Finding a Death Date

When Death Records can’t be found

Lately, I have been researching my husband’s side of the family, a side I am unfamiliar with. We recently discovered that he is related to Mathew Caldwell, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Since then, I have set out to prove this with as much evidence as I can.

The research has taken me to Grimes County in Texas to the Davis family. Mathew’s daughter, Martha married Isham Davis. Their first child was Frances Ann Davis born about August 1849 as per the 1900 census. In 1866 she married Robert Breland. He died in 1888 and since he was a confederate solider in the Civil War, has a confederate headstone. There is no mention of a Frances Breland being buried in that cemetery though.

I did find a marriage record for Mrs. F A Breland and Edward Howard in 1913. I did not find a death record or headstone mention on Find A Grave for a Frances Howard either.

In researching the Grimes County Deed records covering over a century of records, we see that Edward and Frances Howard purchased land together in 1913 on the SR Marshal survey, not long after they were married. Knowing who Robert and Frances’ children were and who they married, helped me find a Deed record listing these children selling this land to Edward Howard in 1915. Upon reading the Deed record, they were selling the portion that they had inherited from their mother after her passing back to their step-father. Unfortunately, it did not mention when she died. I also did not find any records for her in the Probate Record books. But now I have a time-frame of when she died.

A search on the Ancestry boards found mention of Frances having been buried with her first husband, but was never followed up on.

I hope to one day make a trip to Grimes County to search in person for her headstone, and maybe visit some of the old family property.

Where are some unusual places you have found a death date?

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