Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Match Game

The magazine, Life in the Finger Lakes, has published a general interest genealogy article focusing on my Murray search. It was great to see the photo of my great-grandfather on the opening page. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be read by cousins who recognize a shared history.

Searching for cousins who might know tidbits that will help me in my pursuit has become a bit of a mission for me.  For that reason, this post is designed to snag a cousin or two who might be doing some research of their own, but haven’t gotten far enough to connect the dots to me.

So, if you come from the Murrays or Van Pattens in the Cayuga and Seneca County areas of NY, particularly the towns of Auburn, Sennett, Waterloo, Geneva, Fayette, and Varick, we may be related.

I’ve done some census and newspaper archival research and have uncovered the following people who share ancestors with me. When listed, females’ last names are married names. These are not complete genealogies.

Richard Murray (married Ellen/Mary Ellen/Mariella)
            Son-John W. Murray (married Irene)
                        Son-Frank R. Murray
                                    Daughters-Lois and Evelyn
                        Son-Earl J. Murray
                        Son-Donald Murray
            Son-Albert L. Murray (married U’elma)
                        Daughter-Laura Clise
                        Daughter-Ella Brooks
                        Daughter-Nellie McCoy
                        Son-Richard Murray
                                    Son-Alan Murray
                        Daughter-Mildred Speer
                                    Daughter-Joanne Sickles
                        Daughter-Lydia Fischer
                        Son-Almond L. Murray
                                    Son-Alan Murray
                        Daughter-Alice Brown
                        Daughter-Dorothy Maloney

Mary Jane Murray Van Patten (married Asa Van Patten)
                        Daughter-Violet Parish
                        Daughter-Jennie Chilson
                                    Son-Frank Chilson
                        Son-Fred Van Patten
                                    Daughter-Marjorie/Margery Sanders
                                                Daughters-Lucille, Lorraine

Maybe, at some point in the not-to-distant future, someone will do an internet search on one or more of these names and see a possible connection.  And if anyone does, just post a comment.

And then let’s see if we have a genealogical match.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mind the Gap

Still trying to puzzle out where my Murray line came from, I've been coming at it more obliquely.  This morning I was doing one of my speculative searches on 3x great-grandmother's second marriage was to a Murray, but her first marriage was to a Stanford.  Ruth was born in 1784 and she had a son named David, so I used a birth date of 1780 and the name David Stanford to see what would pop up, thinking her husband's name might have been David. It merely lead me back to her son, but in a Auburn, NY directory I hadn't seen before. That, in turn, made me realize new directories had been added since my last directory search.

I spent about 30 minutes doing directory searches and adding some new pieces of information for my Auburn, NY Murrays.  New, but not surprising, as it was mostly additional years with the same people and addresses. Filling in gaps is always good though, because it's hard to tell if a gap is meaningful or not, so the fewer gaps, the better.

Then I stumbled onto a 1848 Syracuse, NY directory with a listing for Lucetta Murray. The surprise there was the date. Ruth had a daughter and a granddaughter named Lucetta.  I knew the granddaughter, born in 1848, had moved from Auburn to Syracuse, but as far as I knew, the daughter had lived her whole life in Auburn. Clearly, I had a new angle to explore. 

So, what else to do but see if Lucetta appeared in Syracuse directories in other years. I'm just getting started on that now, but I had to post this because of what I found next--a listing for Lucetta in Syracuse in 1891.  This had to be the granddaughter. I knew she was living in Syracuse by then. When I looked at the address, it seemed familiar. As in, recently familiar.  As in, the same address where the earlier Lucetta lived in 1848. Both Lucettas worked as domestics at the same address, over 40 years apart?

I think this gap is trying to tell me something. Can't wait to find out what.

UPDATE: A cautionary tale about why thorough research is necessary. 

Keeping the story simple, I'll just tell you I advised that the directory they identify from 1848 is actually a second 1891 directory.