The Genealogy Breakthrough that Made Me Cry

I don’t usually do blog posts this close together, but I just had to share my latest break through. I was attending one of Legacy Family Tree’s webinars (Mining Uber-sites for Germany Ancestors by James Beidler) and using one of the tips, broke down my not-so brick wall. This brick wall has stumped us all for years. I’ve talked about George Thorward before.

  1. Wordless Wednesday: George Thorward – 1st Car
  2. Tombstone Tuesday: Thorwards – Tombstone pictures for George and his wife Josephine, plus an extra one of them outside their house.
  3. Did I Find Him? – An entry where I first wonder about the George Thorward/George Yohn question.
  4. Surname Saturday: Thorward – A very brief glimpse of what I knew of the Thorwards in July of 2010
  5. An Unexpected, Yet Expected Turn – George shows up in his marriage record as George Yohn and I end the entry with the question: Who are you George?
  6. Mysterious Ancestors: I tried to examine this George Yohn/George Thorward thing yet again.
  7. George Yohn… Again: I got Josephine and George’s marriage record in the mail
  8. Timeline: George Thorward: Again, I use a timeline strategy to sort out what I know about George Thorward/Yohn. Note: Eagle eye readers will notice I state at the beginning that I lost the article that showed where he came from in Germany. Then post that same article at the bottom of the post. Talk about losing things right in front of your face!

That brings us all up to date except for the recent revelations. I’ve been blocked when it comes to George for a long time. Until about a week ago that is. On Facebook, a conversation between some Thorward cousins popped up. My 2nd cousin 2x removed (haha, I love that), happened to mention that her father (grandson to George Thorward) used to tell a story about George. According to her father, the story is that George and his brother came to Newark, New Jersey in 1866 from W√ľerttemberg to escape serving under the King of Bismark. According to him, George was 12 at the time. They came to Newark to stay with their sister whose last name was Gantz and she had a hat factory. The family lore also says their last name was originally Weigel but that the brothers made up the name Thorward. George then got a job on a farm in Towaco, New Jersey. There he met and married the farmer’s daughter, Josephine Doremus. My 2nd cousin also believed that George’s brother was Benjamin and he went west to the Chicago area. I will dissect this family lore in another entry on another day. There is going to have to be another timeline soon I think. ūüôā

Now I had always heard about George and a brother who came with him, but I could never find the brother to substantiate anything having to do with a brother. George and his descendants were the only Thorward ever in New Jersey that I could find. There was one other Thorward family that pops up in the mid-west but I never had any connection to them. I know I should have been a good genealogist and researched them also. I mean if you think about it, there was only that one other family so they had to be related somehow. I just never got around to it with all my other things going on. Note to myself, a to do list will help with this in the future, haha. This other family was headed by Benjamin Thorward and he did say he was from W√ľerttemberg. So now I will definitely be adding that family to my to-do list!

Fast forward to today’s Germany webinar and I got one little tip that sparked in my head. I was watching when I saw a database pop up as an example. It was called the W√ľerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index. All I put into the search box was George Weigel. I didn’t add anything else.


This was the very first search result. I’m not going to lie to you, I might have blacked out for the second half of the webinar. I will definitely be re-watching it because it was full of such good tips. I just can’t remember any of them at the moment. If this turns out to be a match, it would also explain where the Yohn/John comes from in the earlier records for George.

johanngeorgweigelI am very excited about this for a lot of reasons. I know this still has a long way to go to be a stronger connection. I have plenty of records I still want to get my hands on for both of my candidates here. I believe the next record I will get is George’s New Jersey death record and see what that says. It was on my to do list anyway. Plus I want to learn a lot more about this section of Germany and what was happening at the time.

So all of this is very exciting for me but I know there is still tons of work ahead. I’m sorry if I come across a little scattered but my brain is moving 500 miles per hour! Never fear though, I am taking a cooling off period and slowing down. I will be examining lots more records before I determine if this is my guy or not. I am so much closer than I ever was before though!

Records to Order:

  • George Thorward’s death certificate from New Jersey. The issues that kept George from stating his real name in the beginning of his America journey, probably wasn’t shared by whoever filled out his death certificate. His wife was still alive, maybe she was aware of his family history. I might not ever be able to 100% prove the Weigel connection, but it won’t be from lack of trying.

