1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 30, 2021 11:29 AM by Jeremy Farmer

    Finding an obituary for JW Davis

    Virginia Lee Newbie

      Good Afternoon: Are you familiar with the AME Zion church? Need help finding a obituary. My great great grandfather JW Davis, was a pastor in the AME Zion church in the early 1900's. I'm gathering information to develop a fuller picture of his life and history. We know that he attended the Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. I was able to get a copy of his application to Gammon through their archives, On his application, submitted January 19 1897,  to Gammon he mentioned that he was in the 4th go Traveling Preachers? What were traveling preachers? On the application it asks if he pursued any Course of Conference or other Theological studies, he answered yes District Conference?. He was ordained a ME Deacon in Greensboro NC October 20 1895, He also mentions that he served as a pastor in Kernersville North Carolina for 2 years. I've been able to trace his travel through census records. He passed away April 14 1914 in Laurinburg North Carolina. My Mom shared that he died as a result of a stomach wound, the family story is he fell on an umbrella while traveling on a Jim Crow car. I haven't been able to find an obituary. I have notes that he was mentioned in the North Carolina Conference 1914 Journal, Would anyone have any advice on how to use the details that I have to find an obituary and other records about him? I can share all of the documents that we have.




        • Re: Finding an obituary for JW Davis
          Jeremy Farmer Wayfarer

          Hello Viki, and thank you for your interest in History Hub!.


          While the National Archives does not hold obituaries, we are able to suggest resources that you may be able to find them. With any search for a persons records, a full name and a birthdate are always helpful. Since Davis is such a common surname, finding out what JW stood for will definitely help in your search. Depending on where the person lives, local newspaper publications are probably the best place to start. Usually your local library is a good place to check for newspapers, (either original copies or microfilmed), or they may have access to online resources like newspaper archival websites.


          The Gammon Theological Seminary may be the best place to find more information on what the role traveling preachers served. Most likely, they were invited to churches to preach, but you may get a more complete answer elsewhere. Traditionally, record such a birth, marriage and death records are not federal records, and the county that an individual died in would hold. You may be able to request JW's death certificate from the county archive that he died in. Laurinburg is in Scotland County - here is a link to requesting death certificates. https://www.scotlandcounty.org/347/Death-Certificates


          We hope this is of assistance in your search.

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