I now have Bernard and Calista Lewis Wilder documented from 1850 until their deaths. This is a big thing as I've been searching Census records for months and months, trying to find their homes. I finally found them on the 1860 Census living in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, New York listed as "Barnard Willey", "Calista Willey", "Charles Willey", and "Losie Willey". I've submitted the corrections to ancestry.com.
While going through the Census of a particular county page-by-page is tedious and boring, it is rewarding. I just wish I had better luck with the Union County, Kentucky Census images for 1880 so I could see how many of Daniel and Nancy Oglesby's children were still living with them, and if Daniel and Nancy were still alive. If I were rich, I'd fly to Kentucky and check out the records in person. I'd go to Macomb County and gather the information on the Wilders in person. I'd buy plat maps of the counties where ancestors lived in the times in which they lived there. I'd go to land offices, the Library of Michigan, Tuscola and Sanilac counties where my grandmother Lemon's people came from.
Instead, all I have is this computer and internet access. But I think I've come amazingly far in just a year. When I started I didn't know who the parents of Calista or Bernard were. I couldn't find Bertha Wilder, much less her daughter Bessie. I've tracked down and contacted all the living descendants of Isaac B. and Eva Bell Wilder. That's a huge thing!
Starting today, genealogy packets go out to all three surviving grandchildren of Frank and Nellie Woodward Lemon. Then I start on the packets for the Meredith's, the Herr's, and the descendant of Nettie Frederick. This is also huge. I've developed a method of compiling the information they must want to know without overwhelming them. People are mostly interested in themselves and their direct lines. Mother, Father, Grandparents, Great-grandparents. They don't want to wade through aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws. I want to know everyone and that's my issue, not theirs. If they want to know more, I have that information available, but they haven't wanted it so far.
So a very productive week for me.