Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday's Tips : A New Way to Search For Records

My usual way to research a branch of my family tree is to follow one individual at a time as long as I can.  The "Until I Reach a Brick Wall" approach.  Reading some of Randy Seaver's recent posts had led me to consider using a different approach.  In his Genea-Musings blog Randy wrote of "mining" a specific database for family members.

I had been writing about the Camp family for some months, and I was now ready to revisit the Myren branch of my family.  Time to leave the South, Tidewater Virginia, and the Civil War and head to North Dakota and the life of Norwegian immigrants.  Trouble was, I wasn't sure just where or with whom I wanted to start.  I decided to follow Randy's advice and to try focusing on one specific database for Myren family information.

Previously I had used FindAGrave to record burial information for some of the Myren family members buried at Hillsboro Cemetery #1 in Hillsboro, North Dakota.  My search for Myrens listed 11 people buried at that cemetery.

Myrens buried in Hillsboro Cemetery #1, Hillsboro, ND
source:  FindAGrave.com

I recognized the listings for my GreatGrandparents Carrie (Kari) S Myren and Peter Peterson Myren and my  2Great Uncle Anders Myren.   Also listed were my Great Uncles Adolph, Carl P, and Paul S Myren as well as my Great Aunts Anna and Julia Myren.  

Seeing this listing, I made sure that I had recorded the birth and death dates from grave markers as well as cemetery information for each of these family members.  Citing each fact that I recorded in Family Tree Maker went quickly because I could make a copy of the citation for the first family member, then just edit in the correct data for the next family member.  I could copy the FindAGrave information for Adolph Myren then edit the name and dates in my citation for his sister Julia Myren's FindAGrave record.

Source Citations screen shot, Family Tree Maker 2014

Missing, however, were several family members who I thought would have be buried at this cemetery, my Great Aunts Pauline and Olga.  Also, I knew very little about Annie Myren and nothing about William Myren. 

Right away, I had a new To-Do List: (1) locate information related to the burials of Pauline and Olga and (2) learn more about Annie and William.  By focusing on these four names (Pauline, Olga, Annie, and William Myren), I was able to learn more about each of them in a relatively short time.  This time I used some of my usual search strategies - Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.com, Mocavo, and Genealogy Search Engine - as well as looking at census records and local histories available online.

In a little over an hour, I had found the following information about these relatives:
  • Pauline Myren, as an adult, preferred to spell her surname as Myron, a fact that had slipped my mind when initially searching for her burial location.  She too is buried in the same cemetery, Hillsboro Cemetery #1, as her parents and brothers.  Searching for information on Pauline was what lead me to find her request for a pen pal, the letter written by Pauline in 1911.
  • Olga Myren had married Adolph Rognlie.  Her FindAGrave memorial page lists her just as Olga Rognlie with no mention of Myren.  Olga Myren Rognlie is buried in Hillsboro Cemetery #1 but her husband Adolph Rognlie's burial place was listed as "unknown" while his place of death was noted as being Washington state.  Looking further into this is will probably be added to my To-Do List.
  • Annie Myren, identified through various census records, was the second wife of Anders Peterson Myren.  Anders' first wife, Oline Jorgensdatter Ateigen, was listed as buried in the Elmwood Cemetery of Hillsboro, ND.  By using both United States and North Dakota state census records found on Ancestry.com, I was able to follow Annie Myren as she continued to live in Hillsboro, ND until her death in 1949. 
  • William C Myren was one of the four children born to Anders Myren and his second wife Annie.

I also decided to pass on some information to others researching the Myren family by requesting that the FindAGrave memorial pages for my GreatGrandparents, Peter Myren and Kari Siem Myren, include the links to the FindAGrave information of their children.  Some of my editing requests were done within a few days.  Others of my requests are still waiting to be posted.

Lessons learned:  Thanks to Randy Seavers' suggestion, I plan to search within one database or type or record as part of my research strategies with a family.  This experience with FindAGrave showed me how it provided a family overview and then showed some areas where I needed to look for new or additional information.

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