Oh Oh! No O’s!!!
With over 1,000 people in my family tree I have NO “O” surnames!!
So on that note….I’ve decided to talk about something that starts with O that is very important for any family historian or genealogist.
ALWAYS THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!
When I say a clue, I mean ANYTHING. I’ve found critical information on a missing link or a brick wall in my research because I’ve thought outside the box and didn’t overlook even the most insignificant tidbit of information.
I will give you an example:
Yesterday I was working on a client’s report. I was stymied because the last name was KELLY and they were French Canadian. I know a LOT of Irish settled in Quebec during the period I was researching (1800-1860s) but I could not find the parents of the person I was hired to find in the village they were living. Then I found a death record that said the husband died in 1867 and was “around 100 years old” (in French of course). This made me search outside the area that they had lived and a lot further back then I would have had I not had this information. I knew that he most likely was NOT 100 years old but he was older than I thought.
I did a “wildcard” search of entries in the birth, marriages and deaths recorded in the Drouin Collection which is an amazing resource of records dating back to 1621 for both Catholic and Protestant records in Quebec. I also made sure I included ALL of Quebec this time.
The last name being KELLY should be easy right? Well NO. Remember, these are French speaking people recording family events in their parish records and they are not familiar with Irish or English names. They also spelled them phonetically. So I entered Ke* in the search box and got ALL KINDS of responses that directed me to the people I need to find!!
Who would have thought that KELLY would be written in the records as KELLEY, KELIQUE, KELLIE, KILLIG and finally the actual REAL SURNAME which was KILLICK!!!!
Somehow, John ALGEO married MARIANNE KILLICK in 1810 in Quebec City (which was not too far from the town they moved to) and then by the time they had moved, the surname had morphed into Jean Auldjoe and Marie Kelly! I confirmed that this was the right couple by the fact that the parents of John Algeo and Marianne Killick were the same as Jean Auldjo (or OLDJOE lol) and Marie Kelly.
If I had not thought OUTSIDE the box and I would not have found this couple.
It also led me to the discovery that this man was a Voligeur which was the name given to volunteer Militia who fought in the war of 1812 and he was stationed at the village they ended up living in for the rest of their lives. I found so much more information than I would have “had I not thought outside the box”.
I love the detective work and the thrill of finding the information that a client has been searching for… for years! The genealogical proof standard of “exhaustive search” never fails to deliver for me.