thegenealogygirl


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The Mixed Up Case of the Two James Youngs & Janet Robertsons in Renfrewshire, Scotland

which James Young-01

In May of 2014, I had a happy breakthrough moment when I added another generation to my tree on my Young line in Scotland.  It was a major victory that had just been waiting there for me.  That discovery led to additional discoveries when I found parents for both James Young and Janet Robertson.  In just a few short weeks I had added two full generations and plenty of descendants.  It was exciting!

My excitement quickly came to a halt.

You see, I like to participate in building the Family Tree in FamilySearch.org.  So once I have researched a family well, I go into FamilySearch and try to update, source, add, merge, or whatever is needed, to help that Tree be as correct as possible.

When I went into the tree to add or attach James Young & Janet Robertson’s parents, I was faced with the most convoluted mess I’d come across yet.

This was my James & Janet with some of their children:

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 2.18.49 PM

Everything looked pretty good.  Some facts, sources, children, and grandchildren were (and still are) missing, but otherwise, this was all correct.

But then a troubling duplicate reared it’s head when I went looking for James Young and Janet Ferguson, James’ parents.  I found this:

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 7.46.36 PMScreen Shot 2017-06-12 at 7.46.02 PM

So what is the trouble exactly?  Oh goodness, where do I begin…

This James Young has the same birth and death dates and places as my James Young.  He also has parents with the same names as my James Young’s parents.  His wife also has the same name as my James Young’s wife.  His first two children listed have the same names, birth dates, and birth places as my James Young’s first two children.

But then.  There are problems.

The marriage date and place are different by two years and 1 parish.  This James Young’s wife Janet Robertson has a different birth date and place, and different parents from my Janet.  And, who are those last two children?  They don’t seem to belong to my James Young and Janet Robertson.

The more I tried to unravel this, the more confusing it was.  I started by looking at the marriage records for both couples.  I wondered if they were a duplicate couple who had banns read in a neighboring parish?  Had the record of the banns been indexed incorrectly?  It’s a pretty big stretch since the entire date is so drastically different, but I wasn’t going to rule it out.  Looking at all of the records – all four – made it quite clear that there were two couples.  One who married in Renfrew, Renfrewshire in 1823 and one who married in High Church, Paisley, Renfrewshire in 1821.

At this point I decided I needed to complete a surname study for both parishes.  For the next three years I slowly went through the microfilm records for these parishes every time I went to BYU to research.  I had a notebook.  Every event for someone with the surname of Young was recorded.  It was slow and tedious.  I didn’t have much time to give to it.  It felt like it would take forever.

But then!  Ohhhh, this is about to get good…

About six weeks ago, I started helping two different people with Scottish research.  I hadn’t been working on my Scottish lines recently.  I knew that the ScotlandsPeople website had been updated.  I’d gotten lots of emails about it.  I just hadn’t tried it out yet.  There were so many complaints about glitches at first, that I thought I would let the dust settle before I used it.  I had other parts of my tree to work on, so it was just fine.

As I helped these two different people discover the joys of Scottish research, it started an itch for me.  I wanted to work on part of my Scottish lines again.

One afternoon, about 4 weeks ago, I was zipping around my house getting stuff done.  I had the strongest impression that I should revisit one of my brick walls – Andrew Brown, my 4th great grandfather.  I dropped everything and gave it a look.  Over the next three days I completely demolished that brick wall and had the best time pushing my tree back several generations.  But that, is a story for another day.

As my Andrew Brown journey was winding down, I thought about my dusty notebook and my Young Surname Study.  It hadn’t gotten any attention for a few months.  ScotlandsPeople is so different now.  I thought I could probably complete the project from home now without having to buy too many records.  So I pulled out my notebook and got to work.

I am sooooo happy to say that on Tuesday, the 13th of June, 2017, I tackled the main goal of my Young Surname Study.  I had enough information to accurately separate the two James Young and Janet Robertsons and their children.  I carefully fixed everyone, sourced them, and made sure they are attached to the correct family members.  That Tuesday was a long and wonderful day.

Without going into too many confusing details, this is what I discovered.

