Monday, September 18, 2006

Congrats to Megan on Annie's Story

I watched and waited during both vacations to hear the details about Annie Moore's life and family. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak presented her story on 15 September to a NYGBS meeting in New York City. Megan's summary, with links to the two New York Times articles, is here.

Unfortunately, Megan's post and the NYTimes articles do not list the name of her spouse or her children, although it does provide a list of surnames for her descendants.

Before I left on vacation in mid-August, I had scoured the 1900 census for New York City on Ancestry.com, searching for person's named Ann* (Ann, Anne, Annie, Anna, etc.) born in Ireland between 1875 and 1879 and immigrating between 1891 and 1893. At the time, I thought that if I could find an Ann* born in January 1877 (the 1892 article said it was her 15th birthday on 1 January 1892 when she came through Ellis Island) and immigrated in 1892, that I could narrow the field down significantly.

I made a list of about 40 females who were either married or widowed living in New York, Kings and Queens counties. There were none who had a birth date of January 1877, but we all know the census records aren't always correct (which is why I specified 1875 to 1879 in my search). The first name on my list was "Annie Schayer" born May 1877, residing in Manhattan; it was the first name that came up that met my search criteria, but the birth month was not January. I did not follow up on the index listing for any of the 40.

From the list of names on Megan's blog post, I'm guessing that Annie married a Schayer. I wish I had had more time to follow up on this, but it would have been blind luck on my part to have figured it out before Brian did.

I hope Megan will write an article about the whole Moore family - we know so little about Mathew, Mary, Annie, Anthony and Philip - but they are now part of my research mantra, and I for one yearn to know more. I hope Megan will describe how Brian found the critical data, what ProGenealogists did in this effort, and how the family was found.

This is a tremendous genealogy "feel-good" story that demonstrates the combination of traditional research with internet-accessible records to solve a thorny problem in 6 weeks.

Congratulations - and thank you - to Megan for the effort, and the lessons learned by all of us.

1 comment:

Lee Anders said...

Randy,

I had a Schayer too! Married to a Joseph, I think. I look forward to seeing a final report, but I would almost bet a case study of this magnitude will be published in a scholarly journal rather than on a blog. Hopefully, I'm wrong. :-) I learned a lot from the experience, regardless, and next time, I am NOT giving up on myself so quickly, even if I don't have a snowball's chance in hades. LOL...

~ Lee