Even though a doctor’s handwriting is almost always terrible…

…I love death records. I’ve decided that I’m pretty much obsessed with them now. Not to say that I don’t enjoy viewing other documents, but death records are always the highlight of my search, given that they’re available. When I see an Ancestry hint of a death record, I get really excited. My boyfriend thinks it’s a bit odd, but whatever. However, my question to him is: How can you not be obsessed with them?

I’ve found that death records are particularly resourceful, especially if the informant gives the correct information. Many times the names of the deceased’s parents are able to help me make connections, and research even further just when I thought I might be stumped.

Recently, when I took a trip to the Spartanburg County Library with Catherine and Zack, I began to research the SC Death Index for death records on the Gamble family (my mom’s adoptive father) and my great grandmother’s father, along with a few others. My mom’s side of the family has proved to be interesting, so I wanted to get a better idea of how they may have passed away. I figured that finding death records for as many as I could might shape their stories some. After some intensive searching, I wasn’t able to find any of the death records I was particularly interested in, but I did find two documents. Although I already have them recorded on Ancestry, I liked the idea of having them on hand and actually seeing them displayed on the microfilm.

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One of my great grandfather’s many brothers, Longstreet Gamble. Here it says that he passed away from what appears to be some form of cancer. (Yeah, the cause of death is probably my favorite part of death records. Probably because I’m a Biology major.) 

Courtesy of Spartanburg County Library and Ancestry.com.

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My great grandmother’s father, Carl Rufus Craig. He passed away from what appears to be brain related, with possible complications from hypertension.

Courtesy of Spartanburg County Library and Ancestry.com.

So now that you all know about my “secret” obsession, if you’d like to email me any death records, I’d love it. I enjoy looking at any of them just for fun and to see the cause of death. Weird? Eh, I don’t think so. (:

My email: williamsla@email.wofford.edu