I love the Love family. When I first found that the Loves were such a big part of my tree, I always thought it would be easy to research these guys! Boy was I wrong. In my naive beginnings, I couldn’t think of a better name to research than Love. How unique a name that is! Then reality set in. Reality in the form of Lone. Lore. Long. Lane. Lare. Lave. Luff. You get the picture. There are a million different ways you can incorrectly transcribe Love. I don’t blame the transcribers though, because they’re trying to make sense of something a hundred years old. How are they to know the name is actually Love?
Alfred Love has always been a mystery to me. He was there in 1880 with his parents. Then he was gone. My Great-Grandmother Llewellyn put together a list of her mother’s siblings and parents (see above). This gives me Alfred’s birth and death date. So I know from that he didn’t die until 1913. So why can’t I find him in 1900 or 1910? I don’t know. With the big task of verifying my mother’s family tree, I sometimes get into the habit of taking a break from my Dad’s side which is all new territory, and I try and verify my Mom’s side. It breaks up the frustration level for me on his side and the monotony on hers. So I didn’t think about looking for Alfred to be honest. I knew I would get back to it.
I broke that habit recently. In cleaning up my family file, I’ve come quite tenacious at finding people in the Census records. It’s the main tool I have from my house, and until I am able to make trips to other states, the computer is my only tool. So I set about finding Alfred. The only problem was, I kept coming up blank. I tried all the variations of search I like. Just a first name in the county I’m searching. Just a last name soundex search, just the birth date, just the mother/father name. Heck, I even did a page by page of most of Essex County, New Jersey. That was quite an accomplishment and my eyes still hate me. No Alfred though.
For some reason I got the brilliant idea to check on Llewellyn’s old Diner Tree for inspiration. That’s when the brick wall came tumbling down… then my telephone rang and I had to walk away from it for an hour. Can you imagine how frustrated I got! I’m pretty used to stopping things and going on the fly. I’ve been known to pause a video or even leave up a program entry screen for hours at a time. I’m sure if I’m blessed with children someday this will be a very valuable skill to have.
As you can see from the Diner Tree above, Alfred has a couple of names listed under him. The way it reads is Alfred had a daughter Viola, and Viola had a daughter Marilyn. This is funny because Alfred’s brother also had a grand-daughter named Marilyn. There has to be some significance to that name for the family. Viola has to be another one now that I’m thinking about it. None of that matters right now though. What does matter is that I now have another search to plug into the 1910 census. So I plugged in only the name Viola in Essex County, New Jersey. Nothing. That’s when I went for broke and said to myself, “Why not just try all of New Jersey?” So that’s what I did.
Goodbye brickwall, been nice knowing you. Turns out Alfred’s name got all kinds of bungled in the transcription process. Which wouldn’t have mattered, if I had done a wider search of New Jersey. Alfred was living in Ramsey, Bergen County, New Jersey with his wife, Mary, and daughter, Viola. Funny part about this is that Alfred’s sister is living a couple of streets over with her husband and children. Oh and did I mention Alfred is working with her husband on the Railroad. I’m telling you, sometimes it’s right there in front of your face. Next time I find a family in the census, I’m going page by page through the whole district and I’m taking notes on familiar names. It’ll save me time later. Consider that my lesson learned.