Records to Find:

  • An immigration record for either George Thorward, George Yohn, or Johann Georg Weigel.
  • I am going to try and track down the sister by the name of Gantz.
  • City directories – George showed up in many directories once his name was Thorward but maybe he used one of his A.K.A.’s in Newark before moving to the more rural area.
  • Maybe a naturalization record would give some great information. As early as 1900 George stated on the censuses that he was naturalized. If he was telling the truth, that should give me something!
  • I want to look for a will for George in New Jersey. It could be he might mention a brother or nephews/nieces in his will.
  • The land records for George’s house on Central Avenue.
  • Any more newspaper mentions of my George to see if it gives anymore about his German history or family.
  • Research the other Thorward family that shows up in the mid-west. This is allegedly George’s brother. Maybe I will find records to help me, by researching them.

You can be sure you’ll be hearing more about this in the future!

I’m Home Again

Whew, that was quite a trip I took. We started out in Avoca, New York. The site of our annual family reunion. Only, this year the 4th of July was on a Wednesday and it was very confusing to the planning of the festivities. So, it ended up being just us visiting with the New York branch (with a little South Carolina thrown in!). ha. We stayed overnight. On our way to visit my Aunt Barb in PA, we visited Aunt Diane and Grandma Moore in the cemetery. This was my first time up to New York since Diane’s funeral, so it was an emotional visit.

Valley View Cemetery; Avoca, NY
Valley View Cemetery; Avoca, NY

We spent the evening with Barb, and headed into New Jersey to find a hotel. We had some time the next morning before my Aunt Lori got off work. I was actually very grateful because this was the first time I had been in Caldwell without any time constraints. We could tool around as quick or slow as we liked. We started off needing breakfast, so we ate at the Caldwell Diner. It just so happens the Caldwell Diner is right next to the site of the old Thorward Meat Market. So while I had the Caldwell Special, I had a perfect view of the meat market building!

Bloomfield Avenue; Caldwell, NJ (2012)
Old Meat Market; Caldwell, NJ (2012)
Bloomfield Avenue; Caldwell, NJ (?)
Thorward & Van Duyne Market; Caldwell, NJ (?)

I only wish I knew the exact years that the meat market was in business. While Grandpa Moore was alive, he told me a couple stories about it. He wasn’t very good with dates though, so I’m left to try and reason that out myself. I do have a newspaper clipping about the market, the only problem being it doesn’t have a date. (I previously wrote about the Market as my very first entry on the blog!)

Market Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Thorward and Van Duyne’s Market, Caldwell, is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this week.

The market, the first in Caldwell, was established in 1856 by Frank Dobbins, who later sold the business to George H. Vanderhoof. After a few years the market was operated under the name of Vanderhoof and Wilton until twenty-five years ago when Thorward and Van Duyne took it over.

Lewis Thorward, a partner in the business, has been in the store for forty-two years. The market has Caldwell’s No. 1 telephone.

After eating at Caldwell Diner, we went by a lot of the old homesteads. I got pictures of a few, but because traffic was so heavy, it was hard to get pictures most of the time. I will admit, the heat kept me in an air conditioned car. We’ll still be going back to visit more thoroughly, I stopped briefly at the West Caldwell Library but that was all the “research” I got in. I did find an awesome book with pictures of Historic Caldwell. I liked the book so much I ordered my own copy off Amazon!

Thorward's Diner
Thorward’s Diner
Remembering the Caldwells by John J Collins
Remembering the Caldwells by John J Collins

Next time I’m in Caldwell, I hope to visit the Methodist Church that Llewellyn is always mentioning in her diary and maybe a few more libraries to see what they have.

William Thorward Moore, 1930-2012

Every weekday for the past year, I’ve woken up, cooked Grandpa breakfast, and we’ve watched the news or Today Show together. This morning I’m not doing that. It’s hitting me harder then I thought it would but I have to remember Grandpa’s favorite thing to say when he was having a hard time.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Making some Observations

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.

click for full size

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. My Moore line is completely Irish.
  4. My Thorward line is a quarter German, a quarter ?, and half Scottish.
  5. My Redford line  is half English and half ?.
  6. My Parkin line is half English and half ?.
  7. All the known immigrant ancestors on my paternal line were all here before 1875.
  8. This entry has been sitting idle for 45 minutes because I’m watching Ugly Betty on Netflix Streaming.
  9. I probably shouldn’t “work” in a room with a TV, much less one with Instant Streaming capabilities.
  10. 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.

