Have you ever started out on a research journey and gotten distracted by one of the tools you found along the way? Well, that happened this week in my #52Ancestors task. My goal was to find and document a death date for Hermina Prince Eastabrook. Yes, I know the prompt for this week is to look in the Census but…
My father’s mother’s family has deep roots in northeastern Pennsylvania. Namely Bradford County. Apparently, a group of folks from Connecticut started out west in the late 18th century to prove Connecticut’s claim to a western boarder on the Pacific Ocean. I find this bit of American history fascinating, especially when I was living in Ohio and often had to explain to people why the northeast corner of the state was called the Connecticut Western Reserve and therefore the land records are in the Connecticut State Archives.
The Prince family is one of my lines and as near as I can tell Jonathan Prince (1769-1831) bundles his wife and children up in a wagon and sets off shortly after his 1792 marriage to Patty Vinton. They make it as far west as Bradford County and decide to stop. But that is the very beginning of the story. Let’s fast forward to his son George Washington Prince who has six children in Bradford County, one of whom is Hermina G. Prince, born on 29 January 1839.
I had found a burial record years ago, showing that Hermina and her husband Charles J. Eastabrook were buried in the Rome Cemetery in Bradford County. At the time, I had no further information. So my challenge this week was to try to find an obituary or death record. I hit pay dirt when I discovered that Ancestry and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission have partnered to put the state death certificates online. What a treasure trove!
Thus began my OCD journey to search out every possible Pennsylvania death on my tree occurring between 1906 and 1964. I will warn you that the indexing is very poor. Apparently, there was no ability to use the printed index to connect with the original certificates. If you decide to explore, search on the name and if no results, try just a first name and a death date or variations like that. I found Eastabrook, Eastabrooks, Eastbrook, etc. when the written record quite clearly indicated Eastabrook. Nevertheless, I added ten new spouses, and scores of death dates and burial places to my database. What a lovely, fruitful distraction.
Happy Birthday, Hermina Prince Eastabrook!