Friday, September 27, 2013

A crack in Lola's wall

       An outing to the library today created a crack in my brick wall for Lola E. GUSTAFSON (1886-).  Since the kids were working on school projects I jumped onto Ancestry.com.  Not having my research material with me I wonder who to look up and Lola's name popped into my head.
          A search using approximate birth year and place was done, than the family tree section was chosen.  I found my aunt's family tree and a few others, but there was one I didn't recognize and with a click the crack began to form.  At first glance this family tree has no significant differences.  Going to the 1940 federal census source, I know this is my Lola, as the family matches.  Under suggested records I notice an Iowa Births Index and 3 city directories and wonder if this could be her.  The birth index doesn't give a first name and has a different birth date than what I have.  The parents names are given as Charles and Anna GUSTAFSON.  I wonder if this crack will bring down the wall, more information is needed on Charles and Anna.
          Using Charles' name I do a search in the Federal census and Iowa census, nothing concrete is found.  Scrolling down the All Results list I come across an Illinois Death Index that gives the death location for a Charles in a familiar location the family is known to reside in.  By george I think I've found it.  I strongly believe that Charles and Anna are her parents; but my time ran out so I'll have to go to NARA next week and do more research to confirm this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lois Abigail EARLY 1891-1966

       My goal for the year was to post about my research on brick walls hoping to further those illusive lines.  While Lois isn't a direct line, she is my first cousin, and is someone I hadn't been able to find previously.  So, while correcting data from my Gedcom import into my new MacFamily tree software program and looking at the features, one of them being able to click on WebSearch from a person's name, and telling you if a source is available for them.  For whatever reason, Lois' name was present when clicking on the WebSearch and I get 4 hits in Ancestry.com.  Actually 9 hits - 4 are marked most likely and 5 are less likely, but I strongly believe these are her due to the locations listed on the census - 3 Kansas state census, 4 federal census, a California death index and the SSDI.  My attention is piqued by this, since I view finding my family as a sort of treasure hunt, first I must be off to print copies of her information,  It does appear that she did remain single for her life given the social norm of that time, but that doesn't seem so uncommon for my female or male relatives.
       Lois Abigail EARLY was born 28 Sep 1891 in the state of Wyoming one and a half years after it gained statehood.  Nothing came up as to why her parents, Samuel and Celestia EARLY, were in Wyoming or when they relocated there.  Were they homesteading or gold hunting?  Since federal census records are gone for 1890, I'm not sure if I'll know the where, when, why, how, and what, of their move.  Yet, they do return to Kansas where her father farms land the census says he owns.  Another interesting tidbit about her birth is that her mother was 40 years old at her birth, not a usual age of that time to give birth, but maybe not impossible.  Is it possible that Lois was adopted by the Early's considering the mother's age?  Or, being a childless couple, she was an orphan they took in from someone they had known?
       By March 1, 1895, the family is back in Kansas.  They take up a farm in Clay county and Lois is living there until the 1910 federal census when when they are in Cloud county, Kansas.  The Kansas State Census of 1915 shows mother and daughter living in Concordia, Cloud, Kansas, in a home owned free of a mortgage.  Her father had passed away in 1913 and a short year later the mother passes away in July, 1916.  What happened to the farm and house owned by her parents?  She had a job as a clerk in Concordia and could have stayed considering she should have inherited anything of value being the only child.  Did she sale and get money that allowed her to travel?  
       Estes Park, Colorado is where the 1920 federal census shows her residence and working as an operator for the local telephone company.  She is a boarder in the home of a couple who may be related to her, but that is not proven yet.  The surname is familiar to the family, that is where the assumption comes in.  Ten years later, in the 1930 federal census, she's rooming in Denver, Colorado.  As no occupation is given for her I wonder how she is supporting herself, and also wonder if she is furthering her education?  The 1940 federal census states she only completed the 1st year of high school, and yet, in 1940 her occupation is as a practical nurse.  
       Working as a private nurse in Glendale, California, she also lives with the family whom she cares for.  Again, according the 1940 census, she has been there since 1935.  Googling the house address, it's quite a nice house and seems roomy for the three people living there.  Considering she worked 49 weeks out of the previous year and made $490 ($8,245 in today's dollars), add her room and board to that, she seems to be doing well for herself.  When she passes at 74 years, 5 months young in Long Beach, California, I wonder what other adventures she has taken.  I'll now need to find newspaper clippings to get more of her story and hope to be around for the 1950 census release to see if she's still working or retired.