Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Tail End Charlie

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a meme created  and popularized by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog.   I am hereby copying the instructions for this week's challenge:

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...

2)  Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last person on your list of names is.

3)  What do you know about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!

4)  How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?

5)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blogpost, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

1) Um, okay.

2) I am working my side job, in a parking ramp booth.  I have my laptop and access to the Internet, so I will do what I can with the tools on hand.  I have Roots Magic loaded, as well as access to my Ancestry account.  The last person in my tree of over 7,000 names is Valentinus Zwilling.  I have almost no information on him.  He was born about 1700, presumably somewhere in what is now Germany, but he may have been Prussian.  Since my Ancestry account is currently US-only, I can't get any further information on Valentinus in a reasonable time frame.  So, I'm going to pick the next previous person in the list, Therese Zwilling.

3) Therese Zwilling was born in Minnesota, USA, about 1914.  That should mean she would show up in several US and state census listings, at least.  She is the daughter of Nick (Nicholas) Zwilling and Clara (Fruth) Zwilling.  She is the 8th of 11 children born to this family.  Her parents were immigrants from Germany, Nicholas was born in Prussia according to the 1920 Census enumeration.

 She does indeed show up in the 1920 US Federal Census for Collegeville, Stearns County, Minnesota.  She is a single white female aged 6 years, making her birth year probably 1914, as stated.  On the 1930 US Federal Census, she is also listed with her parents, but is given as age 19 which would make her birth year 1911.  Her next older sibling, Aloys H. Zwilling, was born 23 NOV 1910, meaning it would be unlikely, but not impossible, for Therese to be born in 1911.  Her next younger sibling, Helene is shown in my tree as born about 1916, so that doesn't help pin down Therese's age.

Therese Zwilling was still living as of 12 AUG 2012, as she is listed in her sister Helen's obituary as being a survivor of the deceased.  This makes Therese about 98 years old!  The obituary also gives Therese's married name as Lambert, and city of residence as Avon, Stearns County, Minnesota, but fails to mention her husband's name, which leads me to believe he is deceased. I was not able to find either a death record or an obituary for Therese (Zwilling) Lambert.

The 1920 and 1930 US Censuses and the obituary I cited are the only documents that Ancestry is returning as being related to Therese Zwilling.  However, it does return several City Directory entries that may be our person of interest.  More research will be needed to confirm or rule out those documents.

4) I am not directly related to Therese Zwilling.  She is related to my wife by marriage.  She is the aunt of the husband of the aunt of my wife.  Since I am also researching my wife's lines in order to provide our descendants with as full information as possible, all of her relatives I can find are also included in the tree.  At this point, the tree is getting unwieldy enough that I may need to split it into multiple trees and handle them separately.

5)  Here's my blogpost, which should also post to the associated G+ page and my public G+ stream.

Did you participate in this challenge as well?

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2013 by Daniel G. Dillman