Saturday, February 27, 2016

Looking for Beulah

I never knew my Great Aunt Beulah.  She died nearly seventeen years before I was born.
While I am usually working on presentations at this point in my life, I occasionally get to work on my own research.  The examples I give at genealogy conferences are usually from my own family.

So, on this rare Saturday that I don't feel the pressure to meet a deadline, I am cleaning up some of my own records.  

I knew Beulah's husband very well, for he was my grandmother's brother.  Uncle Bethel Gearheart had the kindest voice, and always welcomed me up on to the porch.  He lived in Lawton, Carter Co., Kentucky.

I knew "about" Beulah, but didn't really know her.  Family records indicated that she may have died in childbirth.  Kentucky death records are available for that time period, so I looked.

And, I kept looking.  And, kept looking.

I never did find a death certificate for Beulah Gearheart, but I did indeed find one for Beulah STONE.
I can't fathom a reason why Beulah Gearheart's death certificate would be listed under her maiden name of Stone, for she was indeed married to Bethel Gearheart.

Unfortunately, I probably won't ever be able to prove it, for the area where they were married, Elliott County, Kentucky, has suffered record losses due to courthouse fires.  But, since this was my mother's uncle, she knew him and Beulah quite well.  All I have to go on at this time is her word, and her personal knowledge and acquaintance with both of them.
 You can see where her name is filed under Beulah Stone, and her husband's name is Bethel Gearheart.
And, on a sad note, she died of septicemia following the birth and death of her twins girls, Zelma and Thelma.  They were born on 15 Apr 1938, and died sometime in the same month.

My takeaway:  Look under names you wouldn't likely have looked.  Beulah's death certificate is under her maiden name, not under the name of her husband, where we would normally look.  I don't have the answer as to why; I'm just grateful I was able to locate it.

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