The James Young who was attached to my James Young’s parents is a different man.  He did in fact marry a Janet Robertson in 1821 in High Church, Paisley, Renfrewshire.  But after that, there is no trace of either of them.  No children, no death records, no census.  I don’t know where they went.

The first two children – James Young b. 1824 and Thomas Young b. 1828 were actually the children of my James and Janet and were duplicates.

The daughter, Jean Young, who did not belong to my James Young and Janet Robertson, did not belong to this James Young and Janet Robertson either.  She is the daughter of John Walker Young and Janet Robertson who were married in 1828 in Neilston, Renfrewshire.  Her complete name is actually Jean Anderson Young and this little darlin’ has two birth and baptism records in two different parishes.  Luckily for me, the father’s unusual occupation of (Calico) Printer in Grahamston was listed on both of her records, along with the detail that she was the couple’s 2nd child and 2nd daughter.

The last son listed, Robert Young, was not the child of my James and Janet or of this James and Janet either.  He was the son of a James Young and Janet Robertson who married in Paisley, High Church, Renfrewshire in 1831, four years before his birth in the exact same parish and ten years after the marriage of the couple he was attached to.

In the end, this meant that the convoluted James and Janet were left with no birth and death dates and places for James, no children, no parents for James, and still attached to the parents for Janet.  Parents that I did not research, so I can’t say for certain they are in fact her parents.

My James and Janet are now attached properly to their children and parents.  Well, aside from the few children I haven’t fully researched and added yet.

My surname study is not complete.  There are still plenty of family members I need to finish researching.  But these are my big takeaways from my progress so far:

First – Don’t be afraid of a mess in FamilySearch.  You can solve it!  Even if it takes three years.  No one messed with the mess because I left a very detailed note on both James Youngs explaining my research project.  If you want to work effectively in FamilySearch – communicate!  Leave notes, sources, and good explanations when you make changes or additions.

Second – A surname study is an AWESOME way to really get to know a parish and a family or set of families.  You get a good sense of how many people live there and how they are connected to each other.  It took my best guesses, and some surprise people and facts,  and turned them into concrete conclusions.

Third – There are A LOT of James Youngs in the county of Renfrew in Scotland.  😉

 

Have you ever completed a surname study?  Would a surname study help your research?

 


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Who is Maggie Douglas? Part Four – Conclusion

The Hesperian - the ship that Maggie Douglas, Catherine, Catherine, Mary, Alexander, & George Young sailed on from Scotland to America in 1910.  Image found here.

The Hesperian – the ship that Maggie Douglas, Catherine, Catherine, Mary, Alexander, & George Young sailed on from Scotland to America in 1910. Image found here.

You can catch up on my search for Maggie Douglas in parts one, two, and three.

 

I felt so tantalizingly close!

I knew Maggie was somehow connected to the Douglas family.  One strong possibility was that Maggie had married one of the sons of Alexander Marshall Douglas and Margaret Young.  With this in mind I started researching each of those boys.  I purchased their birth records first to get a precise birth date and full name.  Then with this information I looked for death records for the boys knowing that the death records would list their spouses.

Slowly I was building the details of this family when I found this death record.

Alexander Marshall Douglas, deathSo what does this record tell me?

Alexander Marshall Douglas, son of Alexander Marshall Douglas and Margaret Young, brother of Barclay Douglas who lived on Dock Street in Yoker, died 2 February 1910.  His cause of death was a comminuted fracture of the skull.  He died in Western Infirmary in Glasgow and his usual residence was 19 Trafalgar Street in Dalmuir.  He was 31 and a Journeyman Ship Plater at the time of his death.  But the big deal, the cause for excitement, is that he was married to a Margaret Tait!

Margaret Tait just might be my Maggie Douglas!

My next step was to get Alexander and Margaret’s marriage record to compare her age to my Maggie Douglas.

Alexander and Maggie, MarriageHot dog!  Margaret was 20 at the time of her marriage in 1905 giving her an approximate birth year of 1885.  Based on the travel document that started it all, Maggie Douglas has an approximate birth year of 1884.  An excellently close match.