Timeline: George Thorward

George Thorward

(1852 – 1940)

January 1852:¬†George was born in Germany. I used to have an article that stated a place in Germany, but it has disappeared with the other records I can’t seem to find anymore. So I’m back to just plain Germany. ((1900 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 215, sheet 7-B, dwelling 133, family 145, George Thorward))

Between 1865 ((1910 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED156, sheet 2-B, dwelling 38, family 39, George Thorward)) , ((1930 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ., Caldwell, ED 353, sheet 11-A, dwelling 238, family 254, George Thorward.)) -1867 ((1900 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 215, sheet 7-B, dwelling 133, family 145, George Thorward)): George immigrated to the United States

1870:¬†George “Yohn” is living in the household of Harvey Bond as a cigar maker’s apprentice. His birthplace is listed as Wurtemburg. Wurtemburg happens to be the same place that the disappearing newspaper obituary gave. However, I no longer have the article to prove that. I have to get to the New Jersey archives so that I can search old newspapers. ((1870 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, page 112-B (stamped), dwelling 118, family 134, Harvey H Bond household)).

November 1871:¬†George “Yohn” marries Josephine Doremus in Verona, New Jersey. My Great Grandma Llewellyn’s diary gives their exact marriage date and year. The marriage record refers to the groom as “George Yohn”. ((Moore, Llewellyn (Thorward). “Diary” MS. Caldwell, NJ, 1923-1926. Privately held by Kathleen Moore, {Address witheld for private use,} Lexington Park, MD. 2005.)) , ((Essex Co., NJ. “Marriage Records, 1795-1893.” Book D, pg. 176, for “George Yohn, Josephine Doremus,” marriage return.))

September 1872:¬†George and Josephine’s first child, Frank Springsted Thorward, is born. ((1900 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 215, sheet 7-B, dwelling 133, family 145, Frank Thorward.)) , ((World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, images ,, card for Frank Springsted Thorward, serial number 3485, Local Draft Board 4, Essex Co., NJ.))

January 1875:¬†George and Josephine’s second child, Lewis Thorward, is born. ((1900 U.S. Census, Hudson Co., NJ, Harrison city Ward 3, ED 19, sheet 28-B, dwelling 422, family 613, Louis Thorward.)) , ((Moore, Llewellyn (Thorward). “Diary” MS. Caldwell, NJ, 1923-1926. Privately held by Kathleen Moore, {Address witheld for private use,} Lexington Park, MD. 2005.))

October 1879:¬†George and Josephine’s third child, Dora Thorward, is born. ((1900 U.S. Census,Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 215, sheet 8-A, dwelling 145, family 158, Dora Plume.))

1880:¬†George’s family is living in Caldwell. George’s occupation is listed as Cigar Maker. ((1880 U.S. Census,Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 94, page 403-B (stamped), dwelling 96, family 101, George Thorward.))

20 Aug 1890: George arrives back in the US after a trip to Germany. His port of departure was Antwerp and port of arrival was New York. However his occupation was given as ‘cooper’. I can’t be sure this is the correct George because of that. The birth year of around 1852 fits though. ((“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” roll M237_553, list number 1227, images,

December 1897:¬†George’s daughter, Dora, marries Leslie Plume. ((Atlantic – Hudson Co., NJ., “Marriages, Atlantic-Hudson v. 34,” 1897-1898, pg. 166, record 154, for “Leslie J Plume, Dora Thorward”.))

31 Aug 1898: George arrives back in the US after a trip to Germany. His port of departure was Antwerp and port of arrival was New York. His occupation, marital status, age, and address all match my George. ((“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” roll T715_29, page 298, images,¬†

October 1898: George’s son, Lewis, marries Jennie Love. ((Atlantic – Hudson Co., NJ., “Marriages, Atlantic-Hudson v. 36,” 1898-1899, pg. 169, record 1, for “Lewis Thorward, Jennie V Love”.))

