Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Using Ancestry.com Resources to Find Edna's Maiden Name, and More

Many years ago (I don't know how many), I used a 1930 U.S. census record to add Charles W. Dill and his wife Edna D. Dill to my family tree.  I was mining the census records for Dill families at the time.

I have thousands of profiles in my RootsMagic family tree (and by extension, my Ancestry Member Tree), of females with no maiden name.  Edna D. was one of them. 

All I knew about Edna D. Dill was that she was born in about 1886 in Massachusetts, according to the census record.

Edna D. sat in my family tree for many years waiting for me to discover her maiden name, parents names, birth, death, marriage and burial dates and locations.  At some point, I added Edna D. to my Ancestry Member Tree, and Ancestry.com eventually found some records to show me information about her life in the form of Record Hints.  They were just sitting there waiting for me to discover them.

When I was looking for Record Hints over the weekend for the Newspapers.com Obituary Index, I ran the "Mining Tool" (see Using the "Mining Ancestry.com Hints From a Specific Collection" Tool), Edna D. was at the top of my list:

Aha.  Edna Dorsey Dill!  Is that my Edna D.?  I clicked on the link for the record and saw the record summary:

The summary says the obituary or death notice was in The South Bend, Indiana newspaper dated 15 August 1974.  I clicked on the "View" link to see the actual record on Newspapers.com:

Well, that doesn't help much, does it?  Oh well.

But wait - there were "Suggested Records" on the record summary on the right-hand side of the screen.  Here is the continuation of the record summary:

At the top of the "Suggested Records" list is the North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1976 collection with a link to a record for Edna Dorsey Dill:

The record summary provides a birth date and place, a death date and place, and parents names.  Here is the certificate image:

So Edna D. Dill's maiden name is Dorsey.  She was born 8 January 1886 in Illinois to Benjamin L. and Frances J. (Loomis) Dorsey.  She died 15 August 1974 in Asheville, North Carolina.  She was widowed, a housewife, and died of a stroke.  

There are more "Suggested Records," including: 

*  1900 and 1910 census records as Edna Dorsey.

*  1930 and 1940 census records as Edna D. Dill.  The 1930 census indicates she was age 39 when she first married - so in about 1925.

*  North Carolina Death Index entry for Edna Dill.

*  Social Security Death Index record for Edna Dill with the same birth and death dates.

*  Find A Grave memorial for her burial in LaPorte, Indiana (near South Bend, where she had lived part of her life), with the same birth and death dates.

*  City Directories that provide residence information for Edna D. Dill from about 1930 to 1960.

I searched on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch for Edna Dorsey and Edna Dill, born in about 1886, to see if there were other records not in the "Suggested Records" and did not find any other significant records.

So, from a death notice in an Ancestry record collection, I was able to find much information for Edna (Dorsey) Dill in other available records online.

I entered much of that information into my profile for Edna D. in my RootsMagic tree, and now I have a fairly complete profile (I still need the birth town, and the marriage date and place). 

The information for her birth date is an Original Source with Secondary Information and Direct Evidence.  The information for her death date and place is an Original source with Primary Information and Direct Evidence.  The information in other Derivative Sources (Census, Find A Grave, SSDI) is consistent with the death certificate information.

As you can see, I was able to add significant information to my profile for Edna based on the Ancestry Hints and Suggested Records in less than one hour yesterday.  Ten or 15 years ago, how long would it have taken me to find all of the above information (census, death, directory, cemetery, etc.)?  My guess it would have taken me several months or more, requiring several letters and perhaps travel to the locations.  It is possible that I never would have found information about her in traditional research.

All of the above shows the 21st century power of digitized records and record provider search capabilities, and features like Suggested Records and family tree Hints for specific persons.  Of course, Ancestry.com is not the only record provider that has these features.

I am very thankful for these time-saving capabilities and features that I pay for.  My family tree is improved every day because of these capabilities.  One of my problems is that I have thousands of entries like Edna D., and it takes time to add sufficient content and source citations to a profile like this example.  One more down, perhaps 20,000 to go.


Disclosure:  I have had a fully paid Ancestry.com subscription since 2000.  Ancestry.com has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2019/10/using-ancestrycom-resources-to-find.html

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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