Even though my main focus is to clean up my source citations, every once and a while you just need to put in a little research time. So that’s what I do when I just need to do something fun with my genealogy.
This strategy has paid off for me because I managed to find William Travis and Sarah Booth‘s marriage record! That means I’m back one more generation since it gives the father’s names.
I was also able to confirm that this 1841 England Census entry was in fact William, Sarah, and their 4 month old daughter Frances. I was about 95% already but confirming that William’s father was named William gave me the last 5%. Now I have to figure out who David and Alice are. I’m assuming siblings of William, Jr. Or maybe David is a son of Alice. They are 20 years apart so anything is possible at this point.
I love figuring things out a small step at a time because I’m able to really take in the info! What’s your latest exciting find?
One of the things I’m doing is trying to find my Moore families in the New York state censuses. It’s not easy because of their commonly used names, but it’s fun looking anyway. I had found William H Moore Jr in 1915 at his usual address in Queens. In 1920, he lives at the same address, but in Brooklyn not Queens. I checked the map at the time and when I did, I completely understood!
The green line you see is the county line. It separates Kings County (Brooklyn) from Queens County. No doubt that border moved itself a bit before finally settling where it is now. Fun fact: That big green area is The Evergreens Cemetery where the Moore family is buried.
The above image shows where I had found William Jr‘s family in Queens in 1915. Just where I knew they would be, living at 47 Crosby Avenue.
This week I was working in Family Tree Maker. Making everything neat and tidy. Really just working on what I can without all my files, since I’m still waiting on the new computer. Imagine my surprise when a little green leaf showed me something a little surprising and informative!
William Jr‘s family was enumerated twice! This isn’t the first time this has happened to someone in my tree. It is the first time I’ve gotten extra information though, which is awesome. This one finally, finally, finally, suggests something I suspected, that the H in both William’s names stands for Henry. It also led me to William Jr‘s brother and business partner John. He is about 5 households up the street in this census.
Today is a great day for me. I’m moving on to the Webb family in my Family File Cleanup Project. This is a big deal because at this portion of the tree, all the research is my own. I will still have to properly source everything in a consistent way with the rest of the tree. I wasn’t so consistent with the sourcing. The great news is that I shouldn’t have any super crazy verifying to do at all. Everything from this point on is my own information, so hopefully I’m able to get this section knocked out quickly. That’s not to say that I won’t be doing a little research here and there, because I’m sure I will. For some reason, I’ve always loved researching the Webb family.
I think maybe it was the mystery of them when I started. It all goes back to the paragraph written at the beginning of the tree my Grandma gave me. While there was information in the beginning to guide, most of the research was corrected and filled in when I first started and beyond. For some reason, I didn’t cite census records well, but I made sure on everything else to make citations. At least there’s that!
It’s hard to see the sad pictures of Grandma’s original tree because the pages are fading. You might not be able to see that the only second generation children were those of my 3rd Great Grandfather, George Washington Webb. In my research over the years I’ve added George’s siblings, up from the known two siblings to a total of at least nine. That means the original paragraph mentioned a possible five children but I found mention of at least five more. I only wish my Grandma was still alive to share in the find. She was so set on that paragraph, but she wouldn’t have minded knowing how many more members of the family there were. Besides, I still have some mysteries she mentioned that I can search out, so I haven’t dashed all the family myths yet, just one!
It’s been a long time since I had something to post on Mystery Monday, but this one is a doozy! Before my vacation, I wrote about ordering Samuel Redford and Frances Travis’ marriage record. Now on top of the Duckworth/Redford mystery, I have a tale of two marriage records apparently.
Before I realized I could see a copy of the marriage certificate online, I ordered a copy from the General Records Office. I didn’t receive it until Saturday, which I think is pretty speedy for a record from another country! Anyway, I was cooking when the mail was brought in, so I asked my father to open the record for me. It’s always fun seeing records through a non-genealogist eyes. He immediately zeroed in on the fact that Samuel Redford was listed as a widower. Which prompted a variety of discussions, the biggest one being my shock at his widower status.
I thought it was funny that this was the first time I was hearing this, especially since I had viewed the record on FindmyPast.co.uk after I ordered it. Sunday morning when I had a little more time to investigate, I brought up the computer record and the certificate to compare. That’s where the mystery comes in! To respect the copyrights of the records offices, I’m going to just show you a transcription. You’ll just have to trust me on the differences for now!
