Saturday, January 3, 2015

SNGF: Best Find of 2014, Research Challenge for 2015

I'm surprised to see that I haven't done one of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges in over 3 months. Shame on me!

This week's SNGF is to:
1. Tell us about your best research achievement of 2014; and
2. What research problem do you want to work on in 2015?

2014 Research Achievement
During my 6-day trip to the Family History Library in September I focused on my father's maternal lines. They are the shortest by far of any of my ancestral lines. His mother, Virginia Corine MELDRUM (1896-1980), was the daughter of David James MELDRUM Jr. (1867 to 1908) and Matilda Elizabeth "Tillie" SONNEN (1871-1921). Tillie's father, Herman SONNEN (1833-1919) has been the end of that line in my family tree for over 20 years. With the help of several people at the FHL who could read German, I was able to document Herman SONNEN's birth and parentage. Here is a copy of his birth certificate from FHL microfilm 938382, Benrath, Rheinland, Prussia.

I also gathered records documenting two more generations of the SONNEN family.

2015 Research Goal
Staying with my father's lines, I am hoping to sneak away from a planned birding trip to southwest Texas next month and track down what happened to his mother's father and grandfather. I know her grandparents, James Braithwaite MELDRUM (1840-1876) and Nancy Maria STARK (1845-abt. 1913) were living in Taylor, Williamson County, Texas at the time James died. I have not been able to find any direct record of his death. The only account I have is in a letter written by his mother to one of his sisters. However, in September I found deed records as late as 1878 purportedly involving both James and Nancy. I did not find any record of Nancy selling the properties and am wondering if the children inherited it at some point.

I would love to get to Houston to research my Dad's lines, but that's just too far from where my husband will be birding with a friend. At best, I'm hoping to get to Austin (and the University of Texas newspaper collection) and Taylor, along with Georgetown, the county seat of Williamson County.

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