A. E. Jordan
I have been working on an interesting case of late and I think it
provides some clues for searching for others.
A while back someone posted here in he discussion group looking for
help. The situation was they had a 1906 NY passenger list arrival
with a Polish name going to a person in New York with only a first
initial and a family name and an address. The person they were going
to was listed as an in-law. The poster of course was trying to track
The in-law name was too common to search especially with just a first
The obvious first step was to try the address and no one with that name
was there in 1905 or 1910. Searches using the Polish name in the census
came up blank too.
City Directories were of course a possibility but again it had to match
on the address to work.
I got super lucky playing the the Polish name. I found a woman arriving
in 1910 with the same Polish name going to her husband. Still nothing on
the Census with the name but she gave an address for the husband. She
was arriving at the end of 1910 but I still worked the address backwards
surprise surpirse who was living at that address even in the spring of
1910 but the husband who had changed the Polish first name to an American
first name and he was still living with the in-law. Now I had the
in-law's full name and the husband in America!
It took some more maturations but I picked up their trail in the census
or at least the family I thought they were. Challenge was now to connect
all the dots.
I found one of the children or at least what I thought was a child who
died at age 19. Found his grave in one of the old off-line cemeteries
but not the parents. But I have the name of the cemetery and the burial
I picked up a possible target for the father having died in 1939 and I
checked the certificate while I was at the Archives to get the cemetery
but there was nothing to confirm it was the right person. The father's
name on the certificate was Americanized. But I had the cemetery name
and the date. So I called that cemetery and checked on the grave. The
man is in a double grave with a wife of the right name too. And it is
the same burial society as the person I thought was the son -- just a
So off I went to the cemetery and found the grave and got the Hebrew and
sure enough the Hebrew on the stone matches the Hebrew name that was
expected to place this as the man who arrived in 1906 with the right
father's name back in Poland.
Case closed / solved. Maybe not the most amazing find but some good
detective work. The person was found. His family line was found. The
names nd married names of his children were found. And the mysterious
in-law was found and could also be followed.
Happy hunting everyone!