28 April 2009

Partial 1920 Census Index Free at Family Search

FamilySearch's Pilot Site recently released a partial index to the 1920 census. I am always glad when datasets get a new index, especially when it is a census year where I have had difficulty finding someone.

I have been looking for Anna Apgar/Verikios in the 1920 census since shortly after my wife and I got married. Anna is my wife's grandmother and was born in Illinois in 1913--likely in Chicago. I have searched for her to no avail. She was likely born Anna Apgar, the daughter of William and Marie/Mary Desmarais/Demar Apgar. Her parents split ca. 1918 and by 1920 her mother was in a relationship with Peter Verikios. I have searched for Anna as:
  • Anna Apgar/Apker, etc.
  • Anna Demar/Desmarais
  • Anna Verikios

Throughout the entire state of Illinois, trying all variants of these three last names that I could think of. All to no avail. Consequently I was excited when FamilySearch released their 1920 census index that includes Illinois. Maybe I would find her. Again, no such luck.

There is a remote chance that Anna was in New York State in 1920--which is where her mother was born and where her mother had siblings living. I will hold off on any more creative searches until New York State has been included in the index at Family Search. Maybe one day I will find her.

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05 December 2008

Some Chicago Marriage Licenses on Family Search's Pilot Site

It seems like it is harder and harder to keep up with all the information available on Family Search's Pilot site.

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, marriages are being added to the records site at Family Search. This is a work in progress, which is clearly indicated on the site.

It made it so easy to locate these records (which I admittedly already had). The marriages shown in this post are for Lewis Demars and Laura Noll in 1901 and for Mary Demar and William Frame Apgar in 1909. Lewis is the father of Mary. Mary and her husband are my wife's great-grandparents. William Apgar "evaporates" around 1918.

No going to the courthouse, no writing a letter, no paying a fee. This is really nice. Now I just have to have time to search for other family members and wait for the site to expand its offerings of these records.

Those who have time can volunteer to help with the indexing of records at Family Search as well. You do not have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to participate in the indexing program.

The Cook County, Illinois, marriage records currently online at Familysearch can be searched on their site.

At the time of this writing records on the site were from 1900 through 1920.

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16 November 2007

The Importance of Going One Step at a Time

There is a reason that genealogists are told to work from the present to the past and not to "skip around."

My wife's great-grandfather is William Apgar, born around 1888 in Chicago. I spent hours looking at Apgar families in 1880 and in 1900 (and in city directories), trying to get an idea of who his parents could be.

Turns out Apgar was not his last name after all--it was a last name he took upon his marriage for reasons I am not entirely aware of. His marriage record and a 1910 census enumeration, along with some other information made it clear that his name at birth was actually William Frame. All that time spent looking for Apgars was for naught. Had I worked on him in more detail initially in the 1909-1920 time frame, I would have realized this and not spent so much time looking for the wrong family.

And for those who wonder if Apgar was a name in William's background, the answer is no. It appears he simply chose the name from somewhere other than his own family history.

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