My 3rd great grandfather, William L. Peters, died 6 Feb 1887 in Pickaway County, Ohio, but his death record had long eluded being found in popular online resources. I learned that it became an Ohio statewide law to record deaths in 1867 and that each county’s probate court was responsible for recording the death as a single line entry in a register between 1867-1908. Deaths that occurred after December 19, 1908 are recorded by the Ohio Department of Health in a certificate format.¹ So, William’s death should have been recorded at the courthouse. I wrote to the probate clerk to see if it was there. In February, I received an email and was told it was not there. How depressing.
Still, it bugged me and sat in the back of my mind for months. I knew it just had to exist! I had found multiple news articles online detailing his sickness, the doctor being called in from another bigger city, and his sons being called to his side in his final days. I even found his obituary but I desperately wanted his actual death record in hopes that it would give me more clues to solving where the Peters originated from.