Sunday, December 09, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #102

Debbie Atchley has come through with another Memphis challenge.

I like reading those articles in the local newspaper with things that happened 25, 50, 100 and 125 years ago. Makes you wonder "whatever happened to...."

In the 29 September 2007 issue of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the "Memories" column mentioned an Oscar Norfleet from 100 years ago:

This should be a fairly quick one - so you can get back to your Holiday shopping/wrapping/cooking...:
  1. When did Oscar Norfleet die?
  2. What was his full name?
  3. Where did he die?
For the third question, be as specific as possible.


This was a very easy one!

Oscar Carlock Norfleet died Feb. 9, 1909 in New York, NY. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, TN.

His middle name is listed on His death (including place of death) is also recorded with the Shelby County Register of Deeds (

Drew Smith

According to Find A Grave, Oscar Carlock Norfleet died on February 9, 1909.

According to a brief obituary in the February 10, 1909 Atlanta Constitution, Norfleet died of heart disease in Bellevue Hospital, New York City.


You both nailed it. His death is also recorded in the IGG's NYC Death Index.

Thanks for the challenge, Deb!

Drew Smith

Except that the NYC Death Index doesn't pin it down any further than "Manhattan", and I don't think the Shelby County Register is pointing to our Oscar Norfleet (unless I overlooked something). Where is it in the Shelby site?

Drew Smith

Oops, ok, I just found the dropdown box to search the right time period for Shelby deaths. Unfortunately, that one only narrowed it down to New York City.


I never would have thought to look in the Atlanta Constitution Drew. Did you do that link through a library? My local library only has access to the Atlanta Constitution for articles since 1985 [grumble], and the Atlanta Constitution site shows the archives as "pay as you go" unless I'm missing a link.

Drew Smith

Yup, my local public library (the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative) gives free access (even from home) to three different ProQuest historical newspapers: Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times. I can even search all three at the same time. I almost didn't search the Atlanta paper!

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