Genealogy Wise

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Shameless Plug or PSA, however you want to look at it

One of the toughest things in genealogy can be figuring out where people went and/or came from, of course. I'm particularly stuck on the PARKER brick wall at the moment, which never gets me anywhere. My great-great grandmother Mary Parker (sometimes listed on censuses with the middle initial J, and whose daughter and my great-grandmother was Mary Jane Wade) married my great-great grandfather George W. Wade in 1876 in Clam Lake, Wexford County, Michigan. The marriage certificate says she was 17 at the time and that her place of birth was Ohio. No parents names were recorded. No one in my family know anything about her (I was the first person to find out her last name - I have an aunt who tried to convince me that her last name was McDonald and that she was native American. Funny, but I'd have thought those genes would've made it difficult for so many fair, redheaded, freckled grandkids...but I haven't studied genetics all that in-depth).

Subsequent census records all agree that her parents were both born in New York, but list Mary's place of birth as Michigan. I wonder what happened to Ohio? Maybe her parents passed through Ohio on the way from New York to Michigan. Maybe siblings were born in Ohio, or some in each state. There are lots of possibilities, but I may never know the answer.

Tonight I thought I'd beat my head on this brick wall again ('cause it feels so good when I stop?). And I came across the Migrations Project. Wow, cool: a website where people supply information on where their relatives moved from and to. I looked to see if I could find any Parkers that migrated from New York to Ohio or Michigan, or from Ohio to Michigan. I found one possible candidate, although he seems a little old to be Mary's father. But it's not impossible. I'll look into it.

Which is why I want to beg anyone who is willing to go to and post your information about ancestors that moved. This is an international project, not just confined to the United States. It could help someone, someday break down their brick wall. I'd be gobsmacked if I ever find out who Mary's parents are, by the way. And if I want to find out, I believe I need to pay it forward. So I put in several of my ancestors, and will add more in my direct line as time permits. Won't you do the same? Thanks, and happy hunting!

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Comment by Greg Settle on August 31, 2009 at 8:58am
I'd say you've posted a PSA. And I believe anyone having a "brick wall" to deal with would say the same thing! Having dealt with one for some time now I understand the frustration a "brick wall" causes and how if takes the fun out of this most fascinating pursuit.


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