Monday, October 27, 2008

A little bit of a treat before Halloween...

Like many of my blogger friends, I have been working on my family history for quite a while now. I still get very frustrated when I make one of the simplest mistakes and don't realize it for too long a period. Where did my brain cells go??
Example-I have been searching for the names of Katharine Ball's parents, my GGG grandparents. They were not listed on Katharine's death certificate. Katharine's sister Julia died in April of 1928. Both sisters are buried in Oakwoods Cemetery here in Chicago. I contacted the Cook County Clerk's office for a copy of Julia's death certificate only to be informed that they had no record of it. (Cost $15). According to Oakwoods Cemetery, Julia died on the 24th of April and was buried on the 26th. That tells me, she had to have died close by. Where else could I find a death certificate if the county clerk doesn't have it? The cemetery doesn't have a burial permit either, which may have indicated where Julia had died. I tried to think of other places to find Julia Sommer's death certificate.
I tell people all the time, try different spellings for your ancestors. Many times names are misspelled on any document including vital records. Did I follow my own advice? After way too long a period of researching. A light bulb FINALLY went off. I was searching for Julia Sommer, but could a death certificate be under Julia Summer? Yes, I searched the Cook County death index and there she of death matched! I requested a copy from Chicago Genealogy and within one day had a digitized copy of Julia's death certificate. (Cost $5.46, including PayPal fee) All the information matched with what I already knew...her date of birth, husband's name and address. Julia's son Phillip was the informant on the death certificate and he was quite knowledgeable. He knew Julia's parents names and where they lived! Galief Sommer and Elizabeth Rusch Sommer resided in Neckargemund, Germany. I now know the names of my GGG grandparents on another branch of my tree!
"If only..." can now be another lesson learned the hard way. Sure hope I don't need to learn it the hard way again. I am thrilled to add two more names to my research but also to have another direction to move toward finding even more ancestors!
What a great hobby!


Msteri said...

Sometimes we are just so close to our work, we need to take a step back and think logically, it happens to best of us! Glad you found it and the lightbulb went off!


Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

Thank you Msteri. I cab only hope more "lightbulbs" would light up! Family history is rarely "easy." But it sure was a treat to find out my ggg grandparents names!

Becky Jamison said...

That is a HUGE find and I'm really happy for you! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What a find! Elizabeth Rusch Sommer is my Great Great Grandmother. She came over in 1881 (German Immigrants to America) with a granddaughter Julia, daughter Julia, and a niece(?) She had a son, Daniel (born and died in Germany) who was my great grandfather. I knew about Katherine Ball but I could never find anything about her other than her date of marriage and her death certificate. Maybe we can exchange

Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

I do think this was a great "find." I am just sorry it took me so long to discover it. I am thrilled to have the names of more relatives.

Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

We really need to talk! I cannot believe my luck...having a possible connection....please contact me!

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!