This week I’ve been quite busy each evening continuing with the momentum created by last Saturday night’s fun with #21. I didn’t really have much beyond Orcelia Wright so I’ve been looking searching. I learned this week that Orcelia named her first son after her father, as his name was also Pomeroy, and her mother’s first name was Tamison (spelled many different ways).
An interesting observation I’ve had this week is the differences in my success in searching in the census on Ancestry.com compared with Heritage Quest Online (a database subscription paid for by my local library and accessible from home with my library card) and the pilot site at labs.search.familysearch.org . I had been hunting for Orcelia and her family in the 1850 census but with no luck. I like Heritage Quest for it’s advanced search functions with the census but it doesn’t have the 1850 census yet. I could find no entry for Orcelia or her father, Pomeroy, with all varieties of spellings. So, I also tried looking through surnames combined with birth dates and all sorts of ways but again found nothing. Since I had found Orcelia’s parents in Westford, Otsego, New York in 1840 and 1860, I felt sure that they were there in 1850 but I didn’t want to go page by page if I didn’t have to. The 1850 was important to me because Orcelia had not been born by 1840 and by 1860 she was married so I needed to connect her with her parents and find siblings.
I continued to search despite my frustrations and one day this week while playing with the familysearch.org pilot site I found Orcelia in the 1850 census with everything spelled correctly! I was elated to read my great, great grandmother’s name and see her siblings names and ages.
Of course, this didn’t end my quest but rather generated many more questions. In my next step I visited ancestry.com so that I could figure out if I just simply searched incorrectly for them in the 1850 or what. But I again found nothing on them. Since I wanted to learn of other relatives that may have been living nearby I searched using another surname on that page. That worked and I was able to browse on the previous and next pages (which are not options in the familysearch.org pilot site) and I learned even more about neighbors and relatives.
This was almost a happy dance experience, I certainly did raise my arms and cheer. This experience is just a reminder to us to not solely rely on one access point to a source, such as the census. Be persistent, it will pay off.