02 March 2018

Genealogical Detective Work Pays Off

Over the past three days, I was involved in a genealogy caper that quadangulated (did I just create a word?) into a successful venture. Here goes: three days ago my second cousin, Bob, emailed me and asked me to call him. I did; and during our conversation he told me that a fellow genealogist, Janet, contacted him wondering if he had contact information on descendants of Elizabeth White who married William Kelly because she had an important family heirloom that she wanted to return to the family.

Elizabeth was an older sister to our great great grandfather Charles William White. I told Bob that I did have a contact who was a distant cousin and also a direct descendant of Elizabeth and William. Elizabeth and William were part of the White family exodus from Albany to Kansas in 1878 - 1879. Father and mother, Robert and Ann White uprooted and moved the whole family including Elizabeth with her family, sister Sarah Jane, brothers Thomas Edward, William Henry, and Robert Jr. Only two brothers, Joseph and Charles William remained in the Albany area.

I contacted Janet and mentioned that I did have a contact from that family. Janet said that she had an old Bible with marriages records written in it along with obituary clippings. So I gave Janet the names of Elizabeth and William's children and the known spouses. Janet replied that the names matched.

After hearing this I asked if she had a scan of the pages and if so could she send a copy to me. She did and Janet was correct. She had a family Bible that was Elizabeth and William's. The Bible was found in an attic in Shawnee, Kansas. Immediately I contacted my distant cousin Carla and notified her of this find. Carla was extremely happy and wanted the Bible. So I put her in touch with Janet and I am sure that they are now working out the details to get the Bible back to the family.

Below is a scan of the Bible page and an obituary clipping.

Kelly - White Bible Page Containing  Family Marriages
Scan courtesy Janet Lake

William Kelly obituary, unknown & undated newspaper
Scan courtesy Janet Lake

I was glad that I was able to assist in this adventure. Had my cousin Bob not had an online family tree on ancestry.com this story probably would have ended differently. Janet did incredible genealogy research to track us down and her efforts paid off!