Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Who Do You Think You Are?"

The past 2 weeks have been filled with excitement and anticipation with the release of the 1940 Census. We as family historians, have waited eagerly 10 long years to dig into a whole new set of records. But, what would we actually find in them? One thing I have to constantly do mental battle with, is the strong temptation of going into a search with long-held preconceived notions of who my family is, and choices that they made. I am an avid follower of the television show "Who Do You Think You Are?", and I see that same look in the celebrities eyes for every episode. They are no different than me, with a set of hand-me -down family beliefs, and the astonished look of surprise when the evidence before them bears out an entirely different family history.
When I began my 1940 search for my dad's family last week, I made a surprising little discovery. All the family members were still accounted for and living in the same household on the Guerin farm except for one. My Uncle Albert, age 21 by then was missing. His soon to be future wife and her family, Doralice Demers, were living right next door. Albert and Doralice would be married the following year in November 1941, at St. Ann's Church in Mooers Forks, New York, and he would be working for one of the railroads that ran through Clinton County. My next thought in searching for Albert was to look in the other surrounding towns located within Clinton County where the 2 major railroads were located. Thus far, no such luck. I will set aside my quest to find dear Uncle Albert for now, as I do have a lengthy list of maternal family members to locate. When the time is right, I will find him, and hopefully find the answer as to why he was living elsewhere.