Have I Found Martha's Death Record?

Martha Gordon Death Record?

While searching the Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001 with the search terms "Martha" "Brown", "Franklin County, Ohio" for the death place and "1901" for the death year, I got a hit. I wanted to start doing a genealogy happy dance saying I finally found her death record. But did I? Can I really prove it?

How did I know to search for Martha Brown in Franklin County, Ohio for a death in 1901 and a possible maiden name of Gordon? Well, much of the information comes from these two Bible entries kept by her daughter-in-law Emma Virginia Townsend.

Emma Townsend Brown Bible, recording her in-law's births
Emma Townsend Brown Bible, recording the deaths of her in-laws

These bits of information led me to census records, a marriage record, records for children, and records for who I believe are Martha's parents "Charles Gordon and Jane Fickle". So, with that information I went looking for Martha's elusive death record. Something to would support the family bible.

Martha Gordon Brown death record
"Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6CG-CY1 : accessed 30 February 2016), Martha Brown, 11 Apr 1901; citing Death, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID v 3 p 152, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,026,910.
I found a possible death record for a Martha Brown, maiden name Gordon, in 1901 in Franklin County, Ohio. The information I gather from this record includes the following:
Martha Brown, aged 74, dies on 11 April 1901 in Franklin County, Ohio. She's a widow and has been suffering from "Old Age" and Exhaustion for 2 years. (There is a paralysis note, but can't tell if it's for her or the woman above her.) 
She's listed as having lived at 796 Campbell in Ward 13 of Ohio. This is her permanent home but she's only been living there for 6 months. Her birth place is listed as Valley Crossing, Ohio. Her father's name is listed as Chas Gordon and a mother Susan. She's buried on Apr 13 in Lutheran Cemetery by the Schoedinger & Bros
So, how does the death register, with an unknown informant, match up to what I have from the family bible.

  • Well, the death dates are fairly close, April 9th vs April 11th. I can see how one of them is off but they both refer to the same person. 
  • I like how this Martha Brown has a father named Charles Gordon. However, family research had her mother as Jane Fickle, not a Susan (per the death record). Does this fact discount the link between my Martha and this death record? Did Charles have to wives and  Martha's mother is actually a woman named Susan? Or, was the informant, who ever it was, misinformed? 
  • Martha's birth place is listed as Valley Crossing, Ohio which is a town often associated with the Browns, Townsend, and Gordon lines. 
  • The funeral providers are Schoedinger & Bros, which is frequently the funeral home that has serviced generations of Brown and Townsend lines, but I'm not certain for Gordons. 

So, have I solved the mystery of where Martha's death record is? Right now, I have a lot of potential inferential genealogy assumptions that point to a possible link. However, perhaps I could find another clue that will disprove or prove the association. Perhaps I could learn more about the residence location and that could lend more weight to the working hypothesis.


  1. Hope this helps...

    Martha Gordon Brown
    Daughter of Charles and Jane (Fickle) Gordon.
    Widow of Samuel Curtis Brown (1822-1900)
    [Franklin County Probate Court death records]
    Created by: Zelda
    Find A Grave Memorial# 169300400

    Your DNA Cousin D.

    1. Thanks DNA Cousin! Do you have the death record reference of is it the one I'm looking at above?


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