Owensboro Area Obituary Index.  Kentucky Room, Daviess County Public Library

Cause of Death:
Standard keywords were used to record causes of death. Thus one can more comprehensively isolate all deaths attributed to one particular cause that was described by many synonymous terms. Some examples of standard keywords utilized in the cause of death field are: burns (for all victims of fires or scalding), murdered (instead of homicide, killed, shot to death, etc.), executed (for all legal executions or capital punishment victims), lynched (for all illegal hangings or lynchings), grippe (instead of grip or la grippe), Spanish Influenza (for all who died of influenza, flu, or pneumonia during the great Spanish Influenza epidemic), World War I fatalities (for all soldiers who died while in service during World War I), and infirmities (for all deaths attributed to old age). Many of the key words are followed by other terms that describe the cause of death. For example, murders & suicides are followed by the method used (by gun, knife, drowning…), drug overdose (by opium, morphine…), or World War I fatalities are followed by whether they were killed in action, or died from disease or accident).

Names of all survivors identified or numbers of surviving relatives were listed. Relationship to deceased was entered first follow by their names; for example, “husband: Joseph B. Young; daughter: Mrs. William Allen, Susan Griffin, Hester & Jane Smith. If only number of relatives were referred to then relationship of survivors was entered preceded by the number; for example, 8 children; 3 brothers; 1 sister”. The following order was always used for entering survivors: husband or wife, sons, daughters, stepchildren, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, stepparents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins. In each relative category males were listed first. If he was survived by wife and her maiden name was identified it was entered as “wife: Hester Ashford Young”. If surviving wife’s first name was not given but her maiden name was it was entered as “wife (nee Ashford)”. If someone was identified as being a relative but the exact relationship was not stated it was entered as “relative: Flora Daniel”. The name of any deceased family members or any that it is not evident if they are surviving were entered in the comments field; for example if it stated that she was the daughter of Joseph & Thenie Ashford but does not indicate if they are still living or not their names were noted in the comments field.

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