I've managed to reduce the amount of years within which my 2nd great grandfather, William Porter, died. He appeared last in the 1860 federal census. He nor his wife are found in the 1870 census, but his wife, Catherine is a widow in the 1880 census. So for a couple years now I've been looking at a 20-year span. Well, today I was able to narrow that by 2 years and 1 month, Yes, 2 years and one month! I know, I know. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps.
How was I able to shave that time off? I found a notice in the 27 Nov 1877 edition of the Mount Vernon Republican newspaper that stated Catherine Porter was delinquent in paying her real estate taxes on 4 1/2 acres located in Pleasant Township, Knox, Ohio. Does this absolutely prove that William is now dead? No, but it's a good bet that he is dead.
Unfortunately there are no tax lists available for the time period between 1860 and 1880 in Knox County. They supposedly just do not exist. Were they burned, thrown away, or are they just hidden away in some long-forgotten attic? I don't know, but it is a bummer.