Saturday, April 20, 2013

New Research Finds

One of the things I have done in the last couple months, is create a spreadsheet that contains 3 tabs:

Tab 1: census extracts, I tried to include all the major categories in some way, generally a lot of info falls into the miscellaneous column, but I try to put as much as I can.  Doing this, I discovered that one ancestor delivered 10 children but only 6 survived. I now know why there are some big gaps in ages of the siblings.

tab 2: extracts from misc. databases like marriage, immigration info, military service or mentions in newspapers and books (not city directories);

tab 3: is city directories.

Headings for tabs 1 & 2
Year, Document, Location, Last, First, Age, Approx. Date of Birth, Misc., Birth, Occupation

Heading for tab 3
Year, Document, Location, Last, First, Address, Occupation ~( my goal here is to list all the names and address of my Des Moines, Iowa ancestors so I can figure out how they came together.)

All family members are listed, there is no separate page for different branches in the 3 tabs.  In listing people out this way, I have discovered such wonderful information; a 3rd G. Uncle was "adopted" by my  4G grandparents.

I set it up so that when I entered a year (document date) and the age of a person, it gave back an approximate year of birth.  Most all census' after 1850 give at least an age.

Once I got all existing saved documentation into the spreadsheets, I began really looking at the results. One of the nice things about spreadsheets is being able to sort. Data can be sorted by any of the headings. I sorted by name & age. I was then able to pick out the head of household and determine where I needed to search next.  Small details that I had never paid any attention to started showing up in following both census records and city directories. The main one was the different jobs that people had. Below are the jobs that I have found for 4 generations.

FarmerPhysicianDay LaborerPolice Officer
NurseCivil EngineerSheet Metal Worker  Door to Door Sales
ElectricianCarder - Woollen Mill   Roper dry goodsConstable
Shoe MakeCooperFiremanSoliciting Agent (Insurance clerk)
Shoe SalesmanShoe RepairmanLumber SalesmanCarpenter
Dairy Deliver Man   Postal ManagerLathererPlasterer
DraftsmanStore ProprietorClerk HardwareSales Lady/Postal Office
Custodian - Gun Club  BookkeeperTax CollectorTown Clerk

And I'm not even through all the family members.  So, I guess it is back to work on genealogy.  Till next time...