By Dee Haviland Fournier, Instructor, Heritage Quest Research Library and Dorothy Wilhelm, Humorist, Confused about her family
Join Dee and Dorothy for “From Hudson’s Bay to Downton Abbey and Beyond” – Dupont August 16. Register below.
Why am I feeling worried about this?
Dorothy: Why can’t I find my ancestor’s name? I feel as if this is starting to get more difficult.
Dee: Oh, no! You’re really enjoying yourself. You just don’t realize it. Think of this as a mystery story and in a very real way, only you and your family have the key.
Dorothy: I think someone changed the locks.
Dee: You just have to be patient, and if one lead doesn’t work, you go to the next one. For instance, names are often spelled several different ways. You’d start with Conway – C-o-n-w-a-y – but common different spellings were Conaway, Conoway.
Dorothy: We’ve found John Wesley Conway – apparently a family name – all the way back to 1795, and he had a castle and everything. Of course the same castle turns up on several pages of Wikipedia. So here’s the castle that might or might not be the family home.
Dee: That date isn’t proved yet. Remember everything has to be proved. Use vital records, birth, marriage, family, Social Security number Death Index
Remember that records are added daily, so it’s important to keep checking.
It’s a good idea to make a pedigree sheet for each family group. That will make it so much easier to keep track of the various branches and names.
Dorothy: I’m going to level with you. When I see all of those names, I feel very anxious. It just seems like a hopeless task. I’m really tempted to just put everything in a drawer til some other time.
Dee: But who will find this story for your family if you don’t?
Dorothy: My daughter in law has done a lot of work with Ancestry.com. Most of what we have is really what she and a friend of mine found.
Dee, This is a proud struggle, that will mean a great deal to your family. Remember what changes have happened. It is so much easier now. It used to be that everything was on microfilm and you had to painstakingly go over one bulky, noisy, clunky reel after another. It’s so much faster now.
Dorothy: Sort of like speed dating for geneaology?
Dee: Well, you could say that I guess but I hope you won’t.
Dorothy: We are what we were! Dee: That’s more like it.
Note: Heritage Questions is a summer feature twice weekly exclusive in the Suburban Times. Your questions are encouraged. Plan to join Dee and Dorothy on August 16 at “From Hudson’s Bay to Downton Abbey and Beyond” family heritage workshop in a benefit for the DuPont Historical Museum. You may even win a copy of Dee Fournier’s new book, Stepping Stones to Genealogy. Probably not, but you never know. Details at www.itsnevertoolate.com. With questions, email Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com
FROM HUDSON’S BAY TO DOWNTON ABBEY AND BEYOND REGISTRATION
AUGUST 16, 2014 9:00 TO 3:30
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$10 donation covers lunch, handouts, and ice cream social. Send check for Ten Dollars to DuPont Historical Museum, 207 Barksdale Avenue DuPont, WA 98327. Register online: www.itsnevertoolate.com Event info: 253-582-4565.