Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Found When I Organized my ECK line

Way back in July, I started fixing lots of the source citations in my database and organizing my digital files so that I could find them. I split my tree up between my 4 grandparents. I finished the SUCKLING line in August and the EISWERTH line in October. In mid-December, I finished the ECK line, but never posted my findings. So here we go...

One of the things I have know for a long time was that this line was based on many secondary sources. This was an easy part of the tree to add to my database because a family history book had been created by one of my cousins over 10 years ago. I knew about this book and obtained it from my dad early in my research. But I have found many mistakes in the book as I have furthered my research. One of the glaring mistakes is the it states that my dad was born in Cincinnati, Ohio when he and all his siblings were born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As I fixed the citation and organized the media for this tree, I realized how many original sources I was missing. A lot of this had to do with the fact that Pennsylvania vital records are not available online and I have not taken the time to try to send away for them. This is something that I really need to start doing.

In filling in the census blanks in my database, I found missing census pages missing on Ancestry. In the 1910 census, there are several pages missing from Williamsport. I originally thought that people had missed the census or had been misindexed and I just couldn't find them. But then I found a family in the 1910 Pennsylvania Miracode Index. After attempting again to find them in the census, I went page by page in the enumeration district and found that the page they were on was missing. I then went and obtained the image from Heritage Quest. This was the first time that I had discovered this problem and will remember in the future to check for this.

Since this family is well documented (whether correctly or not), I haven't spent a lot of time on it. I skip to the families that were not covered in the family history book. I had previously found the parents of Theresa Bank and ordered their probate records. They lived in Montour county, Pennsylvania. In searching for records from Montour county, I came across the Montour County Genealogical Society. I found that they would do naturalization lookups and sent an email looking for the record for John Bank. I received a quick response and it even included the cemetery information for John and Ursula. As another bonus, I was also sent suggestions of where else to search in the county records. (A great resource!) I sent away to the society for a copy of the record and received it in about a week's time. I was very happy with the quick response and kindness of the society member who helped me. It was $5 well spent.

Again, I have found lots of information by fixing my database. For this line, I have mostly learned about myself as an early researcher instead of finding new information in the records that I already had. Now I know what I need to do to improve this line's research. (I just need to get around to doing it.)

The final line to complete is the BASCOM line. Since it is so large, I am splitting it by my great grandparents Dewey Francis BASCOM and Alice Susan HILLIS. I'm going to start with the HILLIS line. One I am finished fixing my database and organizing my files I will know where to focus my next line of research.

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