Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Closet: part II

Finally I found them all living in Bradford, PA as the family of Robert and Margerite Ford in 1920.  

It was serendipity that found them in the 1920 census.   I had searched years trying multiple combination of names. Finally by searching for an Alberta who was under 10 years old I found them.  Margaret's name had been misspelled and frankly I didn't know under what name they would be listed. It was a hard learned lesson.  We depend on indexing too much.  It honestly would have been quicker for me to search each page in the Bradford, PA 1920 census than the years I wasted on the indexing search.  My lesson...if the indexing isn't working go to the primary resource.  Indexing has so many possible levels of human error that it has limited reliability.

It was a big find locating them living as "Ford's".  From there I located a 1918 WWI draft registration form showing Robert John Ford was married to Margaret Mae Ford.  The ages of Margaret and Robert matched in all of the documents. 

I concluded that they were living under an alias of "Ford" which was Margaret's maiden name according to the SS application..  This matched a family story that Margaret eloped with "someone" because she was Catholic and he Protestant. At this point I spent ALOT of time searching Pennsylvania records for a marriage licence, naturalization's, etc.  More dead ends...

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