Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finding JRH - what we knew

I posted earlier today about the steps that could be taken to find a person who lived in the 20th century. My CVGS colleague, Joan, asked if I could help her move her research further along, and I agreed. We met at the library today for two hours and we made some progress.

Observant (or shrewd) readers will know that we are searching for John Robinson Hall. Joan had the following information before we started:

1) a World War I draft registration record dated 10 September 1918 that says he was born 21 March 1886, was married to Anna Hall, and resided in Los Angeles. It says he worked in aviation.

2) a California marriage certificate (obtained from Los Angeles County) for J. Robinson Hall (age 31, born PA, parents John S. Hall and Mary Ann McLaughlin) and Anna F. Schrader (age 22, born NY, parents Louis Schrader and Henrietta Weidt) on 16 November 1917 in Los Angeles CA.

3) Family stories that John Robinson Hall left his pregnant wife 3 months before the birth of their son, Louis Robinson Hall. Anna went back to her native New York to have Louis, who was born there in November 1918. She brought Louis back to California and Anna married Morris Largey.

4) Joan had interrogated the databases several months ago for John Robinson Hall and found nothing but the World War I draft registration record. She had also written to the National Archives requesting a census record for him in 1900, but they said they needed a specific roll/ED/page number in order to provide it. Joan did not find him in the SSDI, so she recently wrote to the Social Security Administration asking for JRH's SS-5 application, providing a birth date and a birth state.

Our goal today was to try to exhaust some databases sources and find collateral families that might lead to John Robinson Hall in newspaper obituaries. Based on my review of the above data, I recommended that we:

1) Search the California Death Indexes for 1905 to 2000 to see if JRH died in California and was recorded.

2) Search the SSDI for John Hall, John R. Hall, John Robinson Hall, J. Robinson Hall, and Robinson Hall with a birth date of 21 March 1886.

3) Search the databases again since they have added new databases since she surveyed them.

4) Try to find JRH's birth family in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records in order to determine when his parents may have died, the names and ages of his siblings (and perhaps their spouses and children), etc.

If we review as many sources as we can, we may be able to find more information that extends the "Latest Known Date" - which at this time is 10 September 1918.

I will post tomorrow about our online searches today and the small successes.

1 comment:

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