Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Search for the Living - Honing Your Research Skills

[This is Part 1 in a series of posts about how I was able to use Twitter and genealogy resources to reunite a baby book from 1926 with the original owner's family]

Continued posts:

The Search for Marjorie Pauline Frost

So Many Questions - Whither Marjorie Pauline Frost?

A Bar Room Brawl

A Tripple Play

As a continue on my journey of becoming a certified professional genealogist, one area I constantly work on is honing my research skills. One way is to seek out opportunities since they don't always fall in your lap.

I'd like to relate a research project that came my way on September 21, 2009 via Twitter. Thanks go out to on of my "tweeps" @ForgottenBkmrks who also runs the wonderful Forgotten Bookmarks blog.

What started out as a request for help in locating the owner of a 1926 baby book turned into a group research project on Twitter and called upon resources that the typical person would not know about but resources with which most genealogists are familiar.

* * *

On September 21, 2009, I read the following messages from a fellow Twitter user @ForgottenBkmrks:

The first message: "ok, twitter. what should i do? found someone's baby book from 1926. want to track down the owner do i pay for those find-a-person services?" was followed soon thereafter by the second message: "difficulty: owner's name not in any of the local phone books, no real results via google."

I knew that through my experience with Unclaimed Persons (a wonderful group of genealogists and cyber-sleuths who help match up bodies in county morgues with next of kin) that various online tools existed to located living persons, or if the subject of the 1926 baby book had passed away, her descendants.

* * *

So how does one come into possession of a baby book for one Pauline Marjorie Frost who was born sometime shortly before March 1, 1926? As mentioned in the Forgotten Bookmarks Q&A section, Michael works at a used and rare bookstore and it is common to buy entire boxes of books from customers. Sometimes there are hidden treasures (photos, notes, mementos) - the "forgotten bookmarks" of life hidden inside. And sometimes there are entire books which must still have sentimental value for the original owner or the family of that owner.

For me there was an immediate attraction to Michael's finds which are detailed almost every day in blog posts at Forgotten Bookmarks. Plus it doesn't hurt that he is located in Oneonta, NY not far from where I grew up and where my ancestors lived for two centuries.

Photos: 1926 Baby Book of Marjorie Pauline Frost. Digital photographs. Privately held by Forgotten Bookmarks, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Oneonta, New York. 2009. Via Twitpic.

* * *

Next: The Search for Pauline Marjorie Frost - how I took the known information from the baby book and began to use online genealogy research databases to locate Pauline and/or her family.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee


kinfolknews said...

Looking forward to reading the rest of the story!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

So this is what you guys were talking about!

BTW, you've jogged my toddler-addled memory... I picked up a baby book kind of by accident at an antique shop a few months ago. I would love to return it to it's owner or a family member.

I'm looking forward to finding out how you solved this mystery so maybe I can do the same for someone else.

GrannyPam said...

I love this kind of thing, Thomas. Great writing makes me anxious for your next post!

Julie said...

What a fantastic story...can't wait to hear how it all turns out!!!

betty-NZ said...

Waiting....not so patiently!!