Saturday, June 3, 2017

Never Give up Hope

Copyright 2017, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have been looking for more information on Leverta Eley Etheredge (Shepherd??) Bates for years, well over 20 years.  When I first started blogging I shared a photo I have of a mystery lady, whom I believed was Leverta, and in fact, I still do. You can read what facts I knew in 2009 by looking at that post.  I know some more since then, but, not a lot.  I have discovered information and data about her second, or third husband, Harold Bates.

I have been attempting to fill in her life story, and find her final resting place.  I have had some wonderful assistance along the way from a few genie angels.  AM and Susan.  And, probably others.  As I always ask, just where would my research be without the kindness of others??  Answer - - NOT where it is today - - I guarantee you that.

NOW, this morning on a Facebook page for Reclaim the Records, there was an announcement concerning death indexes for the State of New York. They mentioned they were not sure that deaths occurring in institutions were indexed, and if you found one, please let them know.  I decided to give it a whirl and see if there was any chance I could find Leverta.  I started in 1941 (taking a chance that she survived 1940) as I knew she was still alive in the 1940 census, per this index transcription:

Leverta Bates
 in the 1940 United States Federal Census
Name: Leverta Bates
Age: 62
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1878
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: Virginia
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Inmate
Home in 1940: Middletown, Orange, New York
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Inferred Residence in 1935: Middletown, Orange, New York
Residence in 1935: Same Place
Sheet Number: 33B
Institution: Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: High School, 4th year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 03

1941 - - nadda

1942 - - nadda

1943 (the year that Reclaim the Records acknowledged was the worst, almost impossible to read - - yea!!)   BINGO!!  

Here is a screen capture, what I can read:  Bates, Leverta, Died Middletown, age 64 years.  Appears death occurred in May, the 8th, the 18th or the 28th.  The certificate number, well, mmmmm, 24881, maybe???

I took this screen capture to Photoshop, but, the improvement is minimal.

I even screen captured just the last 3 columns in a larger format from the web site:

And, again, the digital enhancements, minimal improvement.

Now, despite the disappointment that the index is the least legible of the set, I am thrilled. I know what year and probably what month she passed.  And, I know that she was still at the institution.

The index for this specific entry is here.

There is this blog, which is now inactive that tried to work on burials for institutions in the state of New York.  After a number of years and what appears to be much frustration the writer has moved on.

I'll keep working on this, of course, as her story is still not fully told.

And, I still think that photo, it's her, a wedding photo, if you will.

* And, seriously, how LUCKY was I that Leverta's entry was one that someone enhanced with a marker??  I mean, if you were a betting person - -


No comments: