25 January 2011

Tuesday's Tip -- Make the Call & use Timelines

Make the Call ... the phone call that is. With all the online resources available, it is easy to forget that personal touch. A phone call yesterday saved me time and confirmed some info.

I am trying to find information on an uncle. Years ago my grandfather - the oldest of nine children - told me that in fact he was the second child born to Panko and Bessie Hruszczak. The first - named Theodore - was born in 1916. My grandfather did not know exactly when Theodore passed but instead simply said that his mom had been making Easter dinner when Theodore crawled into a pot of boiling water she had set on the floor. While the story itself is hard to believe, finding this boy is even harder!

A timeline is helping narrow down my search.
1915 - church records show Panko & Bessie wed in Coatesville, Chester County, PA.
1916 - Theodore was born (I do not have an exact date yet)
1917 - the family lived in Columbia, Lancaster County, PA (as per Panko's WWI reg signed in June).
1918 - my grandfather (Joseph) was born in January in Coatesville.
1919 - Panko & Bessie had another son also named Theodore (since 1st had passed by now)

I know that baby Theodore is not buried in our church cemetery in Coatesville. I called a public cemetery in Coatesville and was told no one with that name in that time frame is buried there. In fact no one with that last name is buried there. This eliminates that cemetery for this research and future research as well. Many public cemeteries have offices with a staff - limited as they may be - who can look up possible burial.

So admist all this technology - do not overlook the obvious phone call. In addition use a rough timeline to help limit your search parameters. Good luck!
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.