Fallen Firefighter Research Resource – Find a Grave

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, the annual memorial service for North Carolina’s fallen firefighters will be held at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. More about that event in an upcoming. ‘Tis also the season for Mr. Blogger to update his records, notably his fallen firefighter database.

Rediscovered a nifty research resource on that front. Find a Grave, a web site with burial records on 145 million (!) people. Did a cursory search on about a dozen fallen firefighters (across decades and centuries) and found records for eight.

What’s so great about burial information, you ask? For research purposes, the entries may also contain complete names, birth and death dates, biographical information, and narratives about their deaths. In one case, a scanned death certificate was also included.

My first findings?

Details about Robert Young, a volunteer fireman in Winston-Salem, killed in a race riot in 1918. (He’s being added to the state memorial this year.) Proper first name for John Gaskill, a New Bern fireman killed in 1904. My records always listed him as “Johnnie.” And a full name for Henry Barnett, one of three Asheville fireman killed in a train wreck in 1891, as they were returning from the state fireman’s convention.

Give it a whirl.

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