January 22, 2014

Another Way to find Burial Records

I have been quite confused by the SANDFORD family of New York – or was it SANFORD? I found the spelling varied often.  Harriet Watson Clark, known as “Hattie”, married Clarence H. Sandford in New York City in 1874.  Their marriage certificate spells his name with 2 Ds … and hers as Clarke. So, you never know if the spellings are correct.

Sadly Harriet died in childbirth 3 years later and was buried at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.  The cemetery’s website has burial records online where she is listed as SANDFORD, HATTIE W.  But I could never find a death record for her husband and he was not listed under Sandford. I last found him in the 1915 NY state census and assumed he had died by 1920.

Harriet is buried in lot 18149, section 189 as is her mother-in-law Jane who died in 1900. In the 1880 census Jane was listed as a widow and neither she nor others in the family have yet been found in the 1870 census.  So I was guessing that  her husband Hiram died between 1860 and 1880. I could not find him on the Green-wood website either.

However, today just by chance I Googled “Green-wood cemetery section 18149, lot 189” and the following findagrave entries popped up:

 HIRAM SANFORD, July 1868, # 57543743

 CLARENCE H SANFORD, Nov 1923, # 57543704

Father and son, spelled with only a final D.  I don’t know why I had not searched that site using both spellings … I assumed they would all be spelled alike.  I must remind myself over and over DON’T ASSUME !!

Then going back to the newspapers, I found that Hiram (formerly of the US Navy which matches) died of paralysis in Brooklyn on February 1, 1868 and Clarence died in Norfolk, VA, unclear if he was just visiting.  There is a disconnect between Hiram's death in Feb and reported burial in July -- but that's another story. At least I know where they were buried.

I had assumed Clarence died in NYC and that he and his father’s name would be listed with the same spelling as their wives on the Green-wood site.  Next time and every time …. Check all spellings and check all the residents of a family burial plot, if at all possible.

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