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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't Give Up Hunting for an Elusive Ancestor

Margaret's Question:
Looking for emmigration, ships list for Fernande Pradier... new info,, born Pont st Esprit France, 1893. Born to a black father and white mother,, know of one brother, (don't know name) Fernande put add in La Press news paper , looking to come to Canada and get married. arrival?? from 1922 - 1924.. cannot seem to find her in gov records, cannot even find her marriage record to Emile J Rochat as they got married the same day as arrival Edmonton Alberta..I do have everything on Emile , his arrival was long before Fernande. For Fernande, where else can I look.?.. would also like to know who her parents were, and name of brother.. I'm ready to give up after a year of looking..

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Dear Margaret, You're ready to give up after a year of looking? Oh my! That's a drop in the bucket time-wise. If you are serious about genealogy research and finding your ancestors, you'll need to prepare yourself to search for years. And I do mean years. Most of us have been searching for at least one elusive ancestor (or many more!) for 10, 20 or even 30 years.

I don't want to discourage you, I want to encourage you to continue your search.

New records become available all the time. New clues present themselves to you when you read over documents you've already found. It sounds like you have found a lot already and that's good.

A few things jump out at me from your query. First, if you know that they married the same day they arrived in Edmonton Alberta, you have a date and a location. Have you checked Vital Records for that location?

Secondly you seem to have a nice narrow timeline for their immigration. Have you searched online ships passenger lists for their names? Be sure you are creative in spelling as the names may be badly mangled. Use wildcards if they are available. Try ships passenger lists which have been indexed by Each passenger name found in the index links to the actual manifest page.

I think you have much more you can do and lots of fun left chasing your ancestors down!

1 comment:

  1. Just for fun, I entered this name in a search of ancestry's immigration collection, and it popped right up, Fernande Pradier, arriving in November 1921, age 25, intention "to be married". She is listed in the "Canada - Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A) 1919-1924" collection. Her father's name and address are included -- a very informative document!