Roena married Delphis LeBlanc, a French Canadian, on December 24, 1892 in Kibbey Township, Cascade County, Montana. While living in Montana they had three children, Adolph, Alfred and Valmore. Valmore died in Montana when he was three years old. Two more children were born in Oregon, Oliver and Bertha. I blogged about their marriage and serendipity moments about their research on May 4, 2011. Since that time I gathered considerable information about their family and posted a total of eight blogs about the Gates family ancestors.
On February 17, 2012 I blogged about finding Roena Gates as a female and a male in new.familysearch.org and contacting the the person who had submitted the incorrect information. This week we finally accomplished the goal of eliminating Roena as a male. In the process she requested a copy of a birth or death certificate for proof of her identity. Roena was born on October 11, 1865 in Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, and we have not found a birth record for her other than family records. She died on August 17, 1956 in Roseburg, Oregon, before my husband was born. I have hesitated to order the death certificate as the Vital Records in Oregon charge $20 a piece.
Delphis and Roena are both indexed in the Oregon Death Records 1903-1998 at ancestry.com.
As one can see the indexing is interesting and seeing the originals is a must. In discussing this with one of my genealogy friends, I explained how they just did not show up on the Oregon Historical Records Index of the Oregon State Archives. My friend mentioned that the death records have not been included in this online index and that I would need to contact the archives about accessing the records as they hold the state death records beginning fifty years after their creation. To order a copy from them is $5 and this is much better for my budget. Last time I ordered a record from the State Archives it was emailed to me within thirty minutes and I then mailed them a check. Sometimes we need a wake up call when we assume too much about an index.
So, the first thing I did was reply to the submitter, who was very willing to make the correction, and sent her the information from ancestry.com. I provided her with a copy of the marriage license and certificate for Delphis and Roena. Then while I was rereading my notes about Roena, I realized I had her obituary, which I received last year from another relative. This I quickly emailed to her to add further weight to the validity of Roena being a female.
Yesterday I received a wonderful email from our newest family connection, the great-granddaughter of Albertha Rosella Gates, the sister of Roena. They were the two eldest, in a family of ten known children.
We did it! Thanks for your help on this.
Notice the joy she feels in having accomplished this and our new opportunities for collaboration. These types of serendipity moments are what collaboration is all about. Making corrections in new.familysearch.org is challenging, I still have one gender problem I need to resolve on another family line, which is the result of extraction work. My focus in the online collection is to clean up the work that is presented there, starting with our immediate family and work slowly backward on the lines. This will be an ongoing process and working with other contributors is essential. For Roena Electa Gates we have conquered and reinforced our efforts in providing accurate information about her.