Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Celebrating 45,000 Blog Views Research Review

 In celebrating reaching 45,000 blog views yesterday, in less than five years, I want to share my latest completed project results. This project started in mid-August of this year. See previous blog post, Caught Up in the Research.  In less than three months the extended family comprised 322 people and 99 marriages. While there are additional people and marriages, the project focused on the direct line families. This may seem like a small database of names, but there were 134 documents copied, many others indexed only information, and several online family trees accessed. The concluding thirty-four page report included ten pages of document information.

When we met at a public library, the family was provided two large notebooks, one for each direct family line and a flash drive with digital copies of the report and database. The results of over twelve hours of work produced: 76 US Census records, 9 birth records, 12 marriage records, 15 death certificates, 2 prison pages and a mug shot, 1 passenger list, 3 land records, 15 military records and information on several online family trees. In answering the question of who the grandfather was two records were critical in determining this. The first was the book about the family containing information on the grandfather, his wives and children. The second was the prison record.

The prison record provided the following information (with some withheld for privacy):
Missouri State Archives, Missouri State Penitentiary Index, Prison Register, Register #______, ________________, age 38, born Missouri, work Interior Decorator, 5’6 ¾ ”, length of foot 10”, hair M. Brown, eyes lt. Brown, complexion ruddy, religion Catholic, education 2 yrs. high,
Former Imprisonment - 1 yr. Workhouse St. Louis, Mo. 1937; #42689 P.D. St. Louis, Mo. 1/21/37;  #4194 S.H.P. - Kirkwood, Mo. 10/28/39.
Father blank, mother ___________, address __________. Wght. 163 lbs.
Offense - PG. Forgery 2d; Uttering a bogus check (2 chgs.), county St. Louis City
Sentence - Two years from Mch. 11, 1940 (3x2 Conc.)
Term of Court - Feb. 1940
When Received - Mch. 28, 1940
Expiration of Sentence - Full Time Mch. 10, 1942; Three-Fourths Time Sept. 13, 1941; Merit Time May 16, 1941
Discharged - #53748, Dis. Under Parole by Governor Stark, Sep. 27, 1940
Citizenship Restored 10-7-41

The blanked out information proved that we had the right man.

There are so many other records and stories that can be added to the notebooks, along with photographs. This is like the never ending story of basically southern families. Within the stories are murders, slavery, migration, immigration, land purchases, probate records and so much more.  The findagrave.com pictures of gravesites were not copied, but should be added to the records.

The family will decide what direction to take from here. For me it is time to take a break. Sometimes taking a break is the most important part, because then one can truly feel the work of serendipity in the process.

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