The last fact I could confirm was Maggie Douglas’ place of birth.  On the travel document she listed her birthplace as Clydebank, Scotland.  The record I needed to confirm that Margaret Leckie McPherson Dempster and Maggie Douglas were the same person was Margaret Leckie McPherson Dempster’s birth record.

It was pretty easy to find with that big old name.  Margaret was in fact born in Clydebank.  She was the illegitimate daughter of Robina Dempster and Archibald McPherson.

I found Maggie!

 

Maggie was born to unmarried farm servants.  At the age of 20 she was working as a Machinist in Yoker when she married Alexander Marshall Douglas.  She was married for 4 1/2 years before she was widowed.  Her husband died in February of 1910 and in October of 1910 she left Scotland for America.  She traveled with my great grandmother Mary Brown Young, Mary’s mother Catherine and other siblings.  Maggie was traveling to her cousin James Young in Montana.  James is actually the 1st cousin, once removed of Maggie’s husband.  James is my 2nd great grandfather.  Maggie’s husband Alexander is my 1st cousin 5 times removed.

So why all the fuss about Maggie?

She’s not one of my ancestors.  She’s not even one of my relatives.  She married into my family.  Why does she matter?

She matters because I could feel her story.  I didn’t know what that story was but I could feel it.

Here was a young woman who left the country of her birth bound for America in 1910.  She traveled with my great grandmother who was 7 years old.  Can’t you just see Maggie holding Mary’s little hand, helping her board the ship?  Can’t you just see the little lot of them – Maggie, Catherine and the children – saying goodbye to their homeland, standing on the deck of a large ship watching the shore fade into the mist?  I can see them.  Maggie was part of Mary & Catherine’s story.  Maggie helped my ancestors make it to America.  Maggie matters to my story.

Since beginning my series on Maggie Douglas, a cousin of mine read my first post and sent me an email with the following details:

“When I was showing Mary [my great grandmother] one of the photos of the my grandmother [my 2nd great grandmother Catherine] and family, there was a lady dressed in a kilt.  I had asked Mary Costello about her
and Mary said that was probably Maggie Douglas.  She said that “she was always around”.  She said the kilt (uniform) was her dad’s and that Maggie was wearing it.  She said that Maggie moved to southern Idaho.

Attached is the back of a postcard from Maggie to my grandmother.  Notice the post mark of Idaho and the date of 1914.  I know my dad was interested in contacting Maggie as well and it seems to me that Hamer was mentioned.”

And here is the post card:

Maggie Douglas postcardIt is addressed to my 2nd great grandmother Katie Young, 812 South Jackson St, Butte.  The postmark is 1914 in Idaho.  The card reads:

“Dear Katie,  I have not time to write you  I am so busy  tell all the folks I was asking for them  having nice weather  hoping to see you soon  Alex & Walter send their…”

Oh boy!  Alex & Walter?  I’m thinking Maggie may have remarried and had a child.  I may have figured out who Maggie Douglas is, how she fits into my tree, when and where she was born and a rough idea of why she traveled with my family to America, but I don’t know the end of her story.

Maybe my cousin can dig up a few more clues for me from the family archive.  Maybe the names Alex & Walter and Idaho will be enough for me to find an ending.

I have more research to do!

Maggie’s story definitely has more.

But for now I am so delighted that I finally know the answer to the question Who is Maggie Douglas?

 

 

Thank you to pastsmith who prompted me to write this series with her question:  “Have you ever had to start midstream, so to speak, in research?

 


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Who is Maggie Douglas? Part Three

Aerial view of Yoker - with Dock Street visible.  Image from Googlemaps.

Aerial view of Yoker – with Dock Street visible.  Image from Googlemaps.

Maggie Douglas first appeared on a travel record for my great grandmother.  She claimed to be the cousin of my 2nd great grandfather.  That record began a research journey that has been both fascinating and frustrating.

In part one, I wrote about the travel record and the details I learned about Maggie.  In part two I shared the search strategies I tried based on the information I had from the travel record.  Sadly I found nothing and had to walk away from the Maggie Douglas puzzle.  Today’s portion of the story is full of unexpected discoveries that bring me right to the brink of finding Maggie Douglas.

