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 ancestry.com---My 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 ancestry.com that the directory they identify from 1848 is actually a second 1891 directory. 






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