I have always been a creature of habit. I usually drive the same route to wherever I’m going, I park in the same areas at stores, and I fold clothes in the same order every time. The same can be said for my research style. I sit down at my laptop, open up Ancestry, and click on search at the top of the screen and start entering in my ancestor’s information. I have had an Ancestry account off and on for about eight years now. About a year ago my research technique changed when I learned more about using the Ancestry Card Catalog at an AAHGS conference I attended.
By using the Ancestry Card Catalog, I was able to find my 2X great grandmother’s death certificate. Here are the steps I used to search Ancestry Card Catalog.
From the Ancestry home page, I clicked on Ancestry Card Catalog on the right side of the page under My Quick Links.
Once I was in the Ancestry Card Catalog page, I entered Arkansas in the ‘title’ box and clicked search.
This search brings up all the collections from the state of Arkansas, and I first chose the Arkansas, U.S., Death Index, 1914-1950 collection
In this collection I entered my 2X great grandmother’s name Eliza Ward and Woodruff County, Arkansas as the last place I had found her on a U.S. Census record.
There was only one Eliza Ward in Wood County. So I then clicked on view record.
This record provided me with a death date, year, and death certificate number.
With this additional information I then went back to the Ancestry Card Catalog and chose Arkansas Death Certificates, 1914-1969. I then entered her information in the search boxes.
The first result was Eliza Wood from Augusta, Woodruff with the death date of 08 July 1923. I figured her last name was transcribed incorrectly since all other information matched. So I clicked on view record.
This digitized copy of her death certificate was what I had been looking for. When I reviewed it, I saw that her son Alex Ward was the informant. The death certificate also confirmed that she was born in 1845 in Tennessee which is information I already had. So I concluded this was the correct death certificate for my 2X great grandmother, Eliza Ward. Unfortunately the death certificate did not list her parents’ names. So I will have to find some other record that has that information on it.
This just serves as a friendly reminder that it doesn’t matter how long you have been researching or how long you have been using a website/database, there’s always something new to learn. To say I use Ancestry Card Catalog all the time now is an understatement. I plan on learning more about Ancestry through their Ancestry Academy. There are short videos to help with researching and using the website. Hopefully I will learn something that will help me in finding Eliza’s parents’ names.