Several times this month something has happened while I was helping researchers, and while talking with Ann Marie this morning about it, she thought I should share it with you.
It’s about names…first or last, it doesn’t matter. Researchers have come in looking for someone, fill in a research form with the name, and ask for newspapers to search through as they don’t have an exact death date. That can take a very long time, so before I give them the newspaper I usually ask them if they have searched our family files. If yes, I will give them the newspaper but then I check to see if I can find a death date in our Obit Index or if not check on the website www.mnhs.org.
In the last case, I couldn’t find the death recorded, that is, as it was given to me. I asked if the person’s name could be something else, as it sounded like a nickname to me, and they were positive the name was like they had given to me, it was a parent’s name. I took the research a little further and called the Recorder’s Office, and Eileen was so helpful. She found the person from just the last name and a death date of month and year only and it matched with all the information on the research form…except the first name.
When I gave this information to the researcher she was stunned, then said she never knew that. So when you’re doing your research don’t be so sure about names, check different spellings, nicknames may be something else, even if you only knew it as such and maybe, just maybe you may be “stunned” as well.
~ Alice Smuda