02 January 2022

Finding Clues in Obituaries

Source: The Mining Journal, (Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, USA), , p 2; Column 4; J.M. Longyear Research Library, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, USA

Heart Attack Was Fatal To Workman
Frank H. Glover, Carpenter, Dropped Dead Yesterday Morning at Powder Mill

Seized with a heart attack, Frank H. Glover, 113 East Ohio Street, dropped dead early yesterday morning after he had gone to the Powder Mill location to begin his work as a carpenter.  He was employed by the city to work on the new oil storage tank at the auxillary power station and yesterday would have been his first day on the job.

Mr. Glover was about 60 years old and had been a resident of Marquette many years.  The remains were taken to Tonella's chapel and Coroner Argall was called, but he decided that no inquest was necessary.

Mr. Glover leaves his wife, Hattie, one daughter, Mrs. Victor Tyson, of this city; and three sons, Harry, of Detroit;  Claude, of Munising, and Merle, of San Francisco.  He also leaves a sister, Miss Sadie Glover, of Milwaukee, and three brothers, Charles, of Cadillac; Louis of Grand Rapids, and William, of Oshkosh, Wis.

He was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and of the Carpenter's Union of Marquette.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon in the family home.  The Rev H. J. Bryce, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, will officiate and interment will take place in Park Cemetery.

Obituaries can tell one much more than the death details and survivors. Do you read obituaries thoroughly? If not, you are missing important clues for further research.

The above obituary for my paternal great grandfather, Frank H. Glover, has a lot of clues. These clues include:

1.    Occupation: Carpenter at Powder Mill, although he died on the first day of a new job.

2.    Residence: Address and that he was a resident for many years. This would lead me to census, tax, city directory and other local records. 

3.    Funeral Home: Tonella's chapel. The Canale Tonella Funeral Home is in Marquette today. I can inquire about records here.

4.    Coroner: Coroner Argall, but I don't need to seek those records because it states that no inquest was necessary.

5.    Membership: Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and of the Carpenter's Union of Marquette. Looking for membership records could give me a sense of his work history.

6.    Religion: Presbyterian at First Presbyterian Church. Looking for church records may provide birth, christening, marriage, and more records.

Don't be too quick to discard obituaries for clues to a person's life. I find that transcribing my obituaries gives me time to add items to my to-do list and find clues that leads to more records.

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