We knew that Peter Joyce had been born in Ireland and that he had migrated to Pittston, Pennsylvania. The 1860 US Census indicates that he was born in Ireland and was 30 years old. According to the 1900 US Census he was married for 45 years but in the 1910 US Census his wife was listed as a widow.
We wanted to find Peter's death date so that we could find his obituary and order a copy of his death certificate. We assumed that he died between 1900 and 1910 and so we checked local newspaper almanacs, genealogy societies and websites as well as online obituary indexes but we couldn't find the Peter Joyce we were looking for. He did not appear in the Pennsylvania State Department of Health Death Indices which does not begin until 1906.
We did find some Joyce listings of people who might be related to Peter and discovered that his son Edward had died in 1902. Peter is not listed as a survivor in Edward Joyce's 1902 obituary and so we assumed that Peter had died between 1900 and 1902. We did some online searches of newspapers but didn't have any positive results.
Next we tried the Power Library the online portal from Pennsylvania's Office of Commonwealth Libraries. Here we learned that digitized copies of the Pittston Gazette published between 1854 and 1904 had been put online and were accesible through the West Pittston Library.
So we used the "advanced search" feature and searched for Peter Joyce between 1900 and 1902. We found an obituary and funeral report for Peter Joyce and discovered that he had died on Jume 26, 1901.
Here is a direct link to the Pittston Gazette from the West Pittston Library.
Funeral home memorial cards are a good source of birth dates. These are the small cards that the funeral home traditionally prints as a tribute to the deceased. They are usually available to everyone who attends the deceased's wake or funeral.
Sometimes these cards can be found online and in many cases they are in family possessions. They are also called Prayer Cards, Funeral Cards, Memorial Cards or Holy Cards.