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Saturday, March 24, 2012

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Dealing with Details: Oral History Will Link Us

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Because I interviewed the grandson of Columbus McClure, I discovered the details about his tragic death.  I do have a few different versions of the story, but I had enough good clues to find the death certificate. I conducted this interview long before I actually got inspired to search for actual documentation. 


According to oral history, he was walking or driving across a railroad track which was very close to his home in Birmingham Alabama and was hit by a train.  It is not clear to me that he was walking.  He was a driver for a landscape company, so I am not sure why he would have been out walking down by the tracks.


I was able to confirm the fact that he was struck by the train from the death certificate. A few years ago, I  found the index at Ancestry.com. I had to contact the department of vital records to order a copy of the original. 


I was happy to discover further details:
Birth:   November 1881 in Alexander City
Father: Bill McClure

Mother:  Jane
Burial:  Woodlawn Cemetery

These details helped me to locate his grave and identify his siblings on census records.   

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