Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Write Down Important Pieces Of Today's History

Last week the publishers of The Encyclopaedia Britannica announced that the 2010 edition will be the final 32 volumes available in print.  They will be fully digital at www.Britannica.com for all future editions.

This was another one of those moments that I had to stop and take in.  It hit me that my children will probably never open an encyclopedia at the library.  When I was a kid, this was the only option. No one had a home computer let alone access to the internet for research.

I will always remember the smartest boy in my fifth grade class (Maybe not his name, I am horrible with names).  One of the reasons he was considered the smartest is that he read the entire encyclopedia for fun.  He was full of knowledge about just about everything.

I keep having moments where I wonder about what life was like on a daily basis for my ancestors.  How did they do their daily chores?  What tasks did they complete at work each day? What did they think about the major stories in the paper?  What did they do for fun on a day off?  What things became obsolete during their lifetime?

It is important to remember to write down today's history for your descendants.  If we don't, our kids (grandkids, etc.) will not know about things that effected our childhood like The Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Accidental Bigamist

"Woman Finds Out She Has Four Husbands"

This is the headline that screamed out to me on MSN.com on Sunday night.  Of course, I immediately hit the link to see what this was about.  The genealogist in me was chomping at the bit to hear more.

The article summarized another article that appeared in the New York Post on March 17th.  Basically, a woman goes to get a marriage certificate.  The request is denied by officials because they say she is already married twice.  It turns out that her birth certificate was stolen and used fraudulently.  The best part is that the woman was served divorce papers by one of the men that she was "married" to.  What! Even better, she found out that even though she has been married to her husband since 2004, another fake marriage has cropped up.

Here is the link for the full story:

Qns woman 'married' to multiple men in immigration scams

This story makes my marriage dates look simple.  Yes, I married the same man twice within a week.  My story is not scandalous though.  We planned a destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  To make things easy, we got legally hitched with our parents as witnesses in the United States almost a week before our wedding date.  We celebrate the day we spent with friends and family in Mexico as our official anniversary date.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Family Fun With My Flip-Pal Scanner

As many of you know, I bought myself a Flip-Pal Scanner as a post-Christmas present.  I love it for so many reasons.  This past weekend was no exception.

We attended a baby shower hosted by my in-laws this past Sunday.  After the shower, my 3 year old came upon some old photos that had been put in the drawer of a side table.  It was fun to sit as a family and look at the photos and hear some stories.  Since we live only 3 stop signs away, I ran home and grabbed my Flip-Pal Scanner.

When I came back, I was surprised to watch my daughter pick up the photos and put them into the Flip-Pal Scanner.  I quickly realized that she was into helping me so I showed her what button to press and let her have fun.  It was great!  While I got to document who was in the photos and the story behind them, Julia was scanning away for me.  Julia did need some supervision since she is so young but the Flip-Pal Scanner is so easy to use that it didn't take much.

We had a fun afternoon looking a pictures together and commenting at some of the hairstyle and clothing choices from earlier years.  The stack of photos we found even enticed some photo albums to make an appearance for more great pictures.

Tuesday's Tip - Involving children can be fun in unexpected ways.  My daughter started with wanting to play with the scanner but ended up learning about family.  She learned faces, relationships, and even a few family stories about her dad and his pony.  (My personal favorite was when she exclaimed,"What do we call Great Gramps' dad? Great Big Gramps?")

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mystery Monday - Where did Catherine Bradley die?

I am still on the hunt for the death records and probate for Catherine (Carey) Bradley.  She is the mother of Mary Eugenia Bradley, my great-great-grandmother.  There is a family story that states Catherine is not the biological mother of Mary.  I have been trying to prove or disprove this story.  You can read my previous posts: Mystery Monday - Who was Mary Bradley's Mother and Mystery Monday - Mary Bradley Update

My last plan of action was to:
  • find death records including death certificate, obituary, and probate records for Catherine Bradley.
  • research Mary's siblings (Walter, Norbert, and Charles)
  • search the 1870 census to identify any Udell's living in LaSalle County, Illinois
Since that last post, I have done some research in the first two bullet points.  I thoroughly searched the Cook County, Illinois death records on Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, and the Illinois State Death Index for variations of Catherine or Kate Bradley.  There were many results but none appear to be my Catherine.

The last place that I can identify Catherine as living is the 1910 census.  She is living with her oldest son, Walter and his family in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  Her age is listed as 70.

Since I hit a another wall, I moved on to locating more information about Mary's brothers starting with Walter.  Unfortunately, Walter passed in 1912 from a brain aneurysm.  I tried to find his wife, Hannah, and their 4 children (Eugene, Margaret, Walter, and Bernadette) in the 1920 census but have been unable to do so.  I have been playing with just listing first names and relationships but this has not worked yet.  I do not know if Hannah remarried after Walter's death.  I would like to find the family to see if Catherine was still alive and living with them in 1920.

I moved on to Mary's younger brothers.  I believe that I have found them living in Texas and Nebraska in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census.  Catherine is not listed as living with either of them in these census enumerations.

So where did Catherine die? and when did she die?  In order to help myself see the bigger picture, I created a timeline for Catherine with all of the information I know about her.  I am glad to have the timeline but it did not produce any "wow" moments.  Catherine had lived in Chicago for 25 years at the time of Walter's death.  It is hard to imagine her moving but you never know.

My updated research plan is to find an obituary for Walter Bradley in 1912.  Hopefully, it will list more information about his immediate family and if his mother survived him.  I will also try to locate a marriage record for Hannah Bradley to see if she remarried.  

The search continues...