Thursday, June 12, 2008

One piece at a time....

Today was absolutely a WONDERFUL day. One of my many brickwalls was toppled! Thanks to Cynthia at Chicago Genealogy I have a copy of the death notice of my GG Grandmother Katharine Ball which was published in the Chicago Tribune. She died in Kankakee County, Illinois on April 8, 1923. She was waked here in Chicago and is buried in Oakwoods Cemetery. So, of course you know where I will be visiting this weekend! Who knows maybe Charles is buried there as well. Cynthia was kind enough to help me along using the last known address for Charles and Katherine. I gave her the information, she used her resources (Chicago Death Index which is different from the Illinois State Death Index) and her mojo and down came my brickwall! I cannot thank her enough. Check out her website--Chicago Genealogy. I've used them quite a number of times now and have been very satisfied. Plus, they provide copies of marriage and death certificates for a far more reasonable fee than the Cook County Clerk's office and they are so much faster!
Katharine's death notice mentioned that she had a sister Julia. Another family connection! With a little time on my hands this evening I did a little searching and have requested Julia's marriage certificate (she married a man named James Sommer, how weird is that?) and both Julia and Jame's death certificates. Where did I request them from you wonder? Where else but Chicago Genealogy!
I know that I have mentioned several times about using the archives section of the Chicago Tribune. In fact I have access to the entire collection from about 1885 to the present time. Sometimes however, it can really be like searching for a needle in a haystack. I have a list of about 75 "Ball" death notices between 1907 and 1930. In the last two years I have only had time to search for about thirty four of those and of course, none I searched were the correct relative. Believe it or not, it is very time consuming to pull the film and look through it only to discover that the relative you are looking for is not the one published. Sounds like I'm whining, but once in a blue moon you hit the jack pot when searching through microfilm. Remember how lucky I was when I found the marriage announcement for Katherine and Charles? That was a great find!
So, I am clearly a happy amateur genealogist this evening.....I think I will have a bit of trouble going to sleep tonight, thinking of more paths to take with this new information....where will they lead????

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!