Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Genealogy Easter Egg Hunt

Some bloke named Randy Seaver decided that I should have some fun on this Saturday night, so he devised this Genealogy Easter Egg Hunt.

Here's what I found: I followed directions to the letter... and put the search string [mccook nebraska genealogy society] into Google. Well now, the very first match (out of 4,860) was the South West Nebraska Genealogical Society (SWNGS) -

I'm looking for the Devier J. and Abigail (Vaux) Smith family - son David D. and daughters Della and Matie. I know the family lived in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska there between 1885 and 1894, according to family papers and letters. But I don't know much about their lives there.

OK, let's see what they've got:

* Patriots - none of mine
* Civil War - none of mine
* Cemeteries - none of mine (although I saw a book at the FHL that listed D.J. Smith buried in Memorial Park Cemetery - he's not on the list here)
* Red Willow Census - 1880 and 1885 State -- no 1885 data here yet.
* Court Records - one event in 1889 showing D.J. Smith sued.
* Red Willow Probate - a listing for a probate for Devier J. Smith, filed in 1929! Hmm.
* Graduates - too late for my Smiths
* Marriages - a marriage of Mattie Smith to George Chenery in 1889
* Landowners - for 1905, my Smiths are gone.
* Newspapers - an obituary for Devier J. Smith in The McCook Democrat in May 1894
* Funeral Homes - a listing for Devier J. Smith in 1894, died of "dropsy" and the casket cost $76.
* Obituaries - too late 1960s
* Plat Maps - 1905 - too late
* Sanborn Maps - 1889 map shows D.D. Smith's Livery one block from the railway station.
* School census - 1886. No luck
* WW1 Draft - too late
* 1909 High School Annual - too late.

Not a bad haul, eh? A court record, a probate index record, a marriage of a daughter, an obituary, a funeral home record, and a Sanborn map. Amazing!

And all of this from a small county in southwestern Nebraska that I had never really checked out before. I was ecstatic to find these records online - my compliments to Thomas E. Corey and SWNGS for indexing, transcribing and posting all of this information for us to find.

Now I need to have someone go find the probate record in the court house and send it to me. The others are "nice to have," but the probate record is the potential gold mine for me.

As a bonus to everyone who has read down this far - go read Thomas Corey's Step-by-Step guide to Genealogy Research. It is extremely well done. It is a bit dated, but is comprehensive and helpful. A keeper!

That was REALLY fun!!! And profitable too! Thanks, Randy...


Terri said...

Don't know if this is your Della Smith - but this is a record in McCook, Nebraska that I found through Genweb
Marriage date: 28 Nov 1895 Smith, Albert Smith, Della May
There is also a 1900 census in Red Willow Cnty - for the Coleman precint that list them as farmers and by 1900 they have 4 children -

Joan Miller said...

Great work Randy! I found an Easter Egg too! I learned my Grandmother was a "Blue Tooner"!

Ann Smith said...

No brick walls came tumbling down but enough interesting tidbits floated to the top to make me "waste" an entire Saturday night having FUN.

Diana Ritchie said...

Hey there ~ I have to admit my surprise that this worked!! And I want you to know that I confessed both my skepticism and my kudos to you for being right on my post for today.

Thanks Randy!!

TCasteel said...

I didn't get far but enjoyed what I found:
Thank you for all your ideas!