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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Finding Proof of Unsubstantiated Family Trees

Robin asked
I'm trying to research an ancestor in New York. I've been given the information that he was born in Ireland in 1812. He died in New York (possibly NYC) on March 9, 1897. His name is Robert Graham and he married a woman named Jane. They had a daughter named Elizabeth, who was born in New York,November, 1845 and died in Oakland, CA, May 1906. But, I unfortunately don't have any documentation to prove any of this information. I'd like to know the best way to follow up on the documentation for this information? What do you suggest as the next step? Thank you, in advance, so very much for your help!!!!

Olive Tree Answer: Robin, it sounds like you have family lore or a family tree you found online. Since you have dates of birth (unproven) and death (also unproven) you have several census years you can search for verification of names and ages

The first census you should find Elizabeth on is 1850, then 1860, 1870, 1880, and one more in 1900 before she died. I like to use Ancestry.com for census records.

You can also search California Death Records for her death. You can order California Birth or Death Certificates Online from VitalChek back to July 1, 1905

Once you have established the family group (Elizabeth and her parents and siblings) plus approximate years and locations of birth, you can branch out to other source documents.

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