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Blog posts February 2016

It pays to ask questions,,,,,,,

February 29, 2016


If you are doing your genealogy or thinking about starting you will quickly learn, it pays to ask questions.  If you have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles still alive, ask a lot of questions and write everything down.  Even if some of the stories don't turn out to be exactly true, they will provide valuable clues.

I know, you are wondering, "what does she mean, 'even if they don't turn out to be true?"  Well, more often than not long time family stores tend to become exaggerated over the years or blown out of proportion a bit.  Sometimes older folks' memory is not as clear as it once was.  Or sometimes little details are just forgotten.

Understand that a story is just a story until you have real evidence to back it up.  But that story will most likely provide a lot of hints.

Another way it pays to ask questions is when you are trying to find current information.  For example, yesterday I wrote about my Great Aunt Edith.  I have not found an exact DOD yet but through asking some questions on Facebook I did get some valuable information.  First a sweet lady from Eldred, NY where Edith was born and raised, read my posts and said, Edith and her mother were good friends and she thinks she remembers Edith being buried in the Rural Valley Cemetery in Cuddebackville, NY.  Great!  That is an awesome lead!! 

So the first thing I did was look at the cemetery on and unfortunately, there is no listing for her there.  But that does not mean she is not there, just that a memorial has not been created for her yet.  Once I find proof she is there I will create a memorial for her and link her to her family.  So once I did not find a memorial, I started searching for contact information for someone with the cemetery so I could see if they could find her in their records.  I could not find any info online so, out of desperation I put it out there on Facebook to all my friends back in NY state, (I am in Illinois), does anyone know who to contact for the cemetery?  A few hours later, I got my answer, a local funeral home in Port Jervis, NY (my hometown) owns the cemetery.  Eureka!!  I will call them today.

Then last evening I got a phone call from another friend in Port Jervis, she and her boyfriend went to the cemetery to see if they could find the grave, and they believe they have but wanted to verify the name with me.  They plan to go back again one day soon and get information from the marker for me.

So, it always pays to ask questions because you never know where the answers might come from.  As a genealogist you will constantly be digging deep to find the answers, but that is the fun of it.  I hope you will help others in their journey as well.  I am always willing to share my knowledge with others and that is why this blog was born.  After 20 plus years of doing genealogy, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way and met a lot of wonderful people.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,


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Great Aunt Edith,,,,,,

February 27, 2016


I have been tackling another one of my brick walls.  My Great Aunt Edith Parker.  She has been a tough one.  I do not ever remember meeting her although I know she lived just a few blocks away when I was a small child.

Edith Edna Parker was born on the 3rd of February 1888 the youngest child of George W. Parker Sr and Ruth Hulse Parker.  She was born and raised in Eldred, Sullivan County, NY but lived a good part of her adult life in Port Jervis, Orange County, NY less than 20 miles away.

Edith was first married to Howard Pelton.  Howard was a foreman at a cut glass factory in Barryville, NY.  I am fortunate to have a couple of pieces of the cut glass.  Unfortunately, Howard passed away in 1926.  According to the 1910 census they were married in about 1906.  So they were married about 20 years when Howard passed.  She married next a Jean Louis Besson, a french man.  I do not know they exact year they were married but I believe it to be somewhere around 1930.

What I did not know, until recently, was Edith was married a third time.  While trying to find a date of death I had stumbled on a Social Security record where she filed a claim, I am assuming for the death of Jean Louis Besson in 1953.  On the SS record it stated her name is 1976 was Edith Parker Besson Maas.  Wow, another husband!!  But who is this Maas fellow?  And so the search begins.

I still do not know when and where Edith died.  I know that my Aunt Emaline inherited the house that Edith owned on Hudson St. in Port Jervis.  I remember the family fight with her siblings that pursued.  My Aunt Edith, her sister, thought the entire family should have inherited the house, but Aunt Emaline was the one who went and cleaned and took care of Great Aunt Edith in her later years.  Anyhow, it is obvious she did not die before 1976 because that is the date on the SS record where she filed a claim and her name was listed with the name Maas.  Unfortunately, my mother never shared family information with me and in fact seemed to distant herself from her aunt and cousins as much as possible.

My family does not seem to know much, or if they do, they are not saying.  So now the search is on to find out who this Maas person was and of course when and where Great Aunt Edith died.  I am thinking she died right there in Port Jervis but I am not sure.  So far, I have not been able to turn up any obituaries but, I have yet to search for the name Maas.  This is a brand new discovery this week.

Sometimes I think doing genealogy is like searching for a needle in a hay stack.  I'm certain the needle is there, I just have to keep looking for it and eventually it will turn up.  New information is being added all the time to the genealogy web sites, just like this SS claim record.  That was not there a couple of years ago but it sure did provide one huge clue.  If you love doing genealogy like I do, you learn to never give up, because eventually you will find the clue you need to bust your brick wall wide open.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,

This picture was originally posted on  and submitted by Chuck M.

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This is it,,,,,,,

February 26, 2016


Well, I have played around with several different ideas and finally have settled on what I really want to write about.  Genealogy and family history.  Not only about my own family and journey into the past but also providing tips I have learned along the way along with resources for you to use as well.

So, please bear with me as I get back in the groove.  In the meantime you can read some of my past posts about my challenges and finds in my Parker family search and perhaps that will give you some hints and ideas of how you can proceed with your searches, maybe even help knock down that proverbial brick wall.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,

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