This is the year I was expecting to put genealogy aside while I run after a toddler and pry pieces of dog food out of his mouth. But I’ve been on a lucky streak, genealogically speaking. I made Some finds in January:
- A couple of weeks ago, I was editing our Cincinnati City Guide (look for it in the May/June 2012 Family Tree Magazine), which is where we’re based and my maternal side comes from. Birth and death certificates from 1865 to 1912, I noticed, are in an online database from the University of Cincinnati. I found my great-grandfather’s birth certificate (below), along with those of his siblings.
- There’s also a local index to gravestones in area German Catholic cemeteries, where I found the family’s burials (I need to plan a trip there come spring).
- Then I tried out the Genealogy Today data service after I saw an announcement the Surname Search was updated. I try out resources on my family names, though I never expect much when I type in Haddad. But this time, the hit I got partially answered a longstanding question. The site has indexes from biennial reports of a Texas orphanage, which list my grandfather and his two siblings as “inmates.” I knew my grandfather and his brother were there, but their sister’s whereabouts at that time had been a mystery.
- Next, I Googled the report titles and discovered them listed in a finding aid on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website. I zipped off an email requesting copies, and had the scans in less than two weeks. Next up: requesting my great-aunt’s 1913 admission records.
- I also noticed a beta collection of city directories on Ancestry.com. Texas is among the handful of states included, with several directories for Corsicana. They list my grandfather as a helper at a local bakery that’s still open and is pretty famous.
- Another email, and I learned the bakery’s records don’t go back to the 20s. But I ran a web search and found a transcript of a 1971 oral history with the bakery owners cataloged on the Baylor University Libraries’ website. I emailed a request and had a digitized copy of the transcript within a day. Impressive! One of the bakery owners started work there as a schoolboy, about the same time as my grandfather, and now I have an idea of what the work was probably like.
To top it all off, my husband asked for help with his family history, which is kind of like getting a present, so we did some genealogy together. Now I just hope I didn’t jinx it, and this lucky streak continues.