1900: George’s family were living on Central Avenue in Caldwell, New Jersey. ((1900 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 215, sheet 7-B, dwelling 133, family 145, George Thorward))

1910: George and his wife were living in Caldwell, New Jersey. ((1910 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 156, sheet 2-B, dwelling 38, family 39, George Thorward))

1920: George’s household at 110 Central Avenue is counted, however it doesn’t seem like they were actually home at the time. I think the neighbors must have given information because it is very sparse. ((1920 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ, Caldwell, ED 22, sheet 19-B, dwelling 425, family 458, George Thorwood.))

1930: George and his wife were living at 112 Central Avenue. George gives a immigration year of 1865 and an occupation of cigar maker. ((1930 U.S. Census, Essex Co., NJ., Caldwell, ED 353, sheet 11-A, dwelling 238, family 254, George Thorward.))

1940: George passes away after a 6 month illness.

George Thorward obit. I have no source info for this one. It was among Llewellyn's thing.

I can pick my relative out of a lineup

Today is a great day. My sister is happy in her new car and my Grandpa Moore might be released from the hospital for a few days before his surgery. I’m hoping I can get the pictures for this entry scanned without many problems. My printer/scanner has been acting a little funny and I haven’t had a chance to troubleshoot it yet.

I received a few comments on my older entries this week, one was from Dana who writes the Just Folks blog. I jokingly told her in a followup comment that I may not know their names but I can pick my relatives out of a lineup! At first I meant that jokingly, then I realized how real that analogy was.

When I first ran across these class pictures, I didn’t know who I was looking for. Eventually I was able to distinguish Llewellyn in most of them. (You can click the class pictures to make them larger.)

Her brother George was in others.

When I first stated this website and blog, I was only able to pick out Llewellyn in the pink and her mother in the purple with the white hat. Now after being in contact with a distant cousin, Rick, I know his Grandmother is Belle Love-Leonard and she sits straight across from Llewellyn. I knew she had to be important because I can pick her out of a lineup too! She’s in quite a few of the pictures I remember so now I’m slowly identifying more of my family that I thought I would never identify!

The lesson I’ve learned is don’t be afraid of those photos you can’t identify. Get familiar with them. You never know when something will pop out of the woodwork or cyberspace in my case and your pile full of unidentified people become relatives!

My next project:

Matching names with faces on Llewellyn’s 8th Grade class picture. I noticed some familiar names like Helen Steinhoff (from Llewellyn’s diary) and Loren Leonard. Two of Llewellyn’s Aunts married into the Leonard family, so it’s be fun to see if she had a cousin in her class! Also there was a Fred Personette in her class. The Personette family married into the Lindsley family, who married into the Thorward family. However, that was Kate Lindsley and Frank Thorward and word on the street is that no one talked with Frank for some strange reason. I’m actually in contact with Frank’s Great-Great Grandson Brent. Funny how the universe works, we both ended up in the same Maryland town and didn’t know each other existed until we met on the internet!

A Change of Plans

You may or may not be wondering where I have been lately. It just so happens I’m on active jury duty. I finished up a trial yesterday and I’m free today, after that, only the judge knows!

In the midst of all this, my grandfather moved to Southern Maryland. So to say my life has been hectic would be an understatement! It’s all going good though, I just have a busy few weeks ahead of me. I’m hoping to settle back into my routine in the next week or so, or at least finding a new one. I haven’t had much time for computer related things. I’ve been falling asleep much earlier then I used to! I guess that’s the results of a busy lifestyle!

The great thing is that I’m getting plenty of stories from Grandpa. Even some new pictures!

Thorward & Van Duyne
Thorward & Van Duyne

The 1940 Census – Part 1

The genealogy community is buzzing. There’s only 1 year left before we’ll have access to the 1940 United States Federal Census. Like everyone else, I’m already trying to think about where my ancestors were at the time the census was taken.


William L Moore & Llewellyn Thorward-Moore: These two should be at their house on Park Avenue in Caldwell NJ. This census year will be the first that my Grandpa shows up on.

Robert J Moore Jr: I expect him to be at the Moore household on Myrtle Avenue in Caldwell NJ. I don’t know if his aunt, Mary J Moore is still alive at the time of the census. According to the notes I have, she died in 1940. He was living with her on Myrtle Avenue in 1930. This census will also be crucial for me because I’m unaware of the year Robert J Moore Jr married his wife. It will be interesting to see if I can find a marriage record when I’m in New Jersey, or if I’ll finally fill that blank spot when the census is released.

