Friday, November 8, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments From the Past Week

It seems like these Fridays are coming awfully fast ... at least once a week, and then there's the weekend, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, football and ... and ... the genealogy treadmill just keeps running and I try not to fall off.  Whew, made it through the first sentence!

Here are some interesting and helpful (very helpful!) reader comments on Genea-Musings posts this week:

1)  On Finding Ethel - Post 1: Candidate Search (posted 7 November 2013), my readers got ahead of me again (I stopped searching at 6 p.m. last night...):

a)  pkw offered:  "My first thought when reading your post was that I didn't see consideration of Kays being Ethel's name after her other marriages, and only focusing on before. For example, this could be her: . Especially since she's buried in the same town where she lived with Loy Lathem before he died. Perhaps searching for this Ethel's obituary and/or a marriage record could lead to more information?"

My comment:  I mentioned it, but only in passing.  It was one of today's tasks!  Great find - thanks!

b)  Gary Treat helped tremendously:  "One of the excellent online Oklahoma resources that should prove helpful in this case is the index to court records (including many marriages) found at It's a really good place to start. A search for Louis Powell reveals a marriage license was filed in Creek County, OK on 15 Mar 1922 between Louis Powell and Ethel Hall. Oddly, another marriage license was filed in the same county 2 years later on 11 May 1924 between Louis Burr Powell and Ethel M Powell. Obviously, this is only an index and additional research should be done in the original records, but it looks like you may be on the right track with the Hall family."

My comment:  Excellent find, thanks for the link, and the help.  Glad to know my instinct was right!  Perhaps they divorced soon after the first marriage and got remarried.  

c)  Geolover added:  "Try findagrave for Ethel M. and John F. Kays

"John was single son living with his parents for 1930 and 1940 in Big Mound Twp., Wayne Co., IL.

"A check of the SSDI showed some likely Ethel Kays' but the most likely appears to have been married to a Marshall Kays in Nelson Co., KY in 1940 Census -- they are buried there according to a findagrave entry."


"PS, forgot to mention the Ethel Kays in SSDI, b. 3 Oct 1907, d. Feb 1981, last residence Fairfield, Wayne Co., IL. Which is where the findagrave entry is for, in Maple Grove Hill Cemetery. Makes sense that Ethel did not move away from Wayne County after her last (not necessarily only) remarriage."

My comment:  More information to chase down and sort out, Thanks!

d)  Elizabeth noted:  "If Ethel was a Catholic she may be registered as Mary Ethel. My experience has been that churchmen did not like plain old ordinary Ethel for some reason - perhaps there was no saint with that name. I found a very elusive aunt as Mary Ethel."

My comment:  Interesting idea - these days we sometimes forget that religion played a bigger role in many peoples lives than it does today.

Well -- these comments sure make my genealogy Friday easier...crowdsourcing is a tremendous tool for some of us.  Now I feel like I should have done the search for Ethel Kays last night instead of working on the CVGS newsletter, but then I would have deprived my great readers the chance to help out on this project.  Thank you all.

a)  Geolover commented:  "The matter of duplicates in the FS-Family Tree is much more serious than you suggest. For example, for one of my 3rd-generation Ipswich ancestors there are more than 200 versions that have been uncombined from new.FamilySearch and put into FS-FT. There is indeed an admin. team working on 'famous persons' and uncombining at least some of the Individuals of Unusual Size (IOUS) that made the n.FS program even more unworkable than its original design seemed to be.

"Such duplications are being dumped into Family Tree, but the process of deciding which sets are to be separated has not been disclosed.

"These components of the IOUS tend to have major or minor mistakes including in vital dates, spouse identities, parents and children (many of whom also are IOUS with the same sorts of mistakes).

"In my experience some of the duplicate sets are attached wholesale, seemingly randomly, to completely impossible persons (different surnames from the attached parents, and/or born different centuries from supposed spouses/children).

"My suspicion is that this mass of duplicates (originating in so many copies of user-submitted data that were put into new.FamilySearch) are going to be left in Family Tree for *somebody else* to fix.

"If one had not already conducted sound research on my aforesaid ancestor, it could take days or longer for an admin. person to do so. And there must be at least tens of thousands of these."

My comment:  I understand the problem, but not the magnitude of the problem.  I hope FamilySearch gets the Family Tree sorted out eventually, and I think they will.  They may have to freeze many of the IOUS, enter sourced data from authoritative sources, and then delete the wrong material.  We'll see, but perhaps not in my lifetime.

3)  On Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Trick or Treat Edition (posted 2 November 2013):

a)  Ed Hamilton offered:  "Trick: If you find an ancestor in a set of records, and you know his/her parents' names, then look for siblings by searching the same set of records using just your ancestor's surname and the parents' names. There have been plenty of times I found a Irish county of origin for a person by looking at his sibling's or a relative's records.

Treat: It's been a few months, but it was a treat to find the Valuation Revision Books for Northern Ireland online at

And this week I found out that NI wills and abstracts of wills were at:"

My comment:  Excellent choices, Ed.  Thanks!

4)  My thanks to my readers who successfully defeated the Captcha trap imposed by Blogger to foil spammers (you wouldn't believe what's in my Blogger spam folder!).  I appreciate your comments and research efforts.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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