Friday, November 12, 2010

Advice to Genealogists: Look Everywhere!

When I tell people that one of the unique aspects of the Genealogy Today Subscription Data collection is that it focuses on "small documents", I often get puzzled looks.

Here's an example of a small document -- barely a document, it's just an old postcard -- that I transcribed last week. It's from The Canadian Mutual Aid Association, and it's a dues assessment mailed out to members. What's special about it is that included are details of the deaths of four recent members; including the date of death, their residence, age and cause of death.

Mutual aid/benefit groups were the precursors to insurance companies as we know them today, and they would send out "bills" to the members to cover the costs associated with recent claims. On the web site, all entities that have an insurance flavor to them are listed on an Insurance Records page. An annual subscription is required for full access to these records, but anyone may search the name indexes for free.

Surnames of the deceased mentioned on this particular document: CAMPBELL, GESNER, HICKS and THUELL.

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