Marion S Moore: Robert and William’s sister was still living in Brooklyn in 1930. According to the SSDI, her last known residence was in Suffolk County, New York. Without an index, this one might be waiting for a long, holiday weekend! There is no doubt in my mind Marion’s family was living on Long Island.

William H Moore Jr: William was last living in Essex County, NJ with his wife and three daughters. The daughters are of marriagable age by 1940, so I’m going to guess I’ll be looking for marriage records for them before I find them on the census.

John R Moore: John was living in Brooklyn in 1930 with his wife and daughter. So I’ll be looking for them on the same long weekend as Marion Moore-Schroeder.

Note: William H Moore Jr and John R Moore are the siblings of Mary J Moore and Robert James Moore Sr. Mary died in 1940 and Robert in 1925. I don’t have death dates for either brother. It’s possible they had already passed away. I just don’t know yet.


Lewis and Jennie Thorward: Lewis and Jennie Thorward will be living at 75 Westville Avenue in Caldwell NJ. I know his because that was their home for their whole marriage. Lewis didn’t die until 1946, after which Jennie lived above the meat market before living with her daughter Llewellyn. [1. Grandpa Moore for the first part, Dad for the second] In 1949 she is in the city directory and listed as living at the same address as the business.

George W Thorward: Llewellyn’s brother will be in Caldwell somewhere. I do know he lived on Overlook Rd from Grandpa and the 1949 city directory. So I’ll try there first.

Frank Thorward: Frank will be found living on Washburn Place. He is listed at the same address in 1949 that I found him at in 1930.

Robert M Thorward: The great grandfather of my distant cousin Brent! He married his wife in 1939, so I will find him with his new wife Laura Alice Whitehorne.

Raymond Thorward: I don’t have much information on Raymond. I know he married from his tombstone, but I don’t know the year. It will be interesting to see where he turns up in 1940.

Note: Neither Robert or Raymond are found in the 1949 Caldwell city directory. I’ll have to check for them in a surrounding city.

Dora Thorward-Plume: Most likely I will find Dora and her husband, Leslie, living on Slocum Avenue in Englewood NJ. They are living at the same address since the 1910 Census. Leslie was a plumber by trade. They ran their business out of their home from what I can tell.

Vivian Plume-Westervelt: Vivian is the daughter of Dora and Leslie. She had been married for close to 10 years already in 1930, so I don’t know if much will change for her and her husband. They were living near her parents in Bergen County, NJ. Charles VanBuskirk Westervelt was the owner of a Garage and she was the secretary.

George and Josephine Thorward: Sadly this is the last census for both George and his wife. Actually, 1930 might have been the last one for George. I only have death years for this couple, which bothers me! Their death records are #1 on my to do list when I am in New Jersey. I know George died in 1940 and Josephine in 1942.

This was great fun and stay tuned for the rest as the time ticks down!

George Yohn… again

I received my order of records from the New Jersey State Archives on Saturday. The record you see above was too big to fit onto my scanner, so I tested out the app recommended to me for my iPhone. It worked pretty well! Especially under the conditions I was trying. It would have probably worked a bit better in daylight on a flat surface.

Anyway, onto the record. The record I sent for was the marriage record for George Yohn and Josephine Doremus. I’m currently trying to figure out if George Yohn is in fact George Thorward. What I like about the above record is that the marriage date fits with what I know for George and Josephine. I also like that Josephine Doremus is listed. There was another Josephine Doremus in the 1870 census but she was living in Newark and not Caldwell. In 1880 there is no trace of Josephine and George Yohn. Only Josephine and George Thorward. Everything about the above record fits with George Thorward except the Yohn last name. It is a bit disappointing to see the parents names listed as “Not Known” for George. Though it raises another question. Did George lose his parents when he was young? Did that prompt his immigration to America?

I did search the online index for name changes on the State Archives website but I found no trace of any Yohns or Thorwards. I’d love to get my hands on some local history books from the church or even the newspapers. My Grandpa told me that there is some stuff in local books about the Thorwards because they were integral in the Methodist Church of Caldwell.

Included in the envelope with my records was a note from the Archives. They explained to me that they included the entire page as counties were only required to report once a year the births, marriages, and deaths from their county. Individual records weren’t issued by the State until June 1, 1878. So the record they sent me is actualy for the whole period of May 1871 to May 1872. So to me that tells me, if another Josephine Doremus had married George Thorward in November of 1871, it most likely would also be listed on this page.

