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.


This Old Tree, January 2018

Looking at the Living Relatives And Where to Find Them

This is the start of a new year for genealogical research. I am suggesting that the readers of this column take stock and review their family tree(s). We (you) may be able to update/add information, as there are more new resources online. Review the individual families and see what you are still missing and try filling in the blanks.

I started doing that for myself yesterday. The wintery mix from the day before meant it was the not greatest time to be out on the roads in Northern Maine.

I started looking for some relatives on my Mom’s side of family, namely my first cousins. For me, some of them I have only met once and at most a few times. Growing up I did not live anywhere near them. I got names from Mom and I had one family that we got the annual Christmas newsletter that updated our family on their family.

Presently on Mom’s side of the family I only have two aunts: Phyllis married but had no children she is 101 and the other is Alice whois 90; I only met some of her children when I was ten, they are Katherine, Louise, John, Lee and Ann.

Lee and Ann are not married nor have children. I already had their birthdays so I was all set with them.

Aunt Alice had sent a letter in 1997 when John and his wife had a son, so I had his name, Watt and his birthday; also the name of their little girl Sarah and her age 3 years. I later called Aunt Alice and I asked for Sarah’s birthday, Aunt Alice’s reply was why would I want her birthday, Watt was more important because he would carry on the family name. She would not tell anything about Lee’s family except to brag about Lee having a son.

Aunt Alice told me that Louise’s family was fine and her two sons were Paul and Christopher. Katherine was in hiding from her second husband after they divorced and her mother refused to tell me or anyone more.

I decided to focus on my first cousin Katherine’s family. I knew the names of Katherine’s children from her first marriage to Lyle. She had three children Lenny, Lizzie and Andy. I then looked on both Ancestry and Family Search for anything on these children.

Ancestry had Lenny’s marriage to a Doris Nixon; also Lizzie’s wedding information to Charles Dodd, but nothing on Andy. I then went to Family Search and looked there. I found my cousin Katherine’s marriage to husband number two, Bill, who she divorced and that Aunt Alice had said was stalking her. Katherine and her first husband had moved to Texas. Found Katherine’s divorce record from Lyle and gave me the marriage date as well as their date of divorce. The Texas divorce record found on Family Search lists the couples’ age at the time of the divorce, sometimes giving the birthday, date of marriage and divorce also number of children under age of 18.

I was able to fill in information on Lenny, his first marriage to Darcy via their divorce record. Also found that Lizzie had been married before her marriage to Charles Dodd. She is first married to an Alan Russell. There was a public record listing for Katherine when she was married to Bill that listed her two sons, Lenny and Jesse Anders. With Andy’s full name of Jesse Anders I found his birthday.

So for a half days work on one family I was able to fill in missing information.

It’s harder to find stuff on the living relatives simply because they are alive. I lucked out that Katherine moved to Texas and divorce records enabled me to find some information. My cousin Katherine’s children would have no idea who I was and I have no way to contact them. I am still trying to find more on Aunt Alice’s second daughter Louise. I know her year of birth as 1948 but when and where I don’t know.

Please note that because of“Katherine’s” ex-husband stalking problem I did not use any of their real names.

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This Old Tree, January 2018 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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