I changed the text color on the most significant differences on the records. You can see that on the transcription from Find my Past, it says Samuel is a bachelor and that Frances resides in Werneth. Frances’ residence makes much more sense in the FMP record since I’ve found her family’s census data for 1861, 1871, and 1881 all in Werneth. What I think might have happened when they copied the record down in the GRO (who knows when?) is that the record above Samuel and Frances’ got mixed up with theirs. You can’t tell from the GRO certificate since it only gives the one record, however on FMP I can see the full page. The other record lists the husband as a Widower and both spouses living in Hyde. So most likely a mixup happened somewhere, but it’s not a good thing when you’re researching your family tree from across the pond!
This does show that mistakes happen all the time in records and you should always double check things even from the most trusted of sources.
9 years after I posted a message on an Ancestry.com message board I received a response! So never give up hope about some of your more silent lines. They can perk up at any moment.
Basically the message pointed me to this website, where he found my 3rd Great Grandparents in the Marriage Index!
The index doesn’t give too much information right away. Though it does give you enough to order if you so desire. My particular record wasn’t available for the order online option so I started trying to figure out how else I could find it. I thought about upgrading my Ancestry.com membership, but I didn’t see Chesire records in the databases. I didn’t want to commit that much money if I wasn’t going to have a big payoff.
I wasn’t sure what name to search for Samuel under, so I searched on FamilySearch for the bride instead. I found their entry in a Chesire Parish Register index! This opens a bit more information up for me. Samuel’s father is listed as William Duckworth, but Samuel uses the surname of Redford. Most likely his parents didn’t marry and Samuel used his mother’s surname. I also confirm that the Frances Wright Travis I got quick glimpses of in previous quick searches is in fact my girl. Her father’s name is also listed. I’ve watched enough of the British WDYTYA? by now to understand how their records are laid out. I still wish they had asked for the mother’s names though!
By the time I got to this point, to say my mood was good would be an understatement. I still wanted to see if there was anyway other then sending a SASE to England on getting a look at this record. It was then I made an inane comment to myself.
I wish that they had a ScotlandsPeople like site for England.
It was as I was finishing that thought out loud that I realized, wait a minute…
I read enough genealogy blogs to remember that the people behind the ScotlandsPeople website had also made a website for England. I was able to choose from a few options. There were a bunch of subscription options with full unlimited access to the site. I didn’t need that much access though, because I don’t have a ton of England searching to do. Just a few families so far. So I decided to purchase my 280 credits (good for a full year) and see how far that got me.
When I logged into Find My Past, I ended up opening a ton of tabs in my browser. I had a few different searches going. I was moving things from one computer screen to another. It was hectic, it was crazy and I realized I had to slow it down, and take it easy.
That’s right I moved to the kitchen table with my laptop. It forced me to do only what the computer could handle. I couldn’t open a million tabs, I couldn’t have Facebook going while I searched. I also couldn’t get distracted by the TV or other things around my computer. It was just me and the laptop at the table. I did miss being able to have Family Tree Maker open on one monitor and the records on the other, but sometimes you have to slow down so you don’t miss adding your citations in! That’s one of the things I’ve learned. Sometimes I devour records and then wonder where I saw things again.
From Find My Past, I was able to find the index entry again for Samuel and Frances. This time I was able to head over to the GRO website and actually order the certificate online! I can’t wait to get to see it. Maybe it will give me some hints as to William Duckworth’s occupation so I can narrow down my search a little more. You never know!
I was able to make a ton of progress on Frances’ family. I even found her siblings christening dates in another FamilySearch index. I followed her family through the 1881 census. She left for America in 1870/71, so it will be interesting to see how her family grew in her absence! Even after all the progress, I still have 210 credits left to use. I don’t want to waste them, so I’ll make a plan before I do anymore searching. It’s nice to know that I can send for birth and marriage records though, for a relatively cheap price after the conversion. What I paid for Samuel and Frances’ marriage record will still end up cheaper than all I’ve put into trying to find William H Moore’s death record in New Jersey!
I’ve filled in a little more of my family tree and it feels good! It a little strange to see the change of surname from Samuel to William Duckworth. It’s all I’ve got to go on for now though, so we’ll see where it goes!
Just that small sentence shouldn’t mean much to anyone other than a genealogist. To a genealogist it’s a clue into the life of an ancestor. For me, it wouldn’t have meant much without the document I am about to share with you. Before this document, I would have noted that my great-grandpa William L Moore once worked for a Mr. Sharkey but that would have been it. With the document I have though, I know that Mr. Sharkey must have been more than an employer. He was most likely a very supportive mentor and friend.
I first shared this resume in 2010, but now that I’ve spent this long transcribing Llewellyn’s diary, this document has a much richer meaning. It might be hard to see in the gallery format, so feel free to click over to the original shared images here.
