Like a quilt

Piece by piece…
Dead ends and frustration…
Conjecture and educated guesses, most eventually confirmed by fact…

It’s been a good week genealogy-wise. I sent e-mails and letters to the county recorders of counties that I either knew or guessed were locations my mother’s family lived between about 1915 and the middle 1960s. I had no idea whether the records I requested existed, whether current statutes permitted access, or how long it might take to receive the requested information.

I received the first response within just a few minutes, reporting a marriage license/certificate for my grandparents, Daniel and Elizabeth (date tbd, pending arrival of the document). Less than 24 hours later, I had a response to another e-mail with attachments of the marriage licenses/certificates for the unions of my grandfather and his first wife (Daniel and Rosa; 1918) and my parents (William and Irene; 1950). Emboldened by the recorder’s invitation to contact them for other records, I requested the divorce decree for my maternal aunt and her first husband, hoping to confirm my aunt’s middle name and my memory of the names and order of birth of her five children. That document arrived in my inbox shortly after I requested it and did, in fact, list the first names of Delores’s children.

I am thrilled to have these records because they document the names, dates, and events that comprise our family history. Beyond that, they provide new leads for additional research. For example, I knew from the 1940 national census that my maternal aunt’s middle initial was “C,” but I have not (yet) found any other record that specified her middle name. However…one of the witnesses to my parents’ wedding, a relative on my mother’s side of the family, was named Catherine…that was an important clue that I hope will be supported with additional research.

…to be continued

6 thoughts on “Like a quilt

  1. How exciting that you have had such great response! You are like a detective in a mystery novel, searching for clues.

  2. Wanda, this is really cool. It is like watching my favorite tv show, building from week to week, new characters added, mini-mysteries solved and others mysteries found. Thank you for sharing this journey. Please take care, Bill

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