Lee Doyle -> Gust Doyle ->Tressa (Froman) Doyle -> Catherine (Saylor) Froman -> Jacob Saylor
The source was A Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests, Volume 2. I performed a google search for John Froman and found him and Catherine associated with the name Peter Saylor. Peter's biography in the Mercer County history named Jacob Saylor as their father; gave the names of both of Jacob's wives; and named many of the children from both wives. The biography also indicated that Jacob Saylor had died about 1870 which led me to his probate file.
That was simple but it took me a while to take the information in the county history seriously. Of course, there's all the follow-up research to check the accuracy of the statements in the biography.
Rebecca Smith Bartley and Thomas Smith
Lee Doyle --> Beulah (Gerner) Doyle --> Elvira (Bartley) Gerner --> Rebecca (Smith) Bartley --> Thomas Smith
When I began I knew my father's and grandmother's names.
- I learned Elvira's name from my father's aunt.
- I learned Dixon's name from One Pennsylvania Bartley Family.
- Butler County, Pennsylvania, census records gave me Rebecca's first name.
- The Butler Area Public Library Obituary Index (finally) listed a golden anniversary article for Dixon and Rebecca Bartley. I ordered it and when it arrived I saw that it named Thomas Smith as Rebecca's father. I have Thomas' will and will try to obtain his probate file (if he has one).
Lee Doyle -> Beulah (Gerner) Doyle -> Frederick Gerner -> Christian Gerner
When I began I knew my father's and grandmother's names. I learned Frederick's name from my father's aunt, Frederick's daughter. She remembered that Fred had siblings named Christian, John, and Charles.
- In the Butler Area Public Library Obituary Index I saw an obituary for a man named Christian Gerner. Because two men were named Christian and had the same last name, I guessed at the possibility of a relationship. No relationship was named in the obituary.
- Deep searches of census records with several surname variations gave me the names of children.
- With the names of children I was able to begin searching the Pennsylvania death certificate index (before the certificates were on Ancestry) for the males in the family. Fred's death certificate gave his father's name as Christian Gerner. Fred's brother, Charles's death certificate gave his father's name as Christian Gerner and his mother's name as Mary E. Sthal.
- A deeper review of census records allowed me to put together a list of children and probable birth years.
- The Butler Area Public Library Obituary Index came to my aid again with a wedding announcement for Emma Garner, a woman with the same first name as one of the children and a last name variation. And, of course, her husband's name, Alfred Vensel, was included. I was able to search the Obituary Index again using this new surname and found obituaries for both her and her husband. Those allowed me to procure death certificates for the wife. Her death certificate gives her parents' names as Christian Gerner and Mary Stahl.
- On FamilySearch I found a marriage record for, Christian, Fred's brother. Marriage and census records allowed me to follow his marriage and his move from Pennsylvania to West Virginia to California where I was able to obtain a death certificate. The certificate gave his parents' names as Christian Gerner and Mary Stahl.
I take a lot of hunches in family history research. Some of them yield no helpful information (or perhaps I should say, yield negative results). Others give a little hint, and some answer a question and lead me to much more information.
I have so many more ancestors to find and so much more to find about these ancestors in this post. I never know which search will yield the information that will tie a child to his or her father and/or mother.
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