Sadie Sutcliffe is no longer my family tree’s biggest mystery! Thanks to the New Jersey State Archives, there are plenty of new names for me to play with!
I hope your family trees are treating you kindly! My father’s side is definitely ripe with activity while I am waiting on my website to change servers. There are a couple more records that came with this one and I can’t wait to share them.
Hello world, I am back again. Today I was watching a webinar given by Amy Johnson Crow on FamilyTreeWebinars.com. The webinar was very informative and a great refresher of somethings that I was already doing. While I was watching, it reminded me of something that happened about a year and a half ago. I was talking with my Aunt Lori over Thanksgiving, and it always turns to genealogy with us. My favorite thing to do is hand her records and let her look at them. About 90% of the time she notices something that I didn’t.
This particular Thanksgiving, we were talking about the progress I was making on the Redford/Travis section of the family tree. It had been a long time since I had anything new to report for them, so I was excited to share, even though it was more Travis than Redford.
We were discussing all the different Redfords that migrated to Los Angeles, and when they were there. I had mentioned that there was one Redford girl that had just plain disappeared on me and I couldn’t find information for her anywhere. I assumed that I would eventually find a death record for her in New Jersey from before the bulk of the family left for California.
To prove my point I plugged the surname Redford into a FamilySearch.org search box, and hit enter. Then I went through all the records showing her them, to see if she saw something I didn’t.
Then it happened.
All of a sudden, Lillian’s timeline exploded with information. I was able to add not just the one marriage but a second one. I was able to add a child, and that child’s marriage. I filled Lillian’s census information in up to 1940, and I thought to myself, man, what a ride that was! I couldn’t even believe that all this information popped up, just by doing a new search.
Here comes the Kathleen twist though. It’s what always seems to happen to me, just when you think you’re done or that you’ve gotten the information, something else happens.
As I was entering Lillian’s information, I thought I might as well check her father’s death certificate to double check how long he had been living in Los Angeles. It was then I realized I needed to be more thorough in my examining of documents.
It was there, right on her father’s death certificate the whole time. Informant: Mrs. Ralph Swiggart. If I had researched the informant’s name way back when I first got this record by mail, Lillian wouldn’t have been lost to me for so long!
Just chalk that one up to another misadventure in my genealogy. Here I am just proving that my personal motto should be Oops! 🙂
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!
I worked quite a bit yesterday on my maternal lines. The only drawback is it burned me out a little bit on researching. So I decided to switch to my paternal line, and just kind of observe it in pedigree format in FTM2012.
Here are some things I’ve noticed:
Josephine Doremus is the only one of my 3rd great grandparents that wasn’t an immigrant. All others that are listed were born in other countries
The missing spots in my 3rd great grandparents aren’t immigrants… at least I don’t think. I have possible parents for both Jennie Featherson and Sarah/Sadie Sutcliffe, just no paper trail yet.
My Moore line is completely Irish.
My Thorward line is a quarter German, a quarter ?, and half Scottish.
My Redford line is half English and half ?.
My Parkin line is half English and half ?.
All the known immigrant ancestors on my paternal line were all here before 1875.
This entry has been sitting idle for 45 minutes because I’m watching Ugly Betty on Netflix Streaming.
I probably shouldn’t “work” in a room with a TV, much less one with Instant Streaming capabilities.
Featherson and Sutcliffe don’t sound like normal names. They’re not exactly Thorward, if you get my drift, but they aren’t Moore or Johnson either.
Last time I posted about my 1940 Census search list, I only did two of the surnames in my family tree. This time I’ll be writing about two more. In fact, these are the last two big names on my Dad’s side of the family tree.
Harry William Redford: Harry was living in Los Angeles, California in 1930. I wish I could have found him in city directories to be sure of where he is, but I don’t have that. All I know is from 1910 through to 1930, he was living in the Los Angeles area. I have addresses for him for those years, but we’ll just have to see if he’s at the last one in 1940 too.
Herbert Redford: My 2nd Great Grandfather died September 11, 1940. He was most likely counted in the 1940 census. He was living in Los Angeles at the time also.
Clifford Herbert Redford: I’m unsure when my Great Grandfather died. I am sure he was alive in 1942 to register for the WWII Draft and his wife, Jane Parkin, didn’t pass away until 1957. So they should be found in West Orange at 166 Watson Avenue.
Howard J Redford: Clifford’s brother was last seen in the 1930 census, living in Maplewood, New Jersey. Even if he’s not there, he’ll most likely be somewhere in Essex County, New Jersey.
Edith Redford-McKane: Edith and her husband Thomas were living in Linden, New Jersey from at least 1930 through their deaths in the 1980s. So I think it’s a safe bet to look for them there.
Lillian Redford-McClane: I’ve only JUST found Lillian’s married name. I haven’t been able to locate her in the 1930 census yet either. I do know she passed away in 1988 in Inyo County, California. So my guess is she’s somewhere in California in 1930 and 1940. Now to find her!
