Dennis Prue

Dennis Prue

Dennis has been researching family trees for more than 30 years. His expertise has been invaluable in helping to break through brick walls.

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This Old Tree, January 2017

— Allen Voisine, Contributor

Over a year and half ago, the genealogical society received obituaries from the local Family History Library, I took it upon myself to create a spreadsheet to make it easier to find an individual obit a lot faster, which list will accompany the binders that the obituaries were placed in.

In order to make the index more complete I added the birthdates and death dates as gleaned from the obituary. When there was a missing date I did research to make the entry more complete. This is the story how I found one particular person’s date of birth.

According to an obituary J. Joseph Moore died August 20, 1989 at 71 years old in Portland, Maine. Note there was no mention of the name of his parents in the obituary.

I checked the Social Security Death Index, nothing there. Then I checked for information in general searches for J. Joseph Moore residing in Portland, Maine on both Ancestry and Family Search and found a man with the same name was born March 22, 1919 but as you can see the age didn’t add up.

In some places it said he was born in 1914. The sources that had this information were the various city directories available for search on line.

I then looked at the Maine Death Records online via the Maine Genealogy website and found a J. J. Moore dying in Portland at 75 years. Then I went back to his obituary and it stated he was born in Wheeling, West Virginia and amongst his survivors was one sibling, his sister, Mrs. James (Agnes) Schuetz still residing in their hometown.

Her name was in the Social Security Death Index search on Ancestry.com and the first one on the list was a strong possibility both because of her age and also the fact her name and residence matched. I then clicked on that name and had several suggested records.

The first was the U. S. Social Security Applications and Claim Index, I clicked on it and got her parents as Joseph C. Moore and Mary Carroll and the fact that she was born in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Another suggestion was the 1920 census and looking at it I discovered she had a brother named Joseph who was 5 years and 9 months old. As some of you may know the census was enumerated in January of that year.