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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Clarinda Oliver

Clarinda Oliver was the daughter of Ezra Oliver and Hester Crandall.  I last find her on the 1860 Census, in Windham, Greene County, NY, with her sister, Francis Victoria and her mother.  Francis was 18, Clarinda 14 and Hester 55.  I don't find Hester again and assume she died before the next census in 1870.  None of us has verified her last resting place.

Francis married a Charles Dougherty but I have no documentation for that marriage and there are many Charles Dougherty's in NY at the time.

What happened to Clarinda?

I do find a Clarinda Every or Evey in Middletown, Delaware County, age 26, on the 1870 census.  Could that be Clarinda Oliver?  I don't know.  If it is, she and her family disappear again as of the 1880 census.

Let me know if you find her anywhere.

My task now, as I've set it, is to trace each individual in my database from birth to death with as much concrete documentation as I can find, beginning with direct line ancestors but working through the entire database.  Quite an undertaking with over 3,200 individuals in the database.

Documentation:  I prefer to have 3 corroborating sources, particularly if there is anything iffy about any particular document.  Over the years, I've found so many oddities in documents, so many nearly identical individuals (names, places, ages, dates, etc.) that I begin with skepticism and work toward trust.

Clearly, many, many people were either completely disinterested in leaving evidence of their existence or worked to conceal it.

Clearly, many, many people are very poor spellers, have very poor penmanship (including myself) and seem shy about asking how to spell a name.

In any case, I highly recommend not jumping to conclusions in searching for relatives and ancestors.  You will be very surprised at the number of individuals with the identical name, born the same year, living in nearly the same place.  Do a web or Facebook search -- you'll be surprised.

  Keep in touch.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Remember plasterware?


I found some possible contacts at the Minisink Valley Historical Society web site and sent them emails.

I also made a couple of contacts on Facebook.

I stumbled on some interesting items in the catalogs of the New York State Library which you can search online.  Just search on a surname.  You have to scroll through many listings but it's worth the time.  Of course, it means getting there to actually look at items but some might be available for Inter-Library Loan (ILL).  You can check with them.  Some are in manuscript collections.  It might take several visits to see everything that has potential value.

I'll be searching the catalogs of other libraries that might have useful items with valuable information.  I already know that the New York Public Library has a mountain of items I'd like to look at.  I was recently told that their 42nd St. branch is being remodeled and re-focused and that much of it's historic collection has been put in storage.  I haven't confirmed that yet but plan to investigate.  That branch was given much of the collection of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society including boxes of manuscripts and papers related to specific families.  I personally saw boxes for the Hulse and Odell families.

I also recommend that, at least once a year, you search on Yahoo or Google, or whatever other search site you prefer for each surname you're interested in.  I begin, in alphabetical order, with just the surname itself:  Odell, Wormuth, Hulse, etc., to see what turns up.  I scan through about 3 pages of search results to see if anything interesting turns up.  Often, you'll find an online query or an obit that looks promising, or a newly published historic list of some kind.  Depending on what I find, my mood and intuition, I also search on names of individuals or the combined names of couples:  Joseph Odell, James and Mary Hulse, etc.  This also turns up similar results from time to time or a family history web site.  Often, the results are things I've already seen but sometimes there's something new somewhere and I have a new bit of information.  

Also, search major online resource sites regularly.  They add information continually.  The amount of data online keeps growing.

Just a family photo to add some interest:

If I remember correctly, this is Mom, Georgiana Beismer O'Dell.