This is the second of a series of blogs on using the Allyn Room and GCPL resources to reconstruct your Geauga ancestor’s life. While I am using a 19th/20th Geauga County miller by the name of John M. Williams as an example, if your ancestor lived elsewhere, use this model to research similar records at local repositories where he/she lived.
The last blog explained how to find a Geauga County obituary and summarized John William’s obituary. This week we explore the lives of John and his family through the Federal census records. GCPL patrons can access U.S. Federal Census records at the library or from home. The Federal Census, taken every 10 years from 1790, is available up to 1940, using Ancestry Library Version on any public GCPL computer. On the GCPL home page, click on Resources and Research, then choose Ancestry Library Version. At home, go to the GCPL website, click on the Resources and Research tile, choose Heritage Quest Online and follow the prompts to choose your library and fill in your library barcode number.
The 1910 Census for John Williams confirms the obituary account that he lived in Chardon, owned a flour mill, was born in Ohio, married Harriett A. and had a son, Alva J, who also worked in the flour mill. New information provided by the census completes the family profile in 1910. They lived on North Hambden Street. John was 67, Harriett was 65 and Alva was 35 and single. They owned their home. John’s parents were born in Massachusetts. Harriett was born in New York, her father in Pennsylvania and her mother in New York. The information on John and Harriett’s ages and where their parents were born can be used to expand the family tree.
One of my all-time favorite genealogy resources is Family Tree Magazine, which you can read at our Chardon, Geauga West, and Middlefield Branches, as well as our Mobile Services unit. The newest issue (Dec 2017) has an article I co-wrote with my daughter, Sunny McClellan Morton, “Census Clues You Might Be Missing”. Check it out before you hunt for your ancestor in the U.S. Federal Census!