I was invited by Russ Worthington, stand-in host for Dear Myrtle, onto Mondays With Myrt yesterday (Dec 04, 2012) to demonstrate GenDetective and create a research plan for a local research trip. On the prior show Russ had begun a case study (using real data) where the goal was to:
- Identify a step-grandmothers name (first & maiden)
- Discover when she died and where she is buried
Russ demonstrated various techniques for searching different online archives in an attempt to find the desired information. He was able to successfully identify the name of the step-grandmother (Victoria), but was unable to locate her maiden name or when she died. Russ presented his findings to Patricia (researcher with this brick wall) at a local society meeting, while (again) demonstrating different internet search techniques. The local society researchers determined that Patricia should make a trip to Seton Hall University to examine the Catholic church records collection.
Looking at the compiled information presented a challenge in preparing for this research trip. Most of the information in the family tree does not relate to Victoria, and very little is known about her. To summarize:
- This was Victoria’s second marriage
- She was from Poland, unknown when she arrived in the US
- A couple of children from her 1st marriage were identified
- Victoria was a devout Catholic
- Only 1 census record has been identified, complicated by immigrant name issues
- Victoria died a few short years after marrying the step-grandfather
Many of the GenDetective trip reports that we have discussed is this blog were sparse, or identified a lot information was missing. Looking at the research goals, along with the proposed research trip, I concluded that sometimes the best report(s) for a research task are the simplest ones.
I selected the following four reports to help Patricia prepare for her one day research trip:
- Location summary for state .. confirming Victoria’s family lived in the areas covered by the Seton Hall Catholic records collection
- My relatives are .. providing a list of the known relatives (see sample)
- Personal timeline .. for Victoria and the step-grandfather
- Research progress worksheets .. Victoria’s direct relatives
Using these reports, the Patricia is planning a trip to Seton Hall University to spend the day poring through Catholic church records. She will focus her research on the time period from Victoria’s marriage to the step-grandfather until he is identified as a widower, looking for marriage and death records. She will also be looking for any mention of the 15 people listed in the My relatives are report, in a marriage, baptism or confirmation record. Any one of these church records may hold that vital clue and reveal Victoria’s maiden name or when she died.
I wish Patricia a successful research trip and hope to hear she found Victoria. Thank you Dear Myrtle and your stand-in hosts, Russ Worthington and Marian Pierre-Louis, for the opportunity to demonstrate GenDetective.