My genealogy research diary. What changed, where, sometimes even why.
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Monday, 9 February 2009

9th: The kindness of others

Something I've always loved about this hobby is the thoughtfulness and kindness found within the genealogical community, with most people sharing their finds and helping out.
Today this was exemplified by two emails which arrived in my inbox overnight from one of the lovely people who belong to Find A Grave (wonderful site where you may often be able to find headstones in far distant cemeteries).
He had photographed the headstone of George E & Eda M (CRAWFORD) HENDERSON, and then gone on to do some research about them, found my WorldConnect db and brought the headstone photo to my attention. Not only that, but suggested that I also look in the same cemetery, Mountain View Memorial Park, Barstow, San Bernardino Co, California, for their son George C HENDERSON. He hadn't submitted the latter's headstone photo, but the lovely people who had, also had his obituary listed, which has enabled me to track down at least some of the descendants on Facebook. Don't yet know if they are at all interested in their HENDERSON ancestry, time will tell.

Another recent story is that of the far flung impact of a casual comment after a committee meeting last week.
One member mentioned that his family solicitor was a FAIRBAIRN, and he'd mentioned to him that he knew someone (me) heavily into researching FAIRBAIRNs.
At this point in the story I was privately a bit dismissive as very few of the FAIRBAIRNs in New Zealand appear to come from the Scottish Borders families that I'm researching most heavily. He then mentioned that the chap concerned had been born in Samoa. Likelihood of connection didn't rise at this point, but I did remember that many years ago I'd squirreled away some information about a James FAIRBAIRN of Glasgow who had been a policeman in Samoa. Again, no known connection, just information that may well come to be of use later. And so it turned out.
I pulled out the information and re-examined it for further clues, "just in case".
Sure enough, this was the solicitor's father, and I found sufficient information to identify James' birth in Govan in 1901, shortly after the Scottish census for that year. By now you'll have guessed there's a point to this story. No, at the time I'd squirrelled away the information I had no known interest whatsoever in Glaswegian policeman. But time moves on. Descendants of the family of James and Mary Bell/Mabel (THOMSON) FAIRBAIRN had moved to Glasgow, and yes, this James was one of them.
I've been searching all over the world for this family, found descendants in Washington State, Brisbane, Leicester, knew some had emigrated to Canada, and only recently had found one of them in Saskatchewan in the 1916 census on the FamilySearch Record pilot (which resource seems to have vanished now, so timing was everything there). But no-one ever knew any had come to NZ, let alone were living in my next door town.
Alf and I have now met, and he has provided some more leads for families in the States, and we've swapped our known information. Now I have to work to co-opt him into the FAIRBAIRN dna project to determine whether or not, and if so, how closely, our respective Eckford families may be related.

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Monday, 19 January 2009

18th: Sorting out the Roberts; Another HENDERSON

While looking for something else, I happened upon the Californian death index entry in 1986 for Robert Howard FAIRBAIRN. Which surprised me somewhat as I had him dying in 1950, albeit with a bit of a question mark as he was mentioned in a family diary in 1955.
With a bit more digging, and finally getting round to examining the rest of the Minnesota death certs that turned up, which I had coincidentally ordered recently, I came to the conclusion that there were 3 Robert FAIRBAIRNs in this family, only two of whom were actually in my db.
Father Robert Safley F. was the one who had died in 1950, instead of the 1935 I'd entered for him.
Son (from his 2nd marriage to Alice) Robert Safley F. was the 1935 death - rather tragic really, a 10 yr old who had an accident, which proved fatal, at his father's well drilling operation.
Older son Robert Howard F. (from his 2st marriage to Barbara FAIRCHILD, a cousin), has therefore to be the 1986 one.
I hadn't entered the younger Robert at all as a census entry implied he belonged to Alice rather than Robert, but his death cert states his father as Robert.
So, if the census entry was wrong about Robert, they may also be wrong about his sister Lorraine too. She appears to have married a Wendell William McNEILL in Cottonwood Co, Minnesota, and died in Dakota Co, Minnesota.
Perhaps someone can confirm I've the right Lorraine? Mother Alice FAIRBAIRN, formerly BENSON nee COUSINS?

And to cap off the day, found an entry in my guestbook that added to the HENDERSON tribe. A previously unknown to me dtr to William HENDERSON and Marian Glen AITKEN.

Also brought a few more of the newfound ROWE branch up to 1901, the GLANVILLE connection (Frank Josephus Richard GLANVILLE married Sarah Ann PARSONS).

The three affected descendant charts have all been updated: Rowe, Fairbairn, Henderson.

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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Jun 28, 2008: Mattie in Moorcroft or Modesto?

I've admitted defeat - I cannot find what happened to Mattie FAIRCHILD, dtr of John and Lucinda (BOYCE) FAIRCHILD.
Known info: mentioned as the surviving daughter of Lucinda when she died in 1908, as Mrs J E SULLIVAN of Moorcroft, Wyoming. Mentioned by Grandma VIELE (so pre 1956), as last heard of in Modesto, California, as a nurse.
May have been called Winifred.
RootsWeb WorldConnect db updated, wont be available for searches for up to 36 hours, so use the facility to jump straight to database LornaHenderson

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