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Today’s Tip:  Don’t forget the mortuary!
Not too long ago, I was struggling with finding some evidence that would tie together a cousin who changed his surname ‘on the fly’ when he got his origninal Social Security Number.  He left some clues (same mother, same birth date, but a different surname for his father and himself.  Went from the Bohemian Vicha to the more universal Miller.  
I found a death certificate from a couple states away and noted that it had a Cleveland, Ohio mortuary listed as having the body shipped to for final needs.  I recognized the name of the mortuary as one that was frequently used by the Bohemian community in Cleveland and is still in operation.
I contacted them and they provided copies of the paperwork for this burial and sure enough, it was paid for and arranged by my cousin’s two sisters!  So there was the connection!
In another case I was able to place my family member as having died on Skid Row in Chicago as the result of the name and work of the mortuary that took care of his body when he died.  
So give those mortuaries a try for family records!  They might be a huge help!
Onward To Our Past,
Scott

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