What the resume shows is that in July of 1922, when William was just 20 years old, he started working for H.W. Sharkey, C.P.A. as an Assistant Stenographer. This is a big deal because what we know without looking at the resume is that my Great-Grandpa spent over 30 years working for AT&T as an accountant. Unfortunately, the resume also shows that there just wasn’t enough work to keep my Great-Grandpa on and in December of 1923 he left. Great-Grandpa spent about two weeks working as a bookkeeper for the British International Corporation before he went back to work for H.W. Sharkey & Co. This time as a Semi-Senior Accountant or Assitant, I can’t tell. What I do know is he got himself a $5 raise! He must have proven by leaving that he was vital to the business!
The resume says that my Great-Grandpa was only with H.W. Sharkey & Co. for four months before leaving in April of 1924. You and I know differently though because on February 16, 1925, he worked late for Sharkey. I would say that it was an error on the resume, but I know my Great-Grandpa’s record keeping skills. That just wouldn’t happen. So I choose to believe he worked for Sharkey while he went to the Excelsior Business School (see what I did there using the resume!). Then on May 15, 1925 he finally went to work where he would stay for the rest of his professional career, AT&T. Which is where I am 100% positive he was when this series of pictures was taken.
This entry is going to show you just how far behind I am on following leads, but oh well! Such is life I guess. Anyway, months ago, I wrote an entry about how I loved being a mystery detective when it comes to my family tree. That entry highlighted Emma Carter and my search for her mother among a group of sisters. I discovered her mother was Sina Carter and that Emma married Charles Hurdle.
Thanks to a wonderful friend/reader, Magda!, I have a few more leads after this entry to get me started. Unfortunately or fortunately, it could be both, I am only left with more questions. Ha! Magda commented on the entry to say my Carters sparked a few thoughts about her own Carters in that area, so she decided to dig a little deeper to see if there was a connection. Sadly, there wasn’t, but she did find some great records on FamilySearch for me to look at and analyze!
The first record she linked was the death record of Lewis Carter, the other mystery Carter from my previous entry. The death record gives his mother’s maiden name as Sina Carter and doesn’t list a father except for the last name of Carter. So that’s still an unknown at this point. The other record Magda found was a marriage record for Emma Hurdle and Elmer Fite! The best part is it actually gives Emma’s father’s name as John Jennings. I do wonder if maybe Lewis had the same father but without any record to back up that thought, it stays a thought. So I’ll leave Lewis for another day this week and take on Emma’s clues.
After the marriage record, I immediately did a search on the Ohio Death Records to see if I’d get a hit on Emma Fite, since I hadn’t gotten one on Emma Hurdle previously.
There was indeed a record. The name, birth date and place of death all fit my criteria. Also, this Emmie Fite being buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery also is in the positive column. I have yet to come across any of this family of Carters NOT buried in this cemetery. The only thing that was disappointing was that the mother is listed as Ellie Carter, not Sina and there is no father listed. So it’s an up in the air record. I’ll go ahead and use it and see where I go, knowing I might have to remove it later.
Since the death date was listed as 1931, I went ahead and jumped to the 1930 census to see if I could find Emma and Elmer in Clark township, Brown County, Ohio.
1930 found them exactly where I expected them to be, so I moved on to 1920… where the intrigue got started again.
On the 1920 census, it lists a Meredith Hurdle as Elmer’s stepson. There are a few problems with this. I have record of Emma’s children with Charles Hurdle and Meredith wasn’t one of them. I found a death record that fit Charles for 1897. So if Meredith was born about 1902… well, then Charles isn’t the father of Meredith. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the family in the 1910 census yet, I have to go page by page in Clark township yet. So I set off for more information on Meredith. I came across a marriage record for him and that’s when things got more interesting!
On Meredith’s marriage license, it gives an exact date of birth. Doing my calculations, that means he was born 16 Dec 1901. Definitely too far from 1897 to be Charles Hurdle’s son. Even more interesting is he’s going by the last name Fite and lists his father as Elmer. My first thought was that maybe he was Elmer’s son. Then I realized he was born 6 and a half years before Elmer and Emma’s marriage. Which doesn’t mean Elmer isn’t his father, just that it’s not a given fact.
Then I started thinking about it, and really I ended up happy. Happy that a boy without a father at his birth might have found a father figure by the time he married at the age of 22. Really Elmer might have been there his whole life, I don’t know. Just another one of those mysteries that keeps growing.
So thanks again Magda for all the great leads you gave me, and next I’ll have to ferret out Lewis!