 

Time had passed.  I wasn’t thinking about or working on figuring out who Maggie Douglas was.  She had slipped to the back of the research files.  Her puzzle had become silent in my mind.

And then, last Mother’s Day I enjoyed some quiet research time – heavenly.  Even better were the results of that time.  I stumbled across a mess in Family Tree on familysearch.org.  A mess created by someone else.  A mess that prompted me to fully source my, at that time, current end of line individual – James Young.  In sourcing and sorting out the tangle, I ended up searching once again for his death record and I found it.  This added another generation to my tree, another James Young and his wife Janet Robertson – my 5th great grandparents.

After pushing back a generation I did what I always do, I worked on searching for their descendants.  I have identified 8 children.  So far I have found spouses for 4 of those children, children for 3 of them, and spouses for several of those children.  Among the children of James Young and Janet Robertson is a daughter named Margaret Young.

Margaret was born in 1845 in Renfrew, Renfrew, Scotland.  In 1869, she married Alexander Marshall Douglas in Renfrew.  The name Douglas caused a little niggle in the back of my mind.  A niggle that wasn’t enough to bring to mind why that name mattered but a niggle none-the-less.  I spent several days working on learning about Alexander and Margaret.  Slowly I identified their children – 9 in all.  I discovered that Alexander died at the age of 41 leaving behind Margaret and several living children.  She lived 7 more years.  At the time of her death none of her children were married.

I focused my research on their oldest son Barclay Douglas because of his less common name.  I found a 1915 marriage record to a Mary Cameron Muir.  Again with the niggling, Muir – not a name in my direct line anywhere but I have a few Muirs that married into my tree, I wondered if that was what I was thinking of…?  I didn’t know so I returned my attention to Barclay.  I found him on the 1901 Scottish census as the head of household with 4 of his siblings and a housekeeper.  In 1911 I found him living with his younger brother William in the household of David & Isabella Muir.

There was that Muir name again.  I wondered if David was brother to Mary Cameron Muir, Barclay’s future wife.  After several records I was able to prove that David and Mary were in fact siblings.  The proving also established that David’s wife Isabella was Barclay’s sister.  A brother and sister from my Douglas family had married a brother and sister from a Muir family.

I went back to the 1911 census and studied it more carefully to see if I could identify any other siblings living on that street.  First thing I checked was the name of the street – Dock Street, in Yoker.

And then all of those nigglings came crashing together.  Douglas, Muir, Dock Street, Yoker.  Maggie Douglas?  Oh yeah, Maggie Douglas!

I started clicking like a mad woman opening up all sorts of tabs so I could compare documents and facts.  I suddenly wondered if Maggie Douglas was the youngest child of Alexander Marshall Douglas and Margaret Young.  Alexander and Margaret had a daughter named Margaret Young Douglas born 1877, died 1878.  Maybe they had one more child at the end that they named Margaret?  Maybe she was so young when her mother died she didn’t stay with her older siblings?  I scoured the 1901 census looking for a Maggie/Margaret Douglas that matched the facts I had about Maggie Douglas from the travel record.  No good matches!

And then after a feverish 45 minutes or so I more carefully reviewed that travel document again and saw that it said Maggie Douglas was married.  Married?!  Darn it, I missed something important again?  Married.  Douglas?  Not her maiden name?  I knew Maggie was somehow tied to this family.  The Douglas family, the Muir family, and the Young family.  But I didn’t yet know how.  I was so close.  So incredibly close.

Who is Maggie Douglas?

 

to be continued…

 


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DIGGING IN in 2015

gg, DIG IN!

Happy New Year!

I learned a long time ago that I am much more likely to achieve my New Year’s Resolution if I only choose one.  I think it through and carefully select one DO-able goal that I think will have an impact on other areas of my life.  They are usually simple goals like floss every day, write in my journal every day, take a shower and get ready for the day before my husband leaves (that goal was set after my youngest was born).

This year is no exception.  I have chosen one loose resolution – I’m still working on defining it exactly.

Aside from my one New Year’s Resolution, I usually choose a few shorter term goals – goals in areas of my life that just need a bit of re-focus.

