Maybe for the run of the mill genealogist receiving an important document in the mail, is exciting and brings a smile to their face. But for someone like me (a bit obsessive), who has anxiously been waiting for something that can confirm or deny a long held theory, it can be downright exhilarating. I have been watching the mail every day with that child like hunger before Christmas. And yesterday Christmas morning arrived in the middle of the afternoon in November.
As soon as I opened the mailbox and seen my very carefully prepared self addressed stamped envelop, gleaming from inside, a smile came through my soul. I knew just what it contained. But because it annoys me so much when people sit in front of the mailboxes, inside their cars, reading their mail...I knew I couldn't now do what I so desperately wanted to do...which was rip that bad boy open. I got in my car and very cautiously (because by now I wanted to drive a 100 mph the 1 mile to my house) just the sooner to open my precious package.
I ran in the house and literally was jumping up and down with excitement...I think I might have scared my husband a little ;) I made quick work of opening up my envelop to see that YES! I finally had proof!!
My 2x Great Grandmother Katherine (sometimes spelled Catherine) Adamson has been a bit of a hard case for me. I wouldn't go so far as to say she was a "brick wall" because I had a pretty good theory on who she was and who her parents were. After finding out that Katherine, also known as Kate, was my Great Grandfather Ralph Henry Adamson's Mother, I started trying to find her maiden name and her family. I went looking for all the Kate's or Catherine's located in or around Rathbone, Steuben, New York. I found a couple that could be my Kate. But I was able to trace all of them but one, Catherine Yost. I had a pretty good feeling that this was my lady, but I still was seeking proof.
A couple years ago I found Kate Adamson's obituary in the Dunkirk Evening Observer dated 2 Apr 1917.
Shortly after I found this beautiful gem, I stopped working on this family. Who knows why...I get easily distracted. I know that I was spending every waking moment at the time, on Ralph (Kate's son) and trying to find him. And I had her obit, which clearly states that Ralph (as far as his family back east knew) was still alive and living in North Dakota, at the time of her death in April of 1917. I am sure that is why I never followed back up with this beautiful lead.
Last year, I got in contact with someone that was willing to help me
with some research in Steuben County, New York. I mentioned this
wonderful lady, when writing about John & Minerva's headstones a
couple weeks ago, you can see that post here.
She said she would look into how I would get birth, marriage and death certificates. This lady that helps me is very busy, as she
has a full time job, so I haven't asked again about getting the
records. In Steuben County, you have to know exactly what town the
record is held in to find it.
But the other day, I went poking around this part of my family tree and realized that I had this great lead and never followed up with it. All this time, I could have finished making the link that I had started oh so long ago. This my friends is one of the draw backs to working on so many lines at a time. I currently am working on all four of my lines plus Theron's 4 lines as well. Which means I skip around a lot. I don't get bored working with one family for too long but I do get distracted. I also don't follow up or finish work that clearly could have been done before.
Well, so as I realized the other day I could have asked for the death certificate for my Kate at any time because I had a date and place of death. :) I called the Schenectady City Clerk to make sure they carried death certificates for 1917 and with confirmation, I sent off for my document.
When it came in the mail yesterday, I was so happy. With hopeful thoughts that birth parents were listed and a birth place, I opened up and found to my astonishment that Kate's father was listed. Yay!! Happy Dance! (No literally...I was dancing in the kitchen) So her mother was listed as unknown but her father's name was clear as could be "Henry Yost". My theory had turned out to be correct.