regiment, Illinois Infantry
I'd check out the Michigan entry first.

-- CATHOLIC CHURCH RECORDS - Locate the nearby Catholic church office and explain you need death notice or burial information on a former member of the parish. See:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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