Serendipity Day

**Tidbits from Coroners’ Records

**Is Your Desk A Mess?

**Finding Online Newspapers

**Death Records for U.S. Citizens Dying Overseas

**Why Does Our Hair Turn Gray?


A dear friend who lives in Lake Co, Ohio, and is very active in her genealogical society, has completed a project to index the Coroner’s Records for Lake County. She’s not sure when these will be publicly available but she’s proud (and rightly so) to have completed this monumental task. She shared some of the tongue-in-cheek things she learned from these records….that might apply to any county?

  • Bathrooms, and especially toilets, are dangerous to your health.  An amazing number of people are found dead sitting on the throne.
  • The worst place to be for longevity is the bed.  More people die in, on, or near their beds than anywhere else.  Sleep in the car.
  • Marriage is the best thing for longevity.  The majority of coroner cases are of people who are divorced or never married.
  • A huge percentage of people who die in Lake County are born in Cleveland.  I suggest Clevelanders stay in Cuyahoga County.
  • Fracturing a hip will make your death an accident if you die within a year of the fracture, no matter what you really die of.  It must be a law.
  • Exercise is not all it’s cracked up to be.  People die after mowing the lawn, jogging, hiking, and in locker rooms at the gym.
  • Low fat diets are for the birds.  Most people die of sludge in the cardiovascular system no matter what they ate.


Paul Turner, local wag in the Spokane newspaper, recently posed this question of GREAT IMPORT to genealogists:  “At what point does the stack of papers on your desk become so out-of-control that the likelihood of ever finding something specific in there is doubtful at best?”  Just wondering.


Miriam Robbins, EWGS member, has spent hours and months compiling and keeping up-to-date a listing of Online Historical Newspapers. Here’s the explanation from her website:  Have you ever wished you could find links to all the online historical newspapers in one place?  A place where they were listed by county and city so you could find the newspapers your ancestors read?  This is the purpose of the Online Historical Newspapers Website. It is meant to be used as an aid to genealogists, historians, and other researchers.

Clicking on “United States,” and then “Washington,” I get a list of about 100 newspapers that were published in Washington. Not only a listing but where that particular newspaper can be accessed and whether pay or free. Such a deal!

Click to this website:


Needing to find death information on an ancestor (or relative) who died in a foreign country?  NARA (our National Archives) to the rescue. At this website: (or Google it) you’ll find links to “Civilian Death Reports 1975 to Today,” and “Civilian Death Reports, 1789 to 1974.” Also listed are the finding aids.

Deaths of active duty military personnel are reported to the Defense Department. And for information relating to former military personnel buried overseas, you contact the American Battle Monuments Commission (both links are given).


On a lighter note: Why does our hair turn gray as we get older? Why do some turn white at such a young age? It does not have to do with teenagers but physiology. “Our hair turns gray, then white, as our hair follicles slowly stop producing the pigment that colors the strands, but the timing of this process is inherited (as it our hair color) and not related to the aging of the rest of our bodies. So it depends on your genetic background as to when you turn gray. Or why Grandma was white at 30. (Thanks to AskMarilyn in Parade Magazine, 10 Jul 2016)