This year, one of those goals is about Family History.

In 2015 I have set the goal to post at least once each week on my blog.  Because, posting about my genealogy experiences definitely improves them.  I think things through more carefully if I write about them.  I make connections with people.  I learn from my readers.  I attract distant cousins who always enrich what I know.  I read what other people write about genealogy.  Blogging about genealogy has been good and I want a little more good in my genealogy life.

So that is my genealogy goal for 2015 – at least one blog post on here each week.

I have a Genealogy Wish List for 2015 as well:

  • Order the homestead papers for Henry and Alice Hyde.
  • Order the homestead application for Frank and Alice Duval.
  • Acquire the Estate record for Alice Hyde.
  • Order the Civil War Records for Landrie Brouillette & Seth Potter Maffit.
  • Make ANY kind of progress on John Costello – my great grandfather and SERIOUS brick wall.
  • Make a decision on a DNA test/company and have John Costello’s two living sons (in their 80s) take the test.
  • Buy a higher quality scanner.
  • Finish scanning the many photos Grandma gave me.
  • Clean out my hard drive.
  • Buy Dragon Naturally Speaking (is that what it’s called?) and use it to transcribe the interviews I have recorded.
  • Find someone to rescue the old cassette recordings my mom gave me to care for.
  • Order a handful of the long list of English records I want.  (Pricey)
  • Resolve the conflict in Family Tree on familysearch regarding my James Young, my 4th great grandfather.  This requires a surname study for the parish.  Two James Youngs married two Janet Robertsons two years apart and each had a son James Young.  Oy!
  • Prove or disprove that Landrie Brouillette and Emilie Fortin are the parents of Esther Brouillette.
  • Organize my family photos, documents, videos.  Make backups.
  • Participate in the 52 Ancestors challenge again.  (No pressure, just when it fits in.)
  • Join Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
  • Attend RootsTech.
  • Learn more about the Alaskan adventures of my family members.
  • Visit BYU and the FHL in SLC more often.

I could keep going and going.  But I know that setting ONE goal – writing one blog post each week – is DO-able and it will help me chip away at that big old list there.

So, how about it?

What is your ONE Genealogy goal for 2015?

I challenge you to set ONE goal and DIG IN!

PS – that super cool photo up there is my Great Grandpa Frank Duval.  Here it is with the back of the photo too.

Frank Duval, August 1938

Frank Duval,

Frank Duval, A-6- International Truck, Douglas’es Shovel a North West.  On Overpass at Shelby, Mont.  August 1938 [handwriting belongs to Frank’s wife Estelle Maffit Duval.]


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Who is Maggie Douglas? Part Two

Clydebank Townhall.  Photo Credit: Darrin Antrobus - From geograph.org.uk, CC BY-SA 2.0

Clydebank Townhall.  Photo Credit: Darrin Antrobus – From geograph.org.uk, CC BY-SA 2.0.

In Part One of the Maggie Douglas tale, I discovered Maggie’s existence.  Here’s a recap:

My great grandmother Mary Brown Young traveled from Scotland to Montana with her mother and siblings at the age of 7.  The first travel record I found was a border crossing record based on a ship manifest.  Along with Mary and her immediate family, Maggie Douglas was listed on the same ship.  She gave Mary’s father, James Young, as the person she was joining in the United States.  She claimed he was her cousin.

I had never come across a Maggie Douglas in my research.  Not even the surname of Douglas.  The record had quite a bit of information but I was really scratching my head about who Maggie was and how I was going to track her down.

I knew that Maggie last lived in Clydebank and that she claimed James was her cousin.

Okay, but what did she mean by cousin?  First cousin, second cousin, third cousin?  And then of course there is the whole removed business.  Because Douglas is not a surname in my tree I looked at the female relatives of James Young, his aunts in a few generations.  I checked for women that I had not fully researched and didn’t yet know the names of their spouses.  The trouble was, Young is a terribly common last name in Scotland.  Added to that is the fact that my Young family followed the naming tradition and the women are named: Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Janet, Jessie, Agnes, and Isabella.  Nothing else.  Talk about a needle in a haystack.  There is a good reason most of them lack spouses in my tree.  Trying to hypothesize Maggie’s parents was getting nowhere pretty quickly.  I moved on.

