Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I Learned Wednesday: 15 June 2011

This week’s lesson: When doing large newspaper search projects:

1. Never. Ever. Stop. In. The. Middle.
2. Find a REALLY good system for recording how you searched (search terms, by dates, etc.), how you labeled your images, and WHERE THEY ARE.
3. Never. Ever. Stop. In. The. Middle. Ever.

I had a document listing all of the downloads I had already done, but could not locate the last batch, so I had to figure out what search criteria I had used and do it over.

Right after my getting own IT guy, I need a research assistant who is really, really organized.

I also decided to take advantage of my six months’ free subscription to Archives.com, but so far have not found much that is useful, although I did find some newspaper articles on Brinlees. I’ll keep trying.


Koehl Research

This has been a great week for Koehl research. The death certificates that I received for my husband’s great-great grandparents Julius and Josephine Koehl pulled me back to digging around for Koehls in the off chance that Julius’ parents had also emigrated to America. I ended up at Family Search, where I found Julius’ probate file.

Goldmine.

It listed all eight surviving children of Julius and Josephine Koehl, including all the daughters with their married names. And I’m pretty sure I know who the other two are from the list of people buried in the Koehl family plot in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

How do I know there were 10? Well, an odd thing occurred. I pulled up my information on the Julius and Josephine Koehl family and noted that I had no 1900 census information for Julius. Since he died in 1907, he should have been there. I tried “Julius” without the last name but with his birth year plus or minus two years for Kings County, New York and found him. He was a widower by this time, and the census taker had done something strange. In the “Mother of how many children”/”Number of children living” columns were the numbers “10” and “8” - crossed out. The census taker must have asked the questions of Julius, and then realized that they were supposed to be asked only of women.

Two of the married names of the daughters were new information, and the record confirmed a third one I had recently guessed. One of the daughters I found with her husband and family in the census (including New York state censuses); the other I found only as a widow, so learning the identity of her husband is a new piece of information to pursue. (The surname is T├Ânjes, in case anyone out there is familiar with it.)

So this week I guess you could say that I’m hitting myself in the head with one hand and patting myself on the back with the other.

4 comments:

  1. Greta, if patting yourself on the back with one hand and hitting yourself in the head with the other is the key to getting answers I'm game! LOL... Congrats on the good finds.

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  2. Greta, if patting yourself on the back with one hand and hitting yourself in the head with the other is the key to getting answers I'm game! LOL... Congrats on the good finds.

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  3. Greta --
    Trying to get so much done in limited time -- that's how we often forget to take the EXTRA time to start in an organized way so we don't have to do double work. I was looking at microfilm from 18th century church records and jotting down the dates of the pages i'd make copies of. I was also preparing to go out of town, and in my rush, misplaced my notebook of dates. Now I have to a) either find that notebook or b) go back and re-find the pages I copied -- the dates were only at the top and I often copied just my family section. Argh!

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  4. Karen - thank you for your kind wishes!

    Linda - Totally something I have done - I can't even begin to calculate the hours I have spent looking for genealogy notes, etc. that I have "misplaced."

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