Check All of an Index
In my OGS Blog post of 27 October 2017, “Using the On-line Indexes of the Provincial Archives of Alberta,” I noted my successes and failures in terms of finding the information that I was seeking. I detailed my failure to find marriages for three Bredsteen individuals:
• Martin Bredsteen who married Margaret Agnes Cameron
• Zelma Bredsteen who married Malcolm Archer Alton
• Grace Evangeline who married Ernest Homer Wilson
With the help of a sharp eyed researcher, I was reminded that alphabetical order could be by the initial letter not by the first two letters as many registrations were ordered in the indexes. We found the Bredsteens filed under the Be section. Let that be a lesson to search all of the index in case a name was written in out of order.
Check the Years Before and After an Unverified Event Date
A second reminder to perform a full search was the finding of the marriage registration for Martin Bredsteen and Margaret Agnes Cameron in a different year to that supplied by another researcher following the line.
From Grave Records to a DNA Match
A search on Find A Grave for Zelma Bredsteen, prior to accessing the Provincial Archives of Alberta indexes, provided the information that she was buried with her spouse, Malcolm Archer Alton. This information allowed for an easier cross match between spouses in the separate bride and groom indexes. The real bonus was an “Ah Ha” moment as I remembered that my third autosomal match from my 23andme DNA sample posted in FamilyTreeDNA was an Alton. A quick email put me into contact with a researcher in British Columbia who belonged to the Alton line. Getting access to a researcher who knows the family history/stories background to the records is like finding a gold mine!
Having a paper trail as well as the DNA connection is gratifying. My fellow researcher noted that the DNA connections refute some family stories about children being adopted.
Use More Than One Database Source
Don’t forget to use more than one cemetery database when researching. I did access Canadian Headstones prior to using Find A Grave. I tend to use Canadian Headstones first since it is sponsored by The Ontario Genealogical Society.
Obviously I need to go back to my list of autosomal matches to start “mining” them for more connections!
Don’t forget that the special deal for membership through the Grow Our Family Campaign expires on December 31st, 2017.
The Ontario Genealogical Society
Pastpresident at ogs.on.ca