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Old 07-18-2014, 07:24 AM
4,135 posts, read 9,128,090 times
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Yesterday, I found a 3rd cousin with information on my Mom's family. 3 weeks ago, I found a 2nd cousin on that same line. Until then, I thought I would always have zip - other than my Mom and to my 2nd g-grands. Today, I have every one of the over 10 children! Last week, on the other side, it was my 2nd g-grands marriage license found on an Irish site for my Dad's paternal side.

My husband had an "AHA" moment years back - with one maiden name, we had tons of books flying off the shelves of a genealogy library - giving him 7 generations back. I have since traced many other lines ( 4 of them) back to the New England area or farther.

May you all have "AHA" moments as we did. Genealogy = feast or famine. I wish the few other relatives I have found would share... but this am, I sit here with my husband having found upwards of 9 3rd or 4th cousins and myself having found 4 2nd and 3rd.

I started in the 1970s (2 generations hunting); his family started in the 1920s ( over 3 generations hunting ancestors) -- may find those breaks.... all it takes is one name.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:42 AM
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 4,395,600 times
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Oh yes, I know what you mean!!

I had a lot of people on my tree that were just hanging out there - no spouse or children. THEN the PA death certificates for 1906-1944 were released. Whooooosh! Suddenly, I could connect the dots on lots of them with maiden names, parent's names, spouses, all there!! It was really exciting to fill in a lot of blanks.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:00 PM
859 posts, read 751,959 times
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I had a great Aha moment yesterday. I've been brick walled on a 3rd great grandfather's wife for months... Albert Abernathy Drake married to Florence Elizabeth Johnson. I couldn't find anything to suggest what family his wife came from. My descendant is their first child Fannie (Francis) Lenore Drake.

I found an 1880 census for Alfred, on it it listed his wife as F. E. Johnson as the right age range, then their daughter F. L. Drake (my ancestor) as 1 year old (the right age). Then it listed a "Mat. Johnson" as "brother-in-law" under relation to head of household.

That was definitely an Aha... now I have her and her brother, their rough ages, and can look for other nearby Johnsons that fit. Mat was short for Mathew/Matthew (ironically my own name) which seems pretty rare for that time and place too.

Pretty soon I found an 1870 census that fit those siblings perfectly. I then checked for that "Johnson" family on the 1880 census and there you are that Johnson family was listed immediately above that Drake family, all members match up perfectly. There's also a young Willie Darnel listed in the Johnson household of 1870 and in 1880 that same Darnel is listed on his own right after the Johnson and Drakes. Even more, Florence's mother was named Francis which is likely where my Fannie ancestor got her name (named after her grandmother). Definitely the right connection.

After this it opened a huge array of information. The Johnsons from 1860 and earlier were always listed as Johnston (probably another reason I had a hard time). Her father is a William Feagin Johnston married to a likely Francis Collins. It turns out William's middle name was taken from his mother's maiden name and the Johnston and Feagin's were fairly notable (enough to have traceable records and had moderate wealth back a few generations) which opened up a lot more ancestors.

In one night a line that was blocked in roughly the 1830s or so is taken back to the 1700s now. Was a great Aha moment.
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