Yesterday evening I followed the insistent advice of a feisty, charming, and knowledgeable Young Lady old enough to be my Mother, or Grandmother, given me at the after meeting lunch of a genealogy society gathering I attended.
As a result I found a 90 yr. old Death Certificate that yielded up a Goldmine!
This story is one of the reasons I care so much about Genealogy, and is my latest answer to the question discussed in my first post of the day, today.
Earlier in the week I attended a meeting of the Genealogical Society of North Orange County CA. where the speaker was researcher and lecturer, Norma Storrs Keating, of Your Family Connections, on the subject of "Researching Court Records besides just ones for Probate."
The next day I attended a presentation by Barbara Renick, of Zroots, at the Orange Regional Family History Center, of the LDS, and her topic was "Success with Manuscript Sources."
As she writes on her website:
Genealogists love manuscript sources because they are often primary sources. And because of this interest, genealogical, historical, patriotic, and lineage societies seek out and publish manuscript sources. Typically, these sources are also found in archives, libraries, and private collections. Today's Internet often makes important finding aids for manuscript collections available online.
Sadly these 2 events drew only a small number of people.
Her exhausitve collection of links, tips, shortcuts, and genealogical advice of all sorts, on her site, is an absolute MUST for researchers, as is her various NOTES SECTIONS where you can find numerous infomative Lecture Notes, and Syllabus Pages, plus Book recommendations.
Barbara reminds us to remember Murphy’s Law for Genealogy Web Searching:
A search with a search engine either turns up thousands of possible matches or none at all…when you know there must be something somewhere out there about your subject or name. Therefore, you must use different tools at different sites to improve your search results.
Thinking out of the box when searching for that elusive ancestor was brought home to me, yesterday, in a most wonderful fashion.
Yesterday morning I attended the monthly meeting of the South Orange County CA. Genealogical Society.
The place was overflowing with people, and no wonder!
The guest speaker was researcher, and author, Connie Moretti, and her subject was "Using Newspapers to Aid Research for Genealogists."
Attendees were also encouraged to bring photos of themselves, or their ancestors, who served in the military, to share, and so I brought my 2 pictures of my Dad in the Bulgarian Military during WW2.
Before the presentation, during a break, and at the after event Lunch, at Carrows, I chatted with several people, all older, and more experienced in Genealogy than me, and got some splendid advice,and enthusuastic encouragement regarding my own somewhat meager efforts.
1 person, in particular, helped me in a way that I will never be able to thank her enough for the advice she gave me.
I told her about my frustration with my inability to find the Maternal Granny of my Mother, one Mittie Fraze/Frays when searching Ancestry.com.
The Lady advised me to do a specific type of search, and this search led me to discover crucial information on my Great-Granny, and her Father and Mother.
When I saw the document on my screen I jumped up, and began dancing around, hollering excited yesses at the top of my lungs, and almost in tears of joy.
Nikita, meowed in surprise, and prudently hid under the bed for the duration. ;-D
Name: Mittie Shawn
Death Date: 9 Jun 1918
Death Location: Daviess
Residence Location: Daviess
Birth Date: 9 Jun 1869
Birth Location: Kentucky
Father's Name: H C Fraze
Father's Birth Location: Kentucky
Mother's Name: Susan E Tanner
Mother's Birth Location: Kentucky
I now know the right spelling of her maiden name, when she was born, and died, where she is buried, the right first name (1st and middle Initials actually, but it's a start!) of her Father, the fact she married a 2nd time, confirmed the name of her Mother, and thanks to her son (My Granny's brother, John A. Daugherty) being witness, the most likely correct spelling of her first husbands (My Great-Grandfather) last name.
I also know what state she, and her parents, were born in (KY).
So what did I do?
Instead of using both the first and last name in my search I just used the last name only, with the state, and country, nothing more, not even years of birth and death.
This gave me every listing with that last name, and I just scrolled, and scrolled, until I saw the name of my Great-Granny. ;-D
Oh, Happy Day! ;-D
***UPDATE - Early Afternoon 4/19/2009***
I had been away from my Genealogy Research, and GeneaBlogging, since the Summer/Fall, and had recently begun again after encountering fellow researchers on Facebook, and Twitter.
I had even stayed away from the e-mail account I used for Genealogy Correspondence.
I just learned, this week, of an email sent me from someone with ties to the Fraze family, last October. ;-D
While I couldn't answer her question the name she gave me led directly to new information relevant to me.
We ARE cousins, and I am cousins with the person whose research answered my questions about Mittie, and Susan!
I did a search of the Rootsweb World Connect Database for her Grandma Kate "who was blind for many years before she died": MAHALA/MAHILA KATHERINE “KATE” W. FRAZE.
The 3rd of 3 listings was a goldmine!
Mahala's Father was David
David's father was George.
George's Father was Frederick.
Ol' Fred had 2 other sons!
One was named Michael.
Michael married a Mary "Polly" Spencer
Their 3rd son was a Henry Clay Fraize ;-D
Henry married a Susan Tanner in about 1845.
They had a son named James, in 1868.
The person who provides the records on rootsweb has no further info, but the person is still active as of March 2009.
This has to be the parents of my Mittie Alice Fraze ( Was Mittie a nickname for Martha? ) ;-D
I've sent an e-mail to my original correspondent, and to the person whose gedcom I found on Rootsweb, and hope to hear from them again someday.
UPDATE 2 - 5PM
Further searching on Ancestry turned up a direct decendant of James Fraize, who lists the parents of Susan Tanner, and when Henry, and Susan, died (Same day in Feb 1918 as James), but no Mittie.
This is puzzling in itself as I thought Susan might have been living with Mittie, and her children, in 1900.
New mysteries! ;-D
I plan on contacting this person as well, and see what happens. ;-D