Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cleaning up the Letter A

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

I didn't find anything exciting by reviewing the letter A surnames. But I was able to find more family histories that needed the source details added. Although they weren't "A" surnames, I still found:
  • That I forgot to do the last generation in a family history. I stopped with my common ancestor and forgot about the extra entries for a few of her children. Then I was able to find:
    • The middle name of one woman
    • That one man in my database was actually 2 men. The woman had married cousins with the same name. Then I was able to find the 2nd marriage record and detangle the two men.
  • In another family history, I found that they mixed up the woman's maiden name and first married name. Then I was able to find her first husband, obituary, and burial place.
I also went through a family history that was created for my maternal grandmother's side of the family in the late 1990s.  Everyone wrote in with their own stories of the family. When I ask my grandmother about her life, she tells me that she doesn't remember. But 15 years ago, she was ready to write those stories and share her memories so that her children wouldn't forget. Luckily the person who put the book together, recorded who wrote most of the stories. So every time it said that something was written by my grandmother, I transcribed it and put it into a Personal Historian file for her. So now I have the stories, even if she won't tell me them herself.

I also plan to cut up those stories into small parts and send them out to my family over the next year. That way they can build on the stories and also help me to identify which child was causing what trouble.

So even though I didn't find anything exciting in the letter "A", I still was able to find gaps in my database and fill in more blanks.

Other letter cleanups:
Unknown surnames


  1. What a wonderful idea, Tina! I will have to give it a try. It will certainly make the mountain seem smaller! :)

  2. Sounds like you're off to a great start, Tina!