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Mortality schedules can help complete family stories and also introduce unknown family members.

As you recall, formerly enslaved black Americans didn’t appear by name on the U.S. Census until 1870. So it’s entirely possible that an once-enslaved ancestor or relative would never be listed on a U.S. Census if he or she did not live past 1870.

This is exactly what happened with Norah Pinkard. She was four years old when she died in May 1870, a few months before the U.S. Census was taken.

According to this mortality schedule, Norah Pinkard lived in Chattahoochee County, Ga. when she died. Chattahoochee County is where my maternal relatives lived for years before moving to neighboring Stewart County sometime between 1910 and 1920.

But I can’t quite figure out whose little girl Norah is. She’s too young to be a daughter of Narcis Pinkard, my great-great-grandmother. (In fact, the two of them were born just a year apart–  Narcis in 1865 and Norah in 1866). Narcis’ husband, Ike, is the earliest Pinkard I can find. He was born in 1848, so theoretically, Norah could be his daughter, but I don’t have anything proving or disproving this.

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