For those of us working in the World Archives Project we often ask that question about the names we key everyday. For example, Ernest Simpson whom I keyed recently from the Michigan Passenger & Crew, lists.
Ernest Simpson was a sheet metal worker born in London, England. He was 5′ 51/2″ tall with brown hair, green eyes and a scar on his left wrist. He came from Canada and was going to Flint Michigan. That is all I had from the Michigan Passenger list. But when I started a tree on Ancestry with this information I quickly found a 1901 Canadian Census record and a WWI military record on Ernest that gave me more pieces of the puzzle.
In 1891 he immigrated with his family to Canada and in 1901 at age 13 he lived with his family in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His parents were Charles and Alice F Simpson and he had eight other siblings. In 1910 he made a trip to Michigan apparently living there until returning to Canada in 1917 where he enlisted into the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force for WWI; he was not married at the time. The Michigan Passenger list shows that he returned to the United States in May of 1919 to settle in Flint Michigan. I’m sure there is more but how interesting to step into the life of Ernest Simpson for a brief moment.
What other interesting finds are out there? Share with us the stories you are finding from the collections you are keying or even from your own family history.
Also, I want to share with you a new series called “Who Do You Think You Are?” Ancestry.com and NBC along with others have partnered together to bring you seven episodes of heartwarming stories and family history finds in the lives of prominent celebrities. The series is patterened after the successful BBC series with the same name that has been running since 2004.
I invite you to check out the NBC site and watch the video preview to give you a taste of what the show is about. Then on March 5th, 8/7c time on NBC, take a break from keying, grab your popcorn, kick up your feet and join the rest of us at Ancestry while we walk a historical journey with celebrities such as Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith and others.