I’m getting closer and closer to confirming my assumption that there was a name change. Once that happens, I’ll have more questions. Was Thorward the original German name or was Yohn? Did George adapt Yohn when he immigrated and then wanted to change it back? Were the children born under the name Yohn? Will this impede me in finding their birth records?

Previous entries in the George Yohn craziness:

Mysterious Ancestors

I’ve been so disorganized in the last few weeks. I recognize now that’s why I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything accomplished. However, I have many hours of television on my DVR to catch up on and a few hours to spare. So I’m taking that time to sit down and look over some of my current mysteries. I’m on a Mays family hiatus, in case you were wondering. That two death certificates thing just through me completely off my game.

George Yohn / George Thorward

Okay, he’s my biggest mystery. I’ve discussed him with myself and others many times since I had my latest breakthrough. Here are the facts about George Thorward.

  1. He is most definitely George Thorward through my Great-Great Grandfather’s life. I don’t have Lewis’ birth or death records but as our family is most notably Thorward, I’ve got to assume we’re Thorwards.
  2. In the 1900 and 1910 censuses they ask for year of Immigration. George answered 1865[1. 1910 United States Census; Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey; ED 156; Dwelling: 38, Family: 39;] and 1867[1. 1900 United States Census; Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey; ED 215; Dwelling: 133, Family: 145;].
  3. There was no George Thorward in 1870 Caldwell, New Jersey.
  4. There was a George Yohn living next door to Josephine Doremus in 1870.¬†George Thorward’s wife, whom he married in 1871.
  5. I found a marriage record for George Yohn and Josephine Doremus on the New Jersey Archives website.
  6. George Thorward was in the tobacco business his whole life. George Yohn is listed as a cigar maker’s apprentice in 1870.[3. 1870 United States Census; Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey; Dwelling: 118, Family: 134;]

The things I’m doing to resolve this problem:

  1. I sent away for the marriage record between George Yohn and Josephine Doremus to see what it says.
  2. I’m making a list of the dates of all these Caldwell/Essex County events so that if I get a chance in July, I’ll be ready to go to the local library in New Jersey.

William H Moore

William Moore runs a very close second to George Thorward when it comes to mysteries. Here’s what I know about him:

  1. He first shows up in 1870 census in Chicago with his wife and oldest three children[4. 1870 United States Census; Chicago Ward 9, Cook, Illinois; Dwelling: 1570, Family 2102;]. My Great-Great Grandfather isn’t born until 1871.
  2. Through city directories I know that William lived in Chicago from 1866 to 1870. This might explain why Cook County didn’t have a record of Robert’s birth in 1871.
  3. He immigrated to the United States in either 1858 or 1859[5. 1900 United States Census; Brooklyn Ward 25, Kings, New York; ED 441; Dwelling: 115, Family 252;] [6. 1910 United States Census; Brooklyn Ward 25, Kings, New York; ED 696; Dwelling: 241, Family: 461;]
  4. In 1920, William and his daughter Mary are living at 7 Myrtle Ave in Caldwell, New Jersey.[7. 1920 United States Census; Caldwell, Essex, New Jersey; ED 22; Dwelling: 366, Family: 382;]
  5. I found dates of death penciled onto the back of the Brooklyn Cemetery deed. William’s is given as July 28, 1928.
  6. Caldwell, New Jersey, July 28, 1928 did not return a record when I sent away for it.
  7. I don’t know if his wife immigrated at the same time as him or if they married after. She died in 1896, before the immigration question on the census.

What I need to do to solve his mysteries?

  1. I need to fill the gaps between his estimated birth of 1836 and 1870. His daughter Mary was born in 1865 in New York. His next child was born in 1868 in Chicago.
  2. When I go to look up things in New Jersey, I have to check myself to see if he did in fact die in Caldwell or some other part of Essex County.
  3. I want to find an obituary for him to see if it mentions anything about his early life.
  4. I should look in New York and see if there is a marriage record for him and his wife, Mary.
  5. I should also look and see if there is a naturalization record for him. In 1910, he says he is a naturalized citizen. There should be a record of it somewhere. I just don’t know if his very generic name will be a road block.