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What is the oddest source you've used to prove info on your ancestors? I think mine is one for William A Lavelle, my actor without roots. :)

The story that I was originally told by my FIL was that William was a double for Buffalo Bill Cody...I was like sure...until we found his obituary, which stated that he was a 'double for Buffalo Bill' Well, he was sued by Buffalo Bill by using 'Buffalo' in the title of a show he was in. William Lavelle and his managers/company were sued, then they settled. I found an article on Newspaper Archive in Ohio in 1910. My SO was thrilled, this was even better than getting a death record, because Cody was in fact aware of his great great grandfather's existence, and it showed where/what William was up to in 1910. we do have him on the census in Chicago in 1910, but as an actor, he was all over the place.

The attached newspaper page is from 1910, I just saved it under the wrong year..doh!

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Kate, what a treasure. For my side of the family I don’t have anything that even comes close. On my husband’s side is another matter all together.

His so many back (I don’t have it right here) GGF was sued by Thomas Jefferson, yes the one who authored the Declaration of Independence, and was the third President of the United States, for 9 pounds 6 pence when GGF’s cow broke down Jefferson’s fence. Jefferson was also the executor of the GGF’s will.

DH’s family has more things like that, but my side was the dirt poor, uneducated, and didn’t do anything noteworthy.
I don't know how odd or unusual this is, but my deceased mother's note on my deceased father's Social Security Card helped me get his U.S. Navy service record. The Social Security card was in with some other family papers I found in my mother's dresser drawer after she died. She had penned in his service number on the edge of his Social Security card. I had no other record of his service number, and seeing it on the card made me wonder, at first. Then I discovered that she had also written it on her Veterans Administration benefits claim card, with the notation that it was his service number. Having that service number made it a snap for me to order his service record.
That is awesome. In those days, people put notes on all sorts of stuff, but now we just use the computer.
My favorite odd source is a song written down by the WPA during the great depression. My grandfather's cousin was murdered and a folk song about her death was sung in the local area. To date I have about 7 or 8 versions plus a recording of the song. By looking at the information in all the various versions I have been able to track down a lot of information in court records and newspapers. I am still researching this but I would never have been able to track down some of the records with out the information in that song.
I found information about my great grand parent's house from a little notebook hand written by a maintenance man in the 1880's. My great grand parents lived in company housing at the DuPont Powder Mills which is now a museum. The museum libray had the book. It was written in pencil. The house is long gone but I now know that it was 2 stories with 5 rooms and that the chimney leaked.
wow, that's amazing! :) what a great find!





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