I knew that Maggie claimed her intention to join James in Montana.  I even had an address.  I started searching for a trail in the United States after the date of the border crossing record.  I knew that James and his family left Montana for Washington State before 1920.  I searched for a Maggie/Margaret Douglas born 1884 in Scotland with residences in Montana and Washington.

I found one possible census record:

  • Margaret Douglas
  • age: 40
  • Born about 1880 in Scotland
  • Home in 1920: Spokane, Spokane, Washington
  • Address:  109 S. Wall Street
  • White, Female
  • Year of Immigration: 1906
  • Head of household
  • Divorced
  • Parents both born in Scotland
  • She rented
  • Alien status, able to read, able to write
  • Occupation:  Housekeeper in a club

Close.  Definitely possible.  Flaws?

  • Her age was off by four years.  But, it was listed as 40.  A nice round number if you live in her building and don’t know her exact age.
  • Divorced.  Maybe?  I don’t know.
  • Year of immigration should be 1910 not 1906 but again, what if she wasn’t the one giving the information?

This address is 3.1 miles from where James and his family were living in Spokane in 1920.  That definitely seems like a point in favor of this being my Maggie.  The problem is that there was no way to know for sure.  No family members listed with her.

Working on the assumption that it was possible this was my Maggie, I looked for additional records.  I searched the Washington State Digital Archives for a death or marriage record.  I searched for the 1930 and 1940 census.  I searched findagrave and billiongraves.  Nothing.  No continuing trail.

I was not okay with giving up.  I decided to try my luck at finding her birth record in Scotland.  I’ll sum this part up really fast – plenty of time and pennies, no luck.

I wasn’t sure why, but I REALLY wanted to know who Maggie Douglas was.  I wanted to know if I was related to her and if I was, how?  But I was out of leads.  Nothing to go on.  With great reluctance I stopped my search.  I made a few notes for myself and closed the research file.

Do you feel sad?  I did.  Walking away from a genealogy puzzle is not something I like to do.  But all I had was one piece of a many pieced puzzle.  One piece is not usually enough.  This time it really wasn’t enough.  Not yet anyway.

 

To be continued…

 

 


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Who is Maggie Douglas? Part One

Mary Young Costello, April 1988 in front of her home on Regal in Spokane, WA.

Mary Brown Young Costello, April 1988 in front of her home on Regal in Spokane, WA.

Last week, I read a post over on PastSmith that really resonated with me.  She has a few photos that are presenting potential relatives that she hasn’t been able to connect to her tree.  She has some interesting clues that may very well lead her somewhere.  She posed the following question:

Have you ever had to start midstream, so to speak, in research? This is the first time I’ve tried to connect someone to a person in my tree without starting with something concrete. It’s a little disconcerting!

I immediately thought of Maggie Douglas.  Her’s is an interesting research story.  I’m going to tell it parts.  Today?  Part one, an introduction.  Here goes…

 

That photo up there is my spunky great grandmother Mary Brown Young Costello.  She was born in Scotland and at the age of seven she, her mother, and her three living siblings left Scotland to join their husband and father in America.

Mary lived the remainder of her life in Montana and Washington State.  I have always had so many records about her that I was not particularly concerned with her immigration and travel records.  I knew when she arrived, where she lived and so on.  Well a few years ago I revisited the information I had on Mary and decided it was high time I gather the rest of the records I could.  That meant immigration and travel records were a must.  I found this:

Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

You can see Catherine Young, age 36, with her four children Catherine, Mary, Alexander, and George.  As it turns out I wasn’t nearly as curious about this record as I should have been.  I made three big rookie mistakes – at first.  Mistake one – I found this and quit looking for other travel documents.  Mistake two – I thought this was the whole record.  Mistake three – I didn’t read the whole page.

Let’s break this down a bit.

