Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not all records disappear

When it comes to doing research, we genealogists have to learn to take the good with the bad and vice versa. Take yesterday for example, records I had come across last November decided to disappear and I have yet to find them again. But today, I got an e-mail from someone researching a surname that I am also researching, KOENIG (or KONIG). I wrote back with some info I had and remarked that I hadn't worked on that particular line in a while. So, this afternoon I decided to take another stab at it.

After trying to find Michael Koenig (Konig), my 3rd great grandfather and not finding anything of interest I decided to tackle one of his children, his son Joseph. All I knew about him was that he was born in 1863 in Chicago and had died 10 Dec 1896. From his death certificate I also knew where he had been living at the time of his death, 406 N. Robey, which is also where his father had lived before he died in 1901.

I started poking around the FamilySearch website, and put Joseph's name and year of birth in just to see what would come up. I found a Joseph with a wife named Louisa. Knowing he died before 1900 I first tried finding a marriage record. Once I found that I looked for Louisa (nee Olson) in the 1900 census to see how many (if any) children they might have had. There's never a bad time to say BINGO when it comes to genealogy research. Per the census, Joseph and Louisa had 3 daughters, Edna, Anna and Louisa. Louisa's father was also living with them at the time. Now you might say, well how do you know it was the right one? That's the kicker. Most if not all of my maternal lines lived in Chicago BUT the key to finding them is just WHERE in Chicago they lived. That key is 'West Town'. Don't ask me why but for each family that I've searched for in the 1900 census I have found them in West Town and knew I was on the right track.

My next step was seeing if I could track the three daughters to the present. I found a marriage record for Edna and also found a sister living with her in 1910. But the best clue I found that I had the right family was the birth certificate I found for daughter Louisa. It listed her parents as Joseph and Louisa (Olson) Koenig AND where they were living at the time of her birth. 406 N. Robey! The exact same place that Joseph was living when he died AND where his father lived up to 1901.

I still haven't found Michael Koenig's parents BUT I can at least track another sibling of my great-great grandmother Rose to the present, or as much to the present as 1930.

So if you get frustrated, take the good with the bad or like in my case, the bad with the good.

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