Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

I haven’t had a chance to post about the family history research I have been able to do over the past couple months.  I suppose that happens when you get wrapped up in finding a job (success!), traveling, visiting family, working on home improvement projects, and making Christmas presents.  Anyway, I’ve had a few minor breakthroughs that have opened new doors for my research.

In August, I traveled to Maine with my fiancé and we went to Thomaston where my Morse family lived in the late 1800’s.  After checking out the local cemetery I went to the James-HannahMorseRockland Public Library where I did further digging to get more information.  The coolest thing was that I ended up getting books with the history of Thomaston and mentions my Morse relatives specifically.  I learned that James Morse had a lime quarry which produced 4000 casks in 1860.  James also served in the War of 1812 and was on the Board of Trustees for the Methodist Church.  His son, William, came to Muskegon, Michigan where he was a sailor.  His family grew there in Muskegon and eventually moved down to Michigan City, Indiana.

In November I went to Michigan City and South Bend, Indiana and found obituaries for many of my great grandparents which revealed some interesting new leads.  In the Abstracts from Declaration of Intents filed in the Superior Court in Michigan City, La Porte, Indiana I learned that great grandpa Myer Krueger came to America from Liverpool, England to the port of Philadelphia on July 3, 1901.  I plan SBThanksgiving 030on taking advantage of the Family History Library to request the passenger lists for that date in Philadelphia.  I’m hoping it will list a city that he was originally from in Russia.  Regardless, it proved that he was not in the country for the 1900 census which is contrary to what I’d been told previously.  I’m hoping to find out once and for all if Krueger is really how their last name was spelled too.  It’s been a story in the family for a long time that our name was changed when they came to America.  I’m hoping to finally answer this question once and for all!

I found out that in 1910 when great grandfather Myer Krueger married that his mother was living in Michigan City and his father was living in Orad.  I’d been told that his mother was in Israel and that his father was deceased.  This was all discovered by finding the marriage application.  As a result, I’ve learned that his mother who I had thought was named Sophia Soloman may have gone by the name Zebia or Zebra.  It can be challenging to decipher the handwriting so I try to consider all the different alternatives when I’m searching through the genealogy databases like Ancestry and FamilySearch.  I now also have a new name to look at for Myer’s father- Alex.  I had thought his name was Samuel.  Using the autobiography that my grandma Morse had written is sometimes a risk of following a false lead, but as I uncover more firm details from various documents on file with local government I learn more and more.

Lastly, I went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as my fiancé interviewed for a job and visited the Family History Library there.  The volunteers there were very helpful and we traded information about helpful websites and research strategies that I had not thought of before.  I didn’t make any big discoveries while there, but I learned how about how requests for microfilms work and plan on putting that information to good use very soon.

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