Re: another newbie
- Hi Lisa,
what did you search for in your surfing at Family Search? And what did you find, if anything?
Here's a sketch of how I think I would tackle your puzzle. Your FIL is 78, which means he was born in 1931, and that means his parents were born maybe around 1900. Does your FIL know where his parents were born? If not, the Social Security Death Index, the death certificate of your FIL's dad's, or an obituary or a notice in the newspaper at the time of his death may reveal his birthplace. Once you know where FIL's dad was born, you can look up the family in the 1900, 1910 and/or 1920 census for that place, to see whether he had any brothers or sisters. Or maybe your FIL's stepmom already knows the answer to that question.
Once you have the names of any siblings, you may be able to trace their descendants forward in time until you get back to people who may be living today, using censuses, city directories, county marriage and property records and old newspapers. If you're lucky, there will be indexes to some or all of those records in the city or county you need them in. If you know the maiden name of FIL's mother, you can follow the same steps on her side of the family too.
Don't give up! You never know when you may find a connection. My dad's mother also died when he was very young, and he just last month found out the names of her brothers at the 100th birthday party of a cousin we didn't even know was still living. I found the WWI draft registration of one of these uncles on a recent trip to Salt Lake City, and now that I know their names and where they came from, I daresay I'll be able to find out more, and maybe even if they still have any descendants today.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "fremily3" <remily@...> wrote:
> Hello: I recently joined. I'm attempting some research on my husband's family. Unfortunately, hubby's mom died years ago and his dad is not a good historian. A few of hubby's relatives have offered some insight and I've come across another researcher of the same surname in New York, but we can't find a link between the families.
> Researching surname Genson for now. My F-I-L is Howard Genson, age 78. So far, I know there have been Gensons in IN, IA, WI, and FL, who are related. Howard Genson had only one half sister, his mom died when he was a baby, and his dad died 10 years ago. His stepmom is still alive and living in IL, so I may try to visit her. I believe she is age 94. It's quite a puzzle trying to figure out if there are Genson relatives still alive that I can interview. The half sister has helped a little bit, but she's a decade younger than Howard and doesn't have recollection of being told about Howard's early years.
> I've done some surfing at familysearch.org and other websites. I'm thinking I need to interview and/or send questionnaires to anyone I can find, make cold calls to other Gensons who show up on whitepages.com or other searches, get birth certificate copies to help pin down locations & maiden names, what else? Would appreciate suggestions.
> A couple of other surnames that connect to me: Welna, Ramerth, Wentorf, Zermuehlen. -Lisa Genson