Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tricks of My Trade

I had a Lemmon family that was driving me crazy.  So far as I know they're not related to me, but parts of them were in Macomb County, Michigan the same time as my Lemons, and there was even an Isaac Lemmon with a son named John B.  I've written about this family before, so I won't bore anyone myself with the details other than to say that it was driving me crazy not being able to find them in the 1870 Census in Wayne County, New York.  I knew they were there.  They were in the same place in the 1860 and 1880 censuses, so they had to be there.

I remember trying to find my John Lemon's house in one of the census records because I couldn't find him.  I did all kinds of crazy things because the house was in Pontiac, Michigan and Pontiac was a crazy-big city even back in the olden days, with pages and pages of census records and the city divided up into about 10 different parts.  So I tried to figure out which ward or district the house would be in and that didn't work so well.  What Did work was finding one of his neighbors in a census I could find John Lemon in and then searching for that person in the census I couldn't find John in.  It took looking at 5 different families before I found one who hadn't moved.  When I found the family, I looked for John's house address and found someone else living in his house as "owner".

So I tried that with this Lemmon family and sure enough, I found them right where they were supposed to be, but with wildly misspelled names, which I corrected in case someone else might want to find them some day.

All day yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that parts of this Lemmon family died in New York state, a very hard state to research online.  Michigan, my beloved Mitten, has many many wonderful resources online for genealogists such as the Library of Michigan's huge success at putting online all death certificates of Michigan residents from 1898 to 1920, and the Dibean marriage records.  This couple, Jack and Mariann Dibean,  have made it their task to put all marriage records of all Michigan counties relevant to genealogists online.  It is a huge undertaking and so greatly appreciated.  Chances are that if I have a couple who married in Michigan, if I don't find their record on Family Search, I'll find it in the Dibean index. 

New York doesn't have these things that I've been able to find, but I did stumble upon a site for everything Wayne County, New York, and it had cemetery readings which listed almost all the people from the Lemmon family I've been trying to find.  Yay! 

Yesterday was a very good day.

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