Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Building a Family Tree: An Example on -- Project Six, Part Two

This post is another in the unending series of Projects I am doing to research different people in the Family Tree. See the comment at the end of this post for a further explanation of the Projects. 

In my earlier post about Thomas Gray, I ended by leaving many unsolved questions about the family. But thanks to a surprise helper in England, I received a message through the website about some wonderful progress he had made. Here is his message:
Hello again. It's been a while since we communicated. 
I thought you might like to know I've had a look through KNCB-72K Beatrice Clarke and made a bit of progress on sourcing etc. Got her birth and marriage registry index entries, but most importantly I've found her and her husband in the 1911 census. He and one child were at his parents' house in Rettendon in Essex, in between Southend and Chelmsford. She and the other four children were at her mother's house in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The reason you weren't easily able to find her was that she was 10 years too old in that census: she was down as having been born in 1873. 
All of the children's birth entries show Clarke as the maiden name in the GRO indices, and I've filled in the appropriate middle names. I've not dealt with the rather ludicrous death dates for the twins of "2010", but I think I might have a proper death date for the male twin, just no proper sources to prove it. There's a Findagrave entry which has him born 17th April 1907 and dying in 1986 in Queensland in Australia. I've also found Australian electoral register entries corresponding to a couple of his siblings as well on Ancestry. It appears that some of the children at least ended up in Australia by about 1930 as an entry for Kathleen Prudence Margaret Harmer has her in New South Wales by 1934 and an entry for Robert Alfred Sutton Harmer has him in New South Wales by 1930. There also appears to be an Australian military service record Robert Alfred Sutton Harmer with him having a birth date of 7th March 1909, a birth place of Essex, England and next of kin of Alma Harmer. 
So I'd suggest Australia might be a fertile hunting ground for the mysterious second husband Mr Gray. 
BTW since my last message I've found the Gray-Harmer marriage you were looking for. 1930, Inverell, New South Wales.
You may have heard me mention the amazing experience I had with this commentator the first time I heard from him. I had discovered a family that needed some work on the Family Tree and left off working on the family until the next day only to discover that this person in England had filled in all the blanks and provided sources for the entire family. Now, it happens again.

It is so amazing to encounter such a superb example of genealogical research and see how it can be done in a such a short time using online tools. All I can say is thank you for the help and the example of outstanding research. Now I need to get busy and do a Part Three to this Project and see what more I can find.

Explanation of how this project began and why I am pursuing it.

In this project, I started out by picking a somewhat random person from my ancestors' descendants who lived in the 20th Century from the Family Tree and to hopefully show, step-by-step, the research needed to extend that person's family tree back several generations. Finding a person who has no apparent ancestors in the Family Tree is relatively easy for those who lived in or into the 20th Century. However, I am not able to use any of my own family lines because my direct lines all end back, at least, six generations. To clarify this project, I will not be reserving any of the people I discover for my own Temple List. I will simply leave the "green icons" on the Family Tree for that person's descendants to find and use for themselves. Please refrain from doing the temple work for people to whom you are not related.

Now, after I got going doing the research, I got a couple of requests to research some people further back in time. These turned out to be old, established "end-of-line" situations. Since my original idea was to demonstrate finding people, I started with easier challenges. But in any event,  I may or may not find new people to add to the FamilyTree. Since the families I choose are in an "end-of-line" sort of situation independent of the time frame, there is no guarantee that I will be any more successful than the average user of the Family Tree in finding additional family members. In any event, I hope that my efforts as recorded will help either the family members or others to find more information about their ancestral families and relatives.

Why am I doing this? For the past 15 years or so, I have been helping hundreds (thousands?) of people find their ancestors. I simply intend to document the process in detail with real examples so that you can see exactly how I find family lines. I simply want to show where those "green icons" come from. Since the Family Tree is entirely cooperative, I will simply assume that when I find a family that needs some research that I am helping that family. By the way, this is Project Five of the series because I intend to do this over and over with different examples.

There is another reason why I am doing this. Because I constantly offer to help people find their ancestors and I get relatively few that take advantage of that offer. I need to spend some of my excess energy.

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