Mistake one – Later, I had gained more knowledge and learned that there could be multiple travel records.  I needed to look for records from the port they left, the port in which they arrived, the Ship Manifest, and the Border Crossing record – they arrived in Quebec and crossed from Canada to the US.  Not to mention there is the possibility of a passport application, a passport, a naturalization record and probably others I don’t know about.  Each of those records has the potential to add new information.  Lesson: Don’t quit looking when you find record number one!  I’ve gone on to find two more so far.

Mistake two – Ummm, there’s this little thing at the bottom of the page.  It’s totally familiar to everyone.  We see them all the time and I apparently ignore them.  It’s an arrow.  A small little thing inviting the reader to click on over to the next page and see what is there.  Guess what?  What was there was page two of the document!  Page two, that added more information.  Page two that made me realize Maggie Douglas existed.  Here’s page two:

Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

Ancestry.com. Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

On page one, Catherine is listed on line 18, she is also on line 18 on page two.  On this page we learn that Catherine was traveling with $500 and that her passage was paid by her husband.  She and her children were traveling to James Young who was living at 829 Placer Street in Butte, Montana.  And here is where mistake number three comes in.  Let your eyes glance upward and see that whoever is listed on the line above Catherine is traveling to her cousin James Young living at 829 Placer Street.  What now?

I noticed that little fact a few YEARS after I originally found this record because I didn’t click to page two and I didn’t read the entire record.  Lesson:  ALWAYS check for a page two, and three and so on.  Read the ENTIRE record.

Back to Maggie.  Reviewing both page one and page two, this is what I know about Maggie Douglas:

  • Maggie Douglas
  • Age 26
  • Female
  • Widowed
  • Housewife
  • Able to read and write.
  • Citizen of Scotland
  • Race – Scottish
  • Last permanent residence: Clydebank, Scotland
  • Nearest relative in Scotland:  Brother-in-law D J Muir, Dock Street, Yoker
  • Final Destination:  Butte, Montana
  • She had a ticket that she paid for herself.
  • She was either traveling with $100 or $1,000.  You could convince me of either.
  • She had never been to the US before.
  • She was joining her cousin James Young who lived at 829 Placer Street in Butte, Montana.
  • She answered no to the next several questions – she wasn’t a polygamist, anarchist, cripple and so on.
  • She was 5’7″, dark complexion, brown hair, blue eyes, no identifying marks.
  • She was born in Clydebank, Scotland.

Once I had read through the record, I was completely stumped.  I had no Maggie Douglas in my tree.  No D J Muir in my tree.  No idea how Maggie and James were related.  Where on earth to start?

I was faced with doing exactly what PastSmith was talking about – I was being forced to start midstream.

To be continued…

 


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I Know Where Mary is Standing!

 

A few weeks ago I wrote about John Boles, my 3rd great granduncle who just up and disappeared.

And then the coolest thing happened!

I got an email from a stranger named Helen.  She came across my blog post and got curious.  She decided to do a little digging and she found my family.

In South Africa.

I had not even considered South Africa before.  She sent me a few documents she had found and I happily reviewed them and updated my tree with her excellent and accurate information.  She also mentioned that she lives in Carluke, Scotland and would be happy to help in the future if I needed anything.

I instantly thought of this photo of my great grandmother.

Mary Brown Young, Scotland.

Mary Brown Young, Scotland.

I told Helen about the photo and asked if she might be able to recognize where Mary is standing.  She replied that Carluke is a very small place and it’s quite possible she would be able to recognize it and to please send it to her along with Mary’s birth date.

So I did.  I included Mary’s birth date and the address at which she was born – Chapel Street.  I clicked send and wondered if I might finally know where Mary was standing.

A few hours later I received Helen’s delightful reply:

“I recognised it the moment I saw it, and when I saw the address Chapel Street I knew exactly where it was.”

She included photos from google maps.  I compared and sure enough, Mary is standing in front of 76 Chapel Street, Carluke.

I finally know where Mary is standing!

She is standing in front of her home.  The home in which she was born.  And that home is still standing.

One day, I hope to stand in front of this home too.

Once again I am overwhelmingly grateful for the 52 Ancestors challenge.  My one post led to a kind stranger solving two of my genealogy mysteries.  Thank you Amy and thank you to my new friend Helen.  I am so grateful.