Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saving Death Certificates

If any of your family members died in Missouri between 1910 and 1959, their death certificate should now be online.  The state sent notification out this week that they have added the range of available certificates up to 1959 ... an increase of ten years coverage. 

Several other states also offer death certificates online as well.  At least four of them are:

There is no cost to print them on your home printer.  They have put the images online as a kindness to genealogists and to avoid as much of the copying and associated labor expense as possible.

I use the free Irfanview editor to massage the image.  I recommend downloading and installing the Plugin's too.  (Yes, there are many other excellent image editors available …  I use them too, but Ifranview works the best for me in this application.)

Simply point at the death certificate on your screen, right mouse click and choose "Copy".

Then click on Irfanview to make it the active program, then on 'Edit' at the top of the screen and choose 'Paste' from the drop down list.

You now have a copy of the image in the temporary memory of your computer.

Straighten the image if needed by using the Image > Custom Fine Rotation tool.  This tool is in degrees and there are 360 degrees in a circle.  Entering 358.3 will tilt the image 1.7 degrees to the left, etc.

When it is straight, point to the top left corner of the image, hold your left mouse button down and drag your pointer to the bottom right corner (just the opposite if you are left handed).  You can now see the crop line around the image.  If it needs to be moved a little, slowly move your mouse pointer over the line where it needs to be adjusted and when the pointer symbol changes to two parallel lines, hold the mouse button down again and drag the crop line to the position you want.

Click on Edit > Crop selection and all the edges are cropped.

Next resize the image to something that will print on 8 1/2 x 11" paper.   I always print in portrait orientation so the certificates stand upright in the protective sleeves in my storage binders, but you may want to do something different.  

In my case, I change the width to 8"     Image > Resize/Resample > Set New Size > Units = Inches > change the width to 8".  Be sure that the "Preserve aspect ratio" has a check in it.

While on this page, I typically change the resolution to 72 dpi rather than the 300 dpi used in the original image.   There is little to no readability lost and for these images, that is ok.  This saves drive space.  Try it both ways and see how it works best for you.   You'll quickly develop a rule of thumb for images of this nature and it will usually be very different from the one you use for photo images, etc.

You may need to tweak the image for readability now too.   Tools > Color Corrections.

I save a copy of the image now.   File > Save As  (surname firstname deathcertificate) in my genealogy documents folder.   I always use the surname first when file naming so the images are automatically sorted by family making a future look up easy.

Print a hard copy   File > Print

Don't forget to transcribe the data from the death certificate as a source in your database ...  Primary source for the Death and Burial and Secondary source for the Birth...

Also tie the image you just saved to the source record for the person.  If you are using Legacy for example, it will show up as a thumbnail image by the source text in reports.


From now on, you can look at the image from within your genealogy application .... typically by clicking on it and then on the 'Open; or 'View' button  ..  or by double clicking on it.

The image in this example just filled my 4th 3" binder of Death Certificates.   I'll teach you how to number and index them for easy retrieval in another post.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Abram Bennett – Reverend and State Senator

Bennett Abram 2 (2).jpgThe Grandson of a Revolutionary War heroAbram Bennett was born March 10, 1819 in Warren County, Ohio.  He died on March 11, 1906, aged 87 years and one day in Troy, Kansas.

Abram was also known as Abraham in many records and among his family.

Abram was a veteran of the Civil War.  He married to Rachel Anderson June 30, 1839. The couple had eleven children; eight boys and three girls.  

At the time of his death on 11 March 1906, seven were living; five boys and two girls; George, of Warsaw, Missouri, Silas and David, of Mercur, Utah, Robert of Alpine, Utah, Charles, of Valentine, Nebraska, Mary Camp, of Kirwin, Kansas; and Mary Downing of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

His wife, Rachel Anderson Bennett, died Dec. 21, 1893 in Troy, Kansas.

He first came to Kansas from Ohio in 1856 with General Jim Lane and later brought his family to Doniphan County to live.

Abram served as the Chaplin of a Kansas regiment of militia and was for several years very active in church matters.  He was appointed as the Kickapoo Indian Agent by the President of the United States after moving to Kansas.  Later, Abram was elected as a Kansas State Representative and State Senator.

For fourteen years he was a minister of the gospel and assisted in the organization of several churches in this part of the country among which was the M. E. Church in Troy. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Lutheran church.

He was a member of the company that organized the town of Moray and was its first merchant.

His funeral services were conducted at the Moray church at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, 1906 by the Rev. J. B. Vernon and his body was laid to rest in the Moray cemetery, southwest of Troy.


Bennett Abram home (2)

Abram Bennett Report to the Secretary of the Interior

Bennett Abram Kikapoo Indian Agent Letter

Abram Bennett’s Reply about the society and treatment of the Kickapoo Tribe

Bennett Abram Reply Kickapoo Agent
Bennett Abram Reply Kickapoo Agent pg 2

Bennett Abram complaint against taxes

Bennett Abram Kansas Senator 1st District
Kansas Bendena Map - Abram Bennett Store
Bennett Abram - David BLM Land Warrant Doniphan Co Kansas 1 May 1860b

Bennett Abram - East Norway Kansas Founder

Bennett Abram not selected state senator Nov 1865