Sarah Redford-Tinston: Sarah was one of the first to make the move to California with her husband. I first located them in Los Angeles in the 1910 census. Unfortunately I haven’t located them in 1930 yet, so I’m going to have to try and locate them in a directory at least to figure out their 1930 and 1940 locations.
Lillian Redford-Stemmle: This is where I was having problems before. Since there are two Lillian Redfords. Luckily they are far apart enough in age to distinguish them from each other. This Lillian and her husband were living in Los Angeles in 1930 and they both passed away there in the 1950s. So I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the Los Angeles area in 1940.
Walter Parkin: It will be interesting to see Walter in this census. He will most likely be living in Newark, New Jersey. However, I’d like to see if he started a family or if he is still living with one of his sisters.
Anna M Parkin: Sister to Hazel, Walter and Jane. Anna disappeared on me after 1900. However the year 1910 would put her at 19 years old. She’s most likely married and I haven’t found the marriage record yet. So her status in 1940 is unknown. I will keep a look out in the family households though, for clues.
Mary Ann Parkin-Spencer: Mary Ann is the aunt of the Hazel, Walter, Anna, and Jane. In almost every census, Mary Ann has taken in multiple members of her family. Whether it be nieces, nephews, brothers or mothers, there is always at least one. Her family was last recorded in Monmouth, New Jersey so that’s where I’ll be looking next.
William M Parkin: William’s family disappears from the radar after 1910. I don’t know if they moved or if something happened to them. The Parkin family doesn’t seem to be lucky in life. They had a lot of early deaths in the family. I’m hoping that maybe I’ll find a spark of him in a city directory or in 1940.
Joseph Parkin: Joseph was unmarried throughout his life, from what I can tell. The last I saw of him was in 1930. He was living with his niece and her family in East Orange, New Jersey. That’s a good place to start. If I don’t find him there, he will most likely be living with another member of his family. It was his habit.
This concludes my Dad’s side of the family tree! I haven’t even finished entering Mom’s side back into my database so it’ll be interesting to take notes on that as I go through my facts and sources. I already feel very prepared for my first peak at the 1940 census.
It’s been awhile since I’ve made a surprising brick wall breakthrough. One of the biggest ones was Lillian Redford. It was a little bit harder because her brother named one of his daughters after her. So things always got a little confusing. Until 30 minutes ago. I was just going through some California City Directories, clicking the green leaf reluctantly in Family Tree Maker.
My only question is, “Why now?” I have searched for Lillian a million times over the years and it’s never yielded a result. They must have done an update of some kind that added new records or maybe a refined search algorithm. I don’t quite care though, because I finally have something on Lillian after 1920!
This scan was sent to me from my Aunt a few years back. It was one of my first and only clues about the Parkin family. Their name has constantly changed through all my years of researching them.
Having this allowed me to send away to New Jersey for an official record of Clifford and Jane‘s marriage.
This record had much more information for me to digest. I already knew Clifford and Jane‘s estimated birth years and residences. I had known from the 1930 census that Clifford was a plumber by trade. I also knew that his father’s name was Herbert and his mother’s was Sadie. However I did not know that his mother’s maiden name was Putcliff or is that Sutcliff? To this day I’m still not sure!
I’ve had this record for a number of years and still I come back to it for clues every once and awhile. It’s always good to look over things you’ve had awhile. You never know what you might have missed in the excitement.
There are a few reasons that I chose to highlight this tombstone. In all my hijinks into my family history, I have stumbled onto learning how to do certain things. One of the first things I realized is that even official records can be wrong. I’ve also learned that spelling doesn’t matter in the early and late 1800s.
An important thing to remember about tombstones is that they aren’t always accurate. Take the example above. The names are mostly right, spelling mistakes aside. I also need to state that the death years are all correct (hard to get that wrong, right?)
John (1853-1927): His death certificate states his birth year as 1842. Since John is living in the 1850 census and listed as age 5, either date could be wrong but 1853 is more wrong then 1842.
Cecilia (1842-1914): I’ve only seen her referred to as Celia or Cela. That could be a shortened nickname but I might never know unless I find her birth record. Her death record also lists her birth date differently. I have 1840 and her age in censuses always matches that.
Harmon (1872-1952): Everything here is correct too!
Ivah (1897-1949): Iva’s name has been spelled a million different ways and that’s not including her maiden name (Moyer/Meyer/Myers). Once again I have her death certificate and her birth date is listed as 1894 and not 1897. The 1900 census actually gives her birth date as Sep 1894 too, which is spot on with her death certificate!
So basically what I’m saying is don’t always trust the tombstone. You never know who was giving the information at the time of your ancestor’s burial. In fact, it’s usually the same person giving the information for the death certificate. That’s why I’m so surprised the death certificates and tombstone varies so much here.
In fact, even newer tombstones can be a bit wrong. This is my grandmother’s tombstone inscription. Everything is spot on except the fact that she was actually born on April 13 and not April 15. Oops! Be sure your family knows that they can come to you for correct dates!
Tombstone Tuesday is a blogging theme used by many GeneaBloggers.