Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September 2016 Program Review - "Stump the Chumps" Problem Solving Panel

The CVGS program meeting on 28 September featured three CVGS genealogists answering research questions submitted by members one month ahead of the meeting.  There are about 30 in attendance, including all but one of the questioners.

The researchers prepared short presentations to review the questions and responses, and each response took 5 to 10 minutes.  The eight questions and a summary of the answers were:

1)  Karen Y. asked:  "My ancestors emigrated from Norway by ship into Quebec in the 1850s.  How does one trace their journey from Quebec to their eventual homes in Iowa and Minnesota?"

Randy Seaver responded:  The FamilySearch Wiki page on "Norway Emigration and Immigration" provides a wealth of material on this topic.  American records that can help include county histories, military pension records, naturalization records, census records and church records.  The Norwegian-American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library in Madison, Wisconsin has an extensive library with a Norwegian immigrant database that might be helpful.  Randy shared an article found in a book that told the migration story for one of his wife's Norwegian-born relatives.

2)  Paula-Jo C. asked: "I have an ancestor's brother who died during the Mexican War in Mexico.  I have tried to find microfilmed records.  Where can one find death records from that time period?"

Ceasar Castro responded:  Paula-Jo's soldier was Charles Houston, a musician in the Georgia Infantry, who died in February 1848 near Veracruz, Mexico.  The National Archives has archival material about the Mexican-American War, including battle records, death records and medical  records.  There were three hospitals in the state of Veracruz - in the city of Veracruz, in Jalapa, and in the Castle at Perote.  The Descendants of Mexican-American War Veterans has information about the war at http://www.dmwv.org/mexwar/mexwar1.htm, including information about Jalapa and the Castle at Perote.  Ceasar corresponded with researchers at the National Archives and University of Wisconsin - Madison about record availability and obtained more information, including a useful book online at FamilySearch and others can be obtained by Inter-library Loan.

3)  Diane G. asked:  "I think I have found my relative's death date in an index record.  James O'Leary died in Strood, Kent, England at age 60.  What more information might I get from the actual record?  How do I obtain the actual record?  In regards to sending money for the record, how is it done and what is the cost?  Where can I find someone to search for the record for me?"

Randy Seaver responded:  England's Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837 and are available to the present day.  Death certificates include the decedent's name, age, sex, occupation, death date, death place, cause of death, and informant's information.  You can order a certificate by Internet, telephone, or post from the Register General Office for England and Wales. The cost is £9.25, and you can order online at  http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/ and pay by credit card.

4)  Karen S. asked:  "The Strassburger ship passenger list provides the date, name of the ship, the captain and the passengers.  Is there any source that gives more information about the individual passengers?"  

Randy Seaver responded:  You can obtain more information about immigration to Pennsylvania at  https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Pennsylvania_Emigration_and_Immigration.  There are many books, but none really provide more passenger information.  Yo find information about the lives of individual passengers, you need to look for compiled family genealogies and locality books, for periodical articles, and consult the Pennsylvania state, historical and genealogical societies.

5)  Karen S. also asked:  "Can Revolutionary War records be located by the numbers listed next to the patriot's name?"

Ceasar Castro responded:   The book Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications lists soldiers and their pension record numbers.  The "numbers" are how the records were filed in the National Archives - "S" for Survivor, "W" for Widow, "R" for Rejected, "Dis" for Disability, and "BLWt" for Bounty Land Warrant.  Ceasar went through the records available for one of Karen's soldiers - James Burton of Virginia.  Fold3.com and Ancestry.com have the Revolutionary War pension files that can be downloaded.

6)  Ann S. asked:  "My husband's (Del) 4th great-grandfather was William Garvin.  Where and when did William Garvin die?"

Randy Seaver responded:  Ann provided more information about this man and his family.  Several derivative sources say William Garvin died in Cranbourne, Dorchester County, Quebec in 1869, and was probably in the Church of England. Quebec research information are listed in https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Quebec,_Canada_Genealogy, and search strategies are in https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Quebec_Search_Strategies.  An online search in the Drouin collection on Ancestry.com did not find him.  Searches of Church of England records near Cranbourne and probate records may provide a death or burial date.  A Rootsweb message board post on the Quebec and/or Dorchester boards may provide information about record availability and cemetery records.

7)  Mary N. asked:  "How do I find an ancestor who walked out on the family and disappeared?"

Shirley Becker responded:  Mary's missing person is Antonio/Anthony Casper who was from Germany and resided in Ohio.  Searches for others of the surname in census records might help.  Historical newspaper searches on Chronicling America and other sites may provide an obituary or news articles.  Published books on Google, Internet Archive and other sites may be helpful.  He may have changed his name.

8)  Virginia T. asked:  "Where can I go, other than the obvious places, to find ship arrivals for Wilmington, Delaware, in the late 1790s to early 1800s time frame?"

Shirley Becker responded: The FamilySearch Wiki page on "Delaware Emigration and Immigration" may be helpful.  The Delaware Genealogical Society has a newsletter and research assistance.  The University of Delaware Library has a help section for researching passengers and naturalizations. The National Archives has ship arrivals and passenger lists, and these are also on Ancestry.com.

This program was very well received by the attendees because of the interesting research questions and the material presented by the researchers.  

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