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Old 06-22-2012, 09:42 PM
 
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I found Edward and daughter Helen Grace in 1930 Census on Hopkins St (that's what it looks like). He's still listed as married so most likely a divorce never took place. If Anna Jane died before 1930 it's possible he didn't know, otherwise, I would think he'd be listed as Widowed. My great grandfather deserted my great grandmother but she was never divorced so in all census until he died she was listed as Married. Once he died she was listed as widowed.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janrey View Post
I found Edward and daughter Helen Grace in 1930 Census on Hopkins St (that's what it looks like). He's still listed as married so most likely a divorce never took place. If Anna Jane died before 1930 it's possible he didn't know, otherwise, I would think he'd be listed as Widowed. My great grandfather deserted my great grandmother but she was never divorced so in all census until he died she was listed as Married. Once he died she was listed as widowed.
Thanks, I have that one but it's always possible for census data to be incorrect - plus, if Edward and Anna Jane were estranged enough that they had no contact, he may not have known if/when she died. So I always take census data with a grain of salt.

I still haven't found anything on the children. I did find some other relatives outside the city in Butler County but no sign of the children with them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:57 AM
 
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Yeah census data is often not accurate, especially on ages and even names. My relatives were listed under various first names. They often were also listed in the US census and the Canadian census in different years (like 1900 and 1901) because they would often come down in the winters to work in the mills and in the summers return to Canada when the Canadian census was taken.

As to your missing children, they could have been anywhere. With grandparents, friends, relatives and not listed with their last name but as children of who they were living with. They also might have been in some group home until the father got back on his feet for whatever reason he couldn't have them. Is there any family still alive that might know something? Also does Pennsylvania have a central place where they find death certificates? I know in Massachusetts there are the Mass Archives and they'll search a time period for a fee of course which is much higher than going to the town one died in and having to know at least the year and month. This helped us with one relative of my dh who we knew where she was buried but didn't know exactly where she died. It's also helpful if you don't know when but know it was between a 10 year period. If you don't know even that they will do research, again for a fee.

ETA: They also can provide marriage certificates and might be able to assist just based on the Aunts names and parents names.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janrey View Post
As to your missing children, they could have been anywhere. With grandparents, friends, relatives and not listed with their last name but as children of who they were living with. They also might have been in some group home until the father got back on his feet for whatever reason he couldn't have them.
That's what I've been looking for but so far, nothing. I am limited by the fact that I'm not sure about the married names of some of the women in the family so I don't know what to look for. And as I mentioned before, they could have been with a neighbor or friend of the family and recorded with the wrong surname - in which case I may never find them (especially if they weren't altogether).

Quote:
Is there any family still alive that might know something?
My grandfather, who is the son of one of the "missing" children, is still alive but the problem is, he knows very little about his father since, as I mentioned, his father abandoned their family when my grandfather was a child (which is why the absence of Anna is so significant to me - seemingly another abandonment). He was not even aware that his father had sisters so he doesn't know anything about where his father may have been living in 1910. This huge branch of my tree is a bit of a mystery since my grandfather knows so little about his own father.

Quote:
Also does Pennsylvania have a central place where they find death certificates?
There is a multi-year death search at the Department of Health:
Death Certificates

I have been considering it - it's just difficult to do offline research from another country (added shipping costs and time lengths - plus, will they even mail it overseas?). I might get my mom or dad to do it since they're in PA and reimburse them later.

ETA: Actually, I've just realized, it looks like they only do multi year searches for deaths from 1962 to present! What use is that?!

Quote:
ETA: They also can provide marriage certificates and might be able to assist just based on the Aunts names and parents names.
It looks like the PA DoH doesn't provide marriage records - they just give a list of addresses for each county so I'd have to look into what Allegheny County's Register of Wills provides. But thanks for the idea, I'll look into it.

