In the year 2000 I abstracted the essential information from the obituaries that appeared in the CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, Nashville, Tennessee, 1880-1882, and published those that covered the period of persons born up to and including the year 1830. With the recent loan from Laurel Baty of microfilm rolls of this Methodist periodical covering these years I have finished abstracting the remaining obituaries.
The editorial staff of the ADVOCATE constantly reminded people submitting obituaries to them to keep their accounts as brief as possible as all too many individuals tended to write long, effusive obits. This admonition had some effect, encouraging people to submit the barest of vital stats for decedents but unfortunately, this also led to the deletion of data about grandparents and collateral kindred that had appeared in earlier issues.
Even so, these obituaries provide a gold mine of genealogical data. The ADVOCATE was a highly regarded periodical and not only Methodists but numerous Cumberland Presbyterians and some Baptists did so as well.
With the present publication comes the completion of the abstracting of obituaries in the extant files of the NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, 1847-1914; its predecessors, the WESTERN METHODIST, 1833-1834 and the SOUTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, 1838-1846.
I have striven for accuracy in abstracting but I would suggest to every serious genealogical researcher to get photocopies of all obituaries of interest to them. Copies of obituaries may be ordered for very reasonable fees from Mrs. Jackie Wood, acquisitions librarian and archivist of the Memphis United Methodist Conference, Lambuth University Library, Jackson, Tennessee 38301 or from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 7th Ave., North, Nashville, Tennessee 37243 or from the Methodist Library, Drew University, Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940.
Jonathan K. T. Smith