Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Grandpa Joseph

Well I am having lots of fun peeling away another layer of the onion to finding out who my Great Grandpa Joseph is. I was surfing the web yesterday and using my trial period subscription to World Vital Records when I typed his name in under types of records and tried Immigration. Much to my surprise the year he immigrated I found him as a passenger on a ship that landed in New York City in 1868. His age matched what I had found the week before on the census records. I can't describe the feeling and I positive feeling it is the right person. To me that feeling is so strong it is almost like he is sitting by me and saying yes that's me. In the eternal scheme of things he might just be.
Then last night I realized I don't think I wrote down what site I found that information on, even though I took screen shots of the information. I was worried I might not be able to retrace my steps. And what did I learn in class, document those sources. Luckily I had written the main site name down on my Research Log and I was able to get the exact URL today. I'm not sure if that is important or if it will change over time, but I was glad to find it and it reinforced that important lesson to document those sources.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the Mesa Family History Center and wanted to look for his death record and marriage record those were my goals. I was on Ancestry and found a passport application for Joseph that he applied for in May of 1912. I remember my Dad telling me once that his grandfather had gone back to Germany for a trip. The fun thing about the application was it had his date of becoming a citizen, what ship he entered the country on that matches the ship I found earlier in the day, his full birthday and an address where he was living that matches an address a distant cousin gave me in a letter way back in the late 70's. And best of all a birth place in Germany.

I was offered assistance from one of the Missionaries at the library and we found the micro fiche that is an index to his death record. I ordered the film that should have the imagine of that record on it, I hope it comes fast. The missionary had me go back to try and find him on the 1880 census and we found the same guy I thought was someone else, mainly because I didn't know any of those kids names and they didn't match the kids names of 1900. He reminded me that the 1900 census was 20 years later and the kids of 1880 would be gone in normal circumstances. So I'm say maybe its Joseph, only because all the kids names on that census are new to me and what my distant cousin gave me years ago. So I can't say at this time. We tried to find the wife in the 1900 census but we could not, which strengthen the case for the 1880 Joseph because my Joseph was a widower in 1900. The missionary gave me more things to think about and research, but by this time the library was closing and I could do no more. I have plans to be there most of next Saturday with a friend so I hope I find more info.
Well while writing this I have been off looking for more information. I want those Naturalization Records soon also. I think I need to give Joseph a rest today, I know my brain needs one. I'm so glad to have new info.

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