Posted by Paula Stuart-Warren on September 21, 2016 in Research

This article originally appeared in Ancestry Magazine, November-December 2007.

Recipe courtesy of Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FASG
Recipe courtesy of Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FASG

Family history clues can be anywhere. An old recipe card may note “these were always served by cousin Mary McGuire” or “Aunt Susie made this every Thanksgiving.” So where do you go from there?

  1. Start at the beginning. I was told that Bertha Christine Molzen Deschner, born 1880, wrote the recipe on this page. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recalled a Kansas connection. Searching family trees at Ancestry.com, I found Bertha with a death date of 1973 in Harvey County, Kansas. She was married to Edward Deschner.
  1. Look for names. Bertha transcribed the recipe, but it was Lillian Molzen who created it. A search for her in family trees at Ancestry.com yielded a Lillian Steiner, born 1903, married to Lawrence G. Molzen—and a list of tree contributors to contact.
  1. Check the SSDI. A quick SSDI search gives death dates for Edward (1967), Bertha (1973), Lawrence (1977), and Lillian (2006). Each had a last residence in Harvey County, Kansas.
  2. Read the paper. Search for obituaries in online newspaper databases and via interlibrary loan from the Kansas State Historical Society to get details about the family.
  1. Find more people. Look for Kansas state and federal censuses and military records at Ancestry.com to help find other family members. Turn to your local Family History Center to order microfilmed vital, court, probate, and land records for Harvey County, Kansas, for an even bigger picture.

 

 

Paula Stuart-Warren

Paula Stuart-Warren works full time in the area of genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. She has been a Board-certified genealogist since 1988, passing the every-five-year renewal assessments by the national Board for Certification of Genealogists. She is a firm believer in continuing education in genealogy and strives to keep up-to-date by participating in national and local conferences, reading the publications of many genealogical and historical organizations and individuals both off and online. She completed the week-long U.S. National Institute of Genealogical Research held at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Learn more at her blog: paulastuartwarren.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter at @PaulaStuartWarr.

4 Comments

  1. Carol Kuse

    Also check funeral homes, churches, cemetery records. If it is someone who died during a war, check when the war was over, and they start sending the deceased servicemen home. This is when they will/can publish obituaries and welcome home ceremonies.

  2. Michelle Enke

    Since this article’s original publication in 2007, the Kansas State Historical Society has partnered with Newspapers.com to digitize many of the state’s pre-1922 newspapers. This is a wonderful resource for genealogists and local historians to locate those hard-to-find newspaper articles.

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