Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Didn't See This Coming!!

This is from an e-mail thread I had with my daughter Sunday. The simple backstory is, I have an account with Ancestry.com, and I get their promotional emails from time to time.  Last week, they were offering free access to employment records (census pages). Since I'd poked around there the last time they had a free trial, I didn't pay much attention to it, although I kept the email, and therefor the link. What  I found was startling, and prompted email to my daughter and family.

Email #1:
OK. Lazy Sunday AM, can't stand the insanity  that is the news, so I hopped on to Ancestry just for grins and giggles, since they have their free trial weekend going on.

Was looking to see if I could track down Martha's employment history, and the first record of hers that I found was the 1920 census. First thing I noticed was that Fred Hansen was listed. He was Grandma George's brother, Martha's uncle. (I recognized the names of her two aunts.)

To my utter surprise, the listing for Grandpa Rafe's family showed that Martha had an older sister! She was, according to the report, the first born of the six kids. She not listed on the 1930 census, and I have no farkin' clue about what happened to her.

I have no memory of mom ever mentioning her, so I assume that she passed on sometime in the 20's. She was listed on the 1910 census for Gramp's family. I took a swag at her birth year as 1906. I tried looking her up, but didn't find much. There is a Ancestry time line for herb that I can look at, but I have to sign up to do that.

I'm going to see if I can get in touch with my cousin Richard, to see of he knows anything.

Now, this is an interesting surprise.
Here's a screen cap of the relevant section of the census page:


I grew up with three uncles - Ralph, Han, and Clarence, and an aunt - Margaret, along with three cousins - Wilma, Richard, and Jane. I have an address for Richard ("The net is vast and infinite." Maj. Kusanagi), so I'm going to ping him.

Later that day, I called Jen, and, as noted below, we spent some time poking around on said web. The e-mail below followed:
Jen & I had a long chat yesterday, and part of it was spent banging on the interweb to track this down a bit more.

Mom's older sister was named Florence, born in 1906. (Martha was born 6 years later, in 1912.) She passed away in 1923, at the age of 17. We don't have any more information than that, other than she is buried at the cemetary in Albany, Il., which (is) a town on the Mississippi upriver from Moline.  Mom's dad and mom are buried there as well. I visited there in 1994, when I took a long weekend from Detroit to go over to Moline and Sterling to visit mom's younger brother and sister. (I have no recollection of seeing her grave.)

I guess I'll ping my cousin Richard, and try to locate my cousin Jane as well, to see if they remember their parent mentioning Florence at all.
So far, no luck locating Jane. Her husband is a retired marine, so I reached out to @treehuggingsis who is also a retired marine, for some guidance:


That's as far as I got about Jane yesterday. I'll give Facebook a try later.

I also poked around for vital records in Rock Island county, and the remembered that, unlike Los Angeles, many places keep vital records at the state level. I got a copy of the request for the State of Illinois, filled out what I knew, and sent it off to Jen, who was able to get more info out of Ancestry than I could, mostly dates which are needed on the form. When she populates that info and returns the form to me, I'll print it out and send it off.

Finally, the only photo I have of the family as kids is this one:

Grandma (back row, right), and five kids. Now I know that  this was taken after Florence passed away, so no no earlier than mid-1923.

What a surprise.

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