Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me!

I got up early this morning, just playing around on my family tree databases and various websites, waiting for the family to wake up so we could open gifts. Santa brought me two gifts this morning.

One was an obituary of one of my Grandfather Robbins' cousins who passed away in September. (Yes, I realize that this is sad, and shouldn't be cause for celebration. However, I did get some names of family members that I did not have before.)

The other I'm very happy about: I found my husband's paternal grandmother, Helen Mary WESTABY, and her parents, George Rice WESTABY, II and Rena LERFALD, along with George's brother Guy, in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census! I've been looking for them for years! Helen's obituary stated the family moved from the Rosebud or Dawson County area in Montana to Yakima County, Washington in 1920, so I figured they got missed during the move. Two years ago, my father-in-law told me about some trouble his grandfather George had with the law, and I figured there was a strong possibility that the family deliberately avoided the enumerator that census year. However, I recently re-examined some family mementos that documented George and Helen's residences in Forsyth, Rosebud County in 1922, which gave me cause to look once again at the 1920 census in Montana.

I have looked for this family both on microfilm and online. I used the microfilmed Soundex of the 1920 census to attempt to find the family in all the western states, particularly Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Wyoming. I used a variety of spellings, too, such as Westaby, Westby, Westerby, etc. I repeated many of these searches online as well.

Today, I thought I would try again online. The search that had a successful result was a search for "George," born 1890 +/- 2 years, living in Montana. And here is the family, listed as Westerby, living on Prospect Street in Forsyth, Rosebud County. Why they didn't show up in all my previous searches, I'll never know!

Image: Westaby, George Rice III household, Household 206, Dwelling 251, E. D. 123, page 11 A, Forsyth, Rosebud County, Montana, 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Image 21 of 38 viewed 25 Dec 2007 at Ancestry.com, (http://content.ancestry.com/Browse/list.aspx?dbid=6061&path=).


Jasia said...


Terry Thornton said...

Wonderful! Isn't it fun to search by given name and to hit pay dirt! What a great Christmas present. Way to go.