I had occasion today to take a look at the entries in my Legacy database for my paternal great grandmother, Elizabeth “Bessie” Fitzcharles.
Here is what I know about my great grandmother. These are screen shots from my Legacy program.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
I knew that I had an immigration record that I believed to be her (you can see it listed as the third item under events, above), however, I wasn’t sure if it was or not. There didn’t seem to be any others traveling with her. When I found this record for her I had not yet learned the names of her parents. But, I sure don’t see any other Fitzcharles' on this page. I did check on the pages before her entry. This is the last page for that particular day, so there are no entries for 28 Apr 1886 after this page.
Here is the image for Bessie Lindsay. Please note – the annotations in red and the name of the ship were added by me, yesterday, during my re-evaluation of these records.
The 1900 census states that she immigrated in 1886, so that would seem to back up this record.
She married my great grandfather, William Wallace Lindsay, on 21 May 1886 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. So, just a month after arriving in the U.S.
As I was checking on my great grandfather’s information today, I looked at his immigration information. HOLY COW!!! He’s on the same ship, on the same date. How in the heck did I miss that? Or, did I?
- Have I just forgotten that I had located these records?
- When did I save those digital copies to my computer? Looks like it was in November and December 2012, nearly a month apart.
- Was I distracted at the time and I went off in another direction on the tree? I can’t answer that question.
The 1900 census has a clue as to when these ancestors immigrated to the U.S. Unfortunately, that census record on Ancestry is pretty difficult to read. Not impossible, but difficult. Here is that record as it appears on the Ancestry.com site.
Here is the same record with some enhancement and annotations.
In looking at the immigration status on this record it says that William Lindsay has been in the United States either 20 or 23 years. Can you read the year of immigration? I can only make out 188__. What is that last number? If he’d been here 20 years it should be a zero. Did he come over here, then go back & get Bessie and return? That last number almost looks like a 5. Her entry says she arrived in 1886 and has been here 14 years. You have to look really closely to see the one before that four. It could easily be read as 4 years, but matching it with 1886, it must be 14.
The 1910 census has William as a boarder in someone else’s home and his immigration year is given as 1880. Bessie is in a completely different residence, working as a housekeeper and it gives her immigration year as 1887. Since they divorced in 1912, this may explain why they were living in two different residences in 1910.
NOTE: Wouldn’t I love to be able to ask my grandmother about all of this? She died when I was 20 years old. These are her parents. I remember her and my Dad always talking about old times and the family. She even lived with us the last couple of years of her life. But, alas, I was too busy working and playing to pay any attention. Please, talk to your living family members now. Don't wait!
In the Obituary and Death Notice I have for William Lindsay it states that he came to the United States in 1885. So, I’m thinking that’s what the last number is on the census record.
CONCLUSION - I believe, based on the evidence, that those two immigration records are, in fact, my great grandparents.
I have learned yet another valuable lesson. It’s one that I have learned from other experiences in my research through the years. ALWAYS take another look at all your records.
Perhaps a timeline would have pointed this out to me? I don’t think I use timelines enough in my research. It’s not like I have to create one myself. Legacy creates it for me based on what I have entered for each person.
Please share any similar experiences you’ve had along these same lines. Things you should have seen, but didn’t etc.
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