Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Keeping Organized in Genealogy-Why Is It So Hard

Well, one of my goals for this year was to get my genealogical paperwork more organized. I've certainly been working on that, however slowly! I hope to get some shelves up for my binders this month & I've sorted most of my oldest collection of papers & notebooks.

Yesterday, I bought more file folders & labels too, to sort out my stack of 'articles to keep'.
This was another good move, I think.

However, I can sure see why we genealogists are always behind with the paper part of genealogy.

First, as I go through my older things, I 'see' leads that didn't make sense the first time, and I just have to go to the computer or the library to check these out.

And, secondly, I keep adding to the paper pile. I'm still writing up the information I found on my vacation (why don't I take a computer next time?). Then, this was a holiday weekend in British Columbia and, though I didn't have much time, I found a marriage listed in an on-line index for one of my 'lost ones' (Hooray!) and, last night, I saw one of my names in two on-line passenger list indexes for 1856---when I looked at the image on-line next to that name was another of my names. Co-incidence? Maybe, but I made up a little plan to check it out.

No, I still couldn't find the second woman in the 1861 English census index (I've looked at the likely places in the census before & found her in earlier years). No, I couldn't find her in the 1860 U.S.A. census index either. (Could she be in Canada??? Some of her other relatives, including her father, migrated from the U.S.A. to Canada about 1860.)

Well, I did know her married surname already (from her father's 1908 will) and now I did find her with a husband & children (& grandchildren-lucky for me) from 1880-1910. In 1910, she gave her date of immigration as 1856, so that passenger entry could be hers. (Of course, in 1900, she said "1855", instead.)

Didn't find her children in later years (this is a really common last name---Martin) but thought I'd just try 'googling' or 'lycosing' (doesn't have the same ring, does it?) so I tried the parents & children's names in various combinations with some place names thrown in.

To my surprise, I saw a marriage listed in a Michigan index for a son---his parent's names are given, as is his occupation & place of birth--these do match with my other information. The name of the woman he married is that of another of my 'lost ones'---sister to the one I 'found' on Sunday. Can this be? (If so, she married the son of her uncle's sister in law.)

Now this is all great!!! But think of the papers I've piled up this weekend! Copies of census images from 1861-1930 for three families, copies of index pages, copies of a 8? page passenger list, 5 pages of my 'leads' , (including possible death dates & places for one family) and copies of marriage registration copy request forms for two U.S.A. states, and research request forms for a library & two genealogical societies. (Oh, yes, I need to copy a photocopy request form for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to get a copy of that Ontario marriage registration I saw noted in an index.) I need the marriages & the obituaries at least to firm up this information. Then I'll want to look more at the children and the grandchildren. More paper, I hope!

No wonder a genealogist's work is never done....she's always got filing to do!

Just in case: here are the two women I'm looking for: the daughters of John Scott and Catherine McDermid, both born at Nottawa, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada--- Jessie born 1869 and Kate born 1866. I'm looking for a brother, too, James, born 1861, same place, probably living in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. from the 1880's, but that's another weekend's story.

In 1881, I believe they were living with the family of Archibald & Mary Brown in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada. (Their father had died & the mother remarried (twice?), moved to the U.S.A. and died quite soon after that. )

I now believe that Jessie (Janet/Mary?) married John W. Martin, son of James Martin & Elizabeth Wood of Altoona, Pennsylvania, in Port Huron, Michigan in 1889. (John W. Martin's mother was, I believe, Jessie Scott's uncle's sister in law.)

I think that, in 1892, Kate (Catherine) Scott married George Wedgerfield, son of William and Sara (Mathews?) Wedgerfield of Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada.

The parents of John W. Martin, that is, Elizabeth Wood & James Martin, had at least three children: Martha, born about 1864 and John W. born about 1867---both in New Jersey, U.S.A. and Samuel, born about 1870 in New York, U.S.A.
In 1900 & 1910, two grandchildren are listed with Elizabeth (& James in1900): Frank B. McKillip, born about 1887 & Elizabeth McKillip, born about 1890, both born Pennsylvania.

If you have other information about these Martin, McKillip or Wedgerfield families, please do contact me.

My SCOTT Website:

SCOTT family : Muiravonside, Dalmeny, Tushielaw, Galashiels, Grangemouth, in Scotland

1 comment:

Johnny Reb said...

Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.


Johnny Reb
Bartow County History