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September 14, 2012

Tutorial: What To Do When There's No One Around to Ask

Reader Katie asked Olive Tree Genealogy about finding out information on her family tree when there is no one around to verify what she has found.

I am really lost....There is really no one to verify this information.

My Father was Royden E Simms 11/23/1942-6/5/2007 Cincy, OHIO
My Grandfather was Royden E Simms 8/5/1912-3/28/1989
My Great Grandfather was William F Simms born about 1886 in West Virginia (to Frank and Kate Brannon/Brennon according to his marriage cert.)

I cannot find info about Frank and Kate. I have found some info about a man named Frank with a father named Willis, but some research I have found points away from this. Can you help???
The first thing I did was have a quick look in the Ohio census for Royden born 1912. The 1920 census on confirmed that his father was William F. born W. Virginia about 1886. It also showed his parents being born in W. Virginia.

If William was born circa 1886 he should appear with his parents on the 1900 census. This is a way to confirm family groups. Sure enough, the 1900 census for Carthage, Hamilton Ohio reveals a William Simms born June 1884 in West Virginia, with his parents Frank born Aug. 1856 in Indiana and Kate born March 1861 in W. Virginia

Census Records Have Many Clues

This 1900 Census shows that Frank and Kate had a total of 7 children. This is important because you can search each of these children to find more information on their parents. For example, a birth, marriage or death record for one of the children should reveal Kate's maiden name. It may reveal more, the only way to know is to start looking.

Continue reading the step-by-step research process I used to find Kate's maiden name and much more about Frank Sims. What clues did I use to help trace Frank and Kate back in time? Find out in the article What To Do When There's No One Around to Ask

1 comment:

Eileen said...

When I started my fmaily research in 1996, I was the oldest living member that I knew of. I had no one to ask. The first thing I did was write down the little I knew. Luckily I remembered the maiden names of my grandmothers. I knew my parents bith and death years but no one else.

I started with the 1920 US census (latest at that time) because I knew I could find my parents in it and confirm their parents.

I then took a trip to the towns where my father and mother came from and visited grave yards to get dates from the tombstones and find other folks.

I now have over 900 sourced and documented ancestors in my database. It can be done.