Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Genealogy Cleaning

A post card from Grandma Lucy's post card album. They cost a penny to send.
This one may have been put in an envelope as it is
written on the back but it seem to have never been stamped.
The Lucy is in glitter.

On Sunday I spent some time working on cleaning up some genealogy files. I did some little things to some older entries in the computer program I use. When I began my files I did not put in any sources. After a bit I put in sources, made notes about census records and began record keeping. Over time I have developed my preferred way of doing this task. Many names are misspelled or misinterpreted in the census records and transcription. I now put in the information obtained then add the way a name is spelled in the record. My maiden name is sometimes found correctly spelled as Hultman. I have also located records where it is spelled Haltman, Holtman and Huttman.

I have always been a bit intrigued by genealogy but it was not until my Aunt Betty wanted some help figuring out a computer genealogy program that I started doing my own work. She has now lost interest in doing more work as Betty is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Much of her work was done in the eight years they lived in Washington DC. She did all her work unaided by the explosion of Internet information. I enjoy doing courthouse work, visiting cemeteries, historical libraries, and historical societies but the Internet adds a dimension of research that was unavailable in the pass.

Growing up I recall my family talking about trying to find my great grandfather’s sister. If it had not been for some obscure birth information I would never have located records on her. The Internet community of persons working on genealogy is often friendly and helpful. One gentleman found this sister’s adoption record and without that information I would never have known who adopted her. It is only with this information that I was fairly certain I had found the right person when I located her in the state of Washington. She had not moved out east as our family stories had indicated. My best guess is that the state of Washington and Washington DC were confused by someone, and the Washington DC became the east. Finding this person and her family members has been my big “brick wall came tumbling down” experience. It was such an exciting happening. It took at least five years of on and off looking. As more sites and more information are available over the Internet the odds of this happening increase.

As I have told others what I would really like to know is what their lives were like, what kind of a person they were and what they believed. I am certain I would not have liked many of them. My guess is that some I would have found fun to be with, I suspect I would find some of their lives depressing and others awful individuals..... It is certainly a movie worth renting.

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