The “Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963” on Ancestry.com is an excellent source for those with Kentucky connections. The ability to search based upon parents’ names is a wonderful way to query the database. That’s exactly what I did to locate seven children of Nelson Sledd of Nicholas County, Kentucky. I wanted to see what information they provided on Nelson, particularly his name and place of birth.
The following chart was created using the search results from “Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963” and adding a column for name of father and place of birth for the father. The columns marked with * were copied and pasted directly from the Ancestry.com database. The columns marked with ** were manually transcribed from the actual record.
|Name*||Birth*||Birth place**||Death*||Death County*||father**||father place of birth**|
|Mrs Eliza Sledd Dale||28 Jan 1847||Robertson County, Kentucky||18-Apr-33||Montgomery||Sledd, Nelson||Virginia|
|James Breckenbridge Sledd||30 Mar 1856||Nicholas County, Kentucky||21-Dec-22||Robertson|
|Henry Scton[Seton] Sledd||17 Aug 1860||16-Sep-40||Nicholas|
|Mrs Esscueth Stephenson||1 Sep 1845||11-Apr-27||Nicholas|
There was no specific place of birth given for Nelson and one of the records indicated he was born in Virginia. All of these certificates provide secondary information on Nelson’s place of birth, but that does not inherently mean they are incorrect. One of the certificates indicated he was born in Virginia. I cannot conclude that he was born in Kentucky just from these records and because the that is what the majority of them say. I need to search for other materials that may provide Nelson’s place of birth.
I also need to determine if there are other children for Nelson in the database. These results were located searching for a “Nelson Sledd” listed as the father with the exact search turned on. It is possible the name was spelled Sled or that he is listed with a different name. It is also imperative that I track how these search results were obtained so that I can more effectively search for remaining children who may be in the database. That’s assuming all of Nelson’s children died in Kentucky during the time period these records cover.
I’d like to locate the names of more of Nelson’s children in the database if possible. Part of the reason for locating all of their death records was to determine their middle names. It is possible that those names have some family history significance. Of course it is possible that the family history comes from their mother’s family and not the family of Nelson Sledd. It is also important to remember that the names could also have come from historical figures, local non-relatives, or simply were pulled out of thin air.
But analyzing the death certificates is a good start.
I just need to remember that the information related to the parents of the deceased is secondary information (and could easily be third or fourth hand information besides) and that there may be other children of Nelson Sledd in the database that were not located because of how my search was conducted. Census and other records will help me to determine if there are more children for Nelson.
And they may not all have died in Kentucky during the time period this database covers.
Always be aware of the limitations of the records being used, the database created from those records, and how searches were conducted.