Last edited by PA2UK; 06-23-2012 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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When I did it most required a self addressed stamped envelope so yes, they would mail overseas if you included that. It might be easier to get your parents to do it though and faster.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by janrey View Post
When I did it most required a self addressed stamped envelope so yes, they would mail overseas if you included that. It might be easier to get your parents to do it though and faster.
Well, like I say, the multi year search is only available for deaths 1962 and later - so not very useful! And to request a copy of a specific certificate, you either need to know the date of death already or reference the state file number (which can be impossible to confirm because index provides so little info - there is more than one Anna or Annie Bauer who died in Pittsburgh in the time frame I'm guessing she died in). Basically, if you don't already know when they died, you're screwed and can't request anything. So the issue of mailing to the UK is rather moot. Thanks DoH for being completely useless.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:50 PM
 
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That's too bad, Massachusetts has gotten at least one thing right in ancestry searching.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Thanks DoH for being completely useless.
That might be true if their purpose was to provide genealogists with information. It's not. They're doing their jobs as mandated by their government. We, as genealogists, just to cut them some slack and not make the way for the next person who tries to get information difficult, by bad-mouthing them for the help they were unable to provide you.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by STLCardsBlues1989 View Post
Did they have foster families back then? Or places children could be taken to if their parents couldn't care for them?

I also agree about looking at the neighbors. They may have taken some of the children in. Obviously Edward didn't give the kids up permanently because he had them later. He apparently knew where they were.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I don't know when fostering came into practise. I know orphanages were still around in 1910. I know it was not unusual earlier in history for parents to drop off a child at an orphanage and come back for them years later. But just like any other institution, the people living in an orphanage should be listed on the censuses.

I have since looked through the entire district on the census where Edward was in 1910 and didn't see anything conclusive. I even looked just for the given name and then checked the age in case the surname was incorrectly recorded. I found one that could have been James (with the wrong surname) but his sisters weren't with him so there was no way to confirm it was him.

I'm going to try looking at neighbor where Edward spent the rest of his life. Edward's dad had owned several houses and rented them out - in fact, Edward married the daughter of one of his dad's tenants and he worked at a company started by another former tenant. His brother also lived with a former tenant. So I've started looking into other tenants they maybe made friends with who might have taken them in too.

It's exhausting.
I have a similar situation with some of my husband's ancestors, so I share your frustration.

In our case, one of DH's maternal great grandmothers disappears from the records. Her husband is living in NYC and his two sons, ages about 9 and 7, are in an institution, The Society for Relief of Half-Orphans & Destitute Children. This home required payment and only took children from a relatively narrow age range. It remained in business until the foster system was established. The boys later were actually boarding with an unrelated family. They did show up in the orphanage census for the year they were admitted, 1900. Fortunately, the records were preserved and are archived at Columbia University. I was able to hire a student to spend a couple of hours going through the records, and she was able to determine that the father was the "only surviving parent." The mother was therefore dead by the summer of 1900. Before we found these records,we did not know if she was dead or had deserted the family or was in an institution of some kind herself. Now at least I have a time interval to find a death certificate and we know she did not just pack up and leave.

The mystery is where was their daughter in 1900, who later shows up in her grandparents' home. If Mom was dead and little Clara was not in the orphanage with her brothers or with her father, her grandparents, or any relatives I can identify, where was she? And why did her grandparents take her in with them but not the two little boys? Finances were not an issue. Really strange.

The info on the Society for Half Orphans indicates it was in existence until the early twentieth century. That is when the foster system began to replace orphanages.

So, anyone in an orphanage should show up on the Census if he is in an orphanage during a Census year.

People do fall through the cracks and not get counted in the Census: perhaps a child was shuttled from relative to relative and never really "resided" with any of them?
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,216 posts, read 12,805,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
That might be true if their purpose was to provide genealogists with information. It's not. They're doing their jobs as mandated by their government. We, as genealogists, just to cut them some slack and not make the way for the next person who tries to get information difficult, by bad-mouthing them for the help they were unable to provide you.
Yes, I realize that, I was just ranting/venting my frustration, there is no need to take it literally. But I will amend my statement to "for being completely useless to genealogists". Better?
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