Sunday, August 05, 2007

More Genealogy on Spokane's South Hill

The route across town, down the North Hill, across the Spokane River, then up the steep South Hill and onto the edges of the Palouse (puh-LOOSE) Prairie, is becoming more and more familiar to me--all six miles of stop-and-go 20- and 30-mph traffic--as I take my son to meet his online math course teacher several times a week. Neither of us are morning people, so we chug down our caffeinated cold drinks to prepare our brains for work. My work is likely much more fun than his, given that he's doing school work during summer vacation, and I am indulging myself in my passion of genealogy.

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, I stopped by the Southside Family History Center to check out their facility and see what kinds of materials they have on permanent loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I reported at the end of that week that I hadn't seen a microfilm printer/scanner hooked up to a computer station; when I showed up the next Tuesday, I realized that in my busyness to look through the materials and chat with the volunteers I somehow had missed the equipment set up off in a corner of the room! Going through my list of interesting possibilities in microfilmed Ontario records where my ancestors had once lived, I decided to check out "Index to Whitchurch Township residents as shown in directories and census, 1837-1891" from York County, where my WILKINSON family appears in the 1871 and 1881 Canadian Censuses. The microfiche contained a combination of extracted township directories and census indexes. I kept an eye out for any references to the LAMOREAUX and TERRY families, looking for a possible connection to Mary (LAMOREAUX or TERRY) WILKINSON, my 4th-great-grandmother, as well as for collateral lines marrying into this family.

None of my WILKINSONs showed up in Whitchurch Township until 1871; my Richard (4th-great-grandfather), married to Mary above, appears in both the 1871 and 1881 census indexes (not new information for me). However, Moses TERRY showed up in the 1837 and 1846-7 directories, Jacob and the Widow TERRY showed up in the 1850-1 directory, and various other TERRYs appeared in the 1861, 1871, and 1891 censuses. No LAMOREAUXs appeared at all. The collateral line searches didn't turn up much of anything, except for information of which I was already aware. I scanned and saved the pertinent images to my flash drive, and vowed to return the next day to look at more Ontario records.

My research attempts on Wednesday were dampened by the fact that the printer/scanner was down. It was just as well, because my search in early Ontario birth records ("Births, stillbirths, and delayed registrations with indexes 1869 - 1910") yielded nothing new. Using my RootsMagic program on my laptop, I did a Find search looking for births for each year for each Ontario county. Most of the names that turned up in my database search were very distant relatives to my ancestors, and none were found in the records I looked viewed.

The following week, I again brought my laptop with me and instead of visiting the Family History Center, stayed in the classroom with my son and spent three hours citing sources in my RootsMagic program of recent records I found; specifically, city/county directory listings for my various Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan families, and military records for my paternal grandfather, Robert Lewis ROBBINS. This takes such an incredible amount of time to do correctly, even with RootsMagic's Source Wizard! The benefits, besides knowing I'm doing the right thing by correctly citing my sources, are that it does slow me down and I automatically start analyzing and synthesizing my data. I notice gaps in my information, or start wondering about certain things and come up with lists of records I could next research to find more resources. Say, this isn't so bad after all!


Colleen said...

I wish I had your stick-to-it-ness! I used to, but life got in the way the past year or so! Always good to catch up!

Miriam Robbins said...

I'm not quite sure I should be credited with persistence, Colleen...but rather obsession, as I'm sure my family could testify! ;-)