Okay, besides the obvious advantages of being able to look at online images on websites like the Library of Virginia, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, the Internet has made communication between family researchers a snap. Thirty years ago no one could have imagined how quickly information could be exchanged between two family researchers. Type up a short note, attach a file and “boom” you’ve shared a little family history. Ah bliss, thy name is Internet.
With the advent of search engines like Google, suddenly you can find snippets of information that your 4th cousin once removed has posted online. I bet some of you found this post by that very same process. (Welcome, oh 3rd cousin twice removed!)
In fact, by this very same method, I found obituaries for three of Frances Thacker’s children – Nicholas Thacker, Sara Jane Thacker and Catherine Thacker Thacker. I also have a copy of Louisa Thacker Garrett’s obituary. (I will post a transcribed copy below.)
You can find a transcription of Nicholas Thacker’s obituary by checking out Lynn Byler’s, “ANCESTORS OF JOSEPH OGIER JOHNSON AND CAROLINE RACHAEL KRONK,” on Ancestry.com.
She gives the date of the obituary as January 8, 1941 but unfortunately no newspaper is listed. There is no mention of his parents, only the fact that he has three children living, “Frank Thacker, of Wilkesville and Herman, address unknown and one daughter Willidy Williams, Los Vegas, Nevada.” Nicholas himself was living at the home of Hiram Marks near Wilkesville.
Lynn also has the obituary for Sara Jane Thacker, which appeared according to Lynn in the Republican Tribune, July 4, 1917. It gives her parents as Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Thacker. Interesting to those of researching her siblings but not germane to our current research quest, is the sentence that reads: She also leaves 2 sisters and 3 brothers to mourn their loss, Mrs. Henry Thacker, Chillicothe; Mrs. Charles Garrett of Wheelersburg; David Thacker of Hawk, Nicholas Thacker of Minerton; Hiram Thacker of Portland, Ind., besides a number of relatives and friends to grieve her departure.
Since her sister Martha disappeared after the 1900 census, and her sister Clarinda disappeared after the 1910 census, we can conclude that both of these individuals had died prior to 1917. Again, this is not helpful to this project, but interesting to note.
Penny Brown contributed a number of Thacker obituaries to the OHGen Web Ross County. One of these was for Frances’s daughter Catherine. The most important part of the obituary for our purposes is the sentence which states that she was “the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Thacker.” This obituary appeared in the Chillicothe Gazette on November 19, 1945.
Other obituaries that Penny contributed include one for Catherine’s husband Henry H. Thacker and a very sad obituary notice for their young son, Jesse Thacker, who drowned at the age of 17.
Finally, we have the obituary of Louisa Thacker Garrett which appeared in The Portsmouth Times, Portsmouth, Ohio, Page 10, Column 2, February 5, 1948.
Mrs. Louisa T. Garrett
Mrs. Louisa Thacker Garrett, 86, of Highland Bend, died at 8:20 p.m., Wednesday at Portsmouth General Hospital. She was admitted there five days ago. She had been ill for two months.
Mrs. Garrett, the last of 13 children, was born August 14, 1861, in Vinton Co., a daughter of Nimrod and Frances Thacker. She was the widow of Charles M. Garrett who died in 1942. She was a member of the United Brethren Church.
Mrs. Garrett is survived by daughters, Mrs. Mary Hampton; 2004 Sunrise Avenue, Mrs. Lottie Tipton of Sciotoville; two sons, Charles Garrett of Highland Bend and N. N. Garrett of Columbus, 27 grandchildren and 48 great grandchildren. Four daughters preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gill funeral home with Rev. M. S. Cunningham officiating. Intermet will be at Memorial Park Cemetery. The body will remain at the funeral home.
From the perspective of our investigation it is interesting to note how her parents are listed as Nimrod and Frances. Her obituary is the only one to call Nicholas, Nimrod, although it should be noted that Louisa named one of her sons, Nimrod, so that may be why the name stuck with whoever was responsible for the obituary.
Also it is interesting to see that Louisa’s obituary states that she was the last of 13 children. Thirteen is also the number that was listed for Frances in the 1900 census. Since I have only identified 12, this could be the source of some future investigation.
The truth is, however, the obituaries have done little to clarify or enhance our current investigation. Obituaries are notorious for being sketchy or containing inaccurate information. Unless the person who died left a copy for their own obituary, it is easy to see why this would be. Most of the time, the information included in the obituary is second hand. Often it is given at a time when an individual might be overwrought or emotional at the death of a loved one, not to mention overwhelmed by all the details that must be seen to at the time of someone’s death.
This is something we might want to consider when, tomorrow, we look at death records.
1. “Obituary of Nicholas Thacker, 8 January 1941,” Ancestry Tree Database, “ANCESTORS OF JOSEPH OGIER JOHNSON AND CAROLINE RACHAEL KRONK,” (http://www.ancestry.com/: accessed September 25, 2010).
2. “Obituary of Sarah Jane Thacker, 4 July 1917,” Ancestry Tree Database, “ANCESTORS OF JOSEPH OGIER JOHNSON AND CAROLINE RACHAEL KRONK,” (http://www.ancestry.com/: accessed September 25, 2010).
3. “Obituary of Catherine Thacker, 19 November 19 1945,” Ross County Obituaries, contributed by Penny Brown, “Ross County OHGenWeb,” (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohross/: accessed September 25, 2010).
4. “Obituary of Mrs. Louisa T. Garrett,” Portsmouth Times, 5 February 1948, p 10, col. 2.