Genealogy Search Tips

The California Death Index and the
Search for Martha Kishbaugh

In two previous case studies Case Study using Online California Death Index and Case Study using Online US Federal Census) we learned that Martha Kishbaugh was born in Pennsylvania, married George Kisbaugh and eventually moved to California - but we had not been able to find her maiden name or where or when she died.

We learned from the 1930 Census that Martha was living with her daughter Beryl Freitas and Beryl's husband Law J. Freitas in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California. The census indicates that Martha was 72 years old and that her father was born in England and her mother was born in Pennsylvania.

So we went to the Online California Death Index to see if we could find a death record for Martha Kishbaugh. We didn't find anything and so we then looked for a death record for her husband George but we didn't find a record for him either. The California Death Index covers the years between 1940 and 1997 and since both George and Marha were alive in 1930 they both probably died between 1930 and 1940 - assuming they died in California.

Next we looked in the Online California Death Index for Martha's daughter Beryl Freitas and we found a record that indicated that Beryl had died in 1956 and that her mother's maiden name was Hinchcliff. We then looked in the US Federal Census for Pennsylvania for 1860 and 1870 but we couldn't find a Martha Hinchcliff in either Census.

We then decided to go to the California Department of Public Health to order a death certificate for Martha Kishbaugh. We downloaded the Application for Copy of a Death Record and provided the requested information - for year of death we indicated between 1930 and 1940. We ordered an Informational Copy and so we didn't need a Sworn Statement.

When we received the copy of the Death Record from the State of California we learned that Martha was born in Danville, Pennsylvania on September 26, 1857. Her parents were John Hinchcliff, who was born in England, and Mary Stahl, who was born in Pennsylvania. Martha Hinchcliff Kishbaugh died on March 25, 1934.

Genealogy Search Tip

Find an Ancestor's Address

High school and college yearbooks are a good source of addresses at the time of an ancestor's graduation. Usually the yearbooks list only the addresses of those in the graduating class. Since this will usually be the address for the family yearbooks are also a good source for the address of the parents and some siblings of the graduate.

See our discussion of Yearbooks for some additional tips on finding ancestor information.

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