Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The one where I have a "genealogical orgasm"

Yes, your read that right.

Cookie is basking in the afterglow of orgasmic success in breaking through a brick wall in a genealogical line.
As we have discussed, one of my great grandfather's first cousins - the financial tycoon, as it were, sat down and wrote a 1,000 page book, which my mother called the Kennel Papers.  That book got me my start when I was a young lad of 14 into the dank and musty corners of family history.

My attention to the hobby has ebbed and flowed over the past 35+ years, but since 9-11, genealogy has been my form of personal therapy.  It preoccupied me so much that when we moved to Baltimore, COOKIE, not the moving company, moved the papers 400 miles.

In genealogy, though, you come across those people who seemingly have no past.  The inability to get beyond a point with such a person is called a "brick wall" because its stops you from going any further.

When the Tycoon wrote his book, he recorded "Eleanor", the wife of his cousin by her first name and the name on the marriage license, and that was all.  Problem is that when I went looking for Eleanor's place of birth, I could not find her in the censuses.  In fact, I could find nothing at all on Eleanor. That was in 1978, and since then, I have periodically washed her name through the online databases that the LDS church has at and through Ancestry at or even google without any luck.

So I tried again for giggles, this time through Google and low and behold it brought me to a site that had held no promise for me before - One Billion Graves.  And son of Eleanor there was her tombstone, which meant I had a date of death.  Then I discovered that the LDS Church had Colorado and Nebraska marriage records, which shocked me because neither state is known for its openness when it comes to public records.  Colorado is second only to Indiana when it comes to making it impossible to leach out a death certificate.

Still, one thing led to another, and another, and each time, the clues kept coming faster and faster and each lead held more information and within two hours I had to muffle my pleasure at the advances I was making on ELEANOR!

YES, I found her maiden name!

YES, I found her place of birth!

YES, I discovered that her previously thought maiden name was from HER FIRST MARRIAGE!


Reader, if I smoked, let me tell you that after all that, I bet that cigarette would be the sweetest one I smoked in a long time.

And in the post genalogical orgasm's afterglow, I pushed through that wall and I found everything that I could ever hope to find...

And more.

The thing is with these finds, you get your questions answered, only to find yourself with more questions.

And that is why I love this hobby.  You never know what you will find. But keep at it, because there is always something new around the corner.


  1. mazel tov bubelah, i've kvelling for you.

  2. Congratulations! It's quite odd how a seemingly impossible task suddenly becomes a finished quest. Your stars were aligned and the forces of evil were on the wane, and luck was with you! And.....I'm out of sayings!

  3. It is amazing how the floodgates can open when you make that first research breakthrough. My recommendation, which you probably have already followed, is to save/copy all information, photos, etc. immediately, as internet research finds often have a way of sinking back into the abyss.

    1. Already ahead of you and I source everything with proper footnotes, too! That's the way I roll.

  4. Congratulations. Very satisfying feeling !