Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Research Plan for Jane James Williams 1815 - ?

OK, here's the story. My GGF on my Mom's side was Daniel Williams (1852 - 1920), born in Wales to Thomas Williams (abt. 1815- 1868) and Jane James Williams (1815 - ?). After Daniel's father Thomas died in 1868, it is thought that the family moved to the USA. Daniel then moved to Western Maryland and worked as a coal miner, raising a large family, owning a home, and becoming a recognized member of the community.

After Daniel's Mother Jane and sibs moved the to the USA, we lose tract of them. They presumably move to the upstate New York area because Aunt Betty has a family photo of Mother Jane and her adult children taken in Troy, NY, about 1880 - 1890 or so, as best we can guess by the clothing. And pretty much, that's all we know for sure right now.

I have about a ton and a half's worth of questions! So what happened? What's the full story? How did Jane decide to move to the USA... that was pretty brave for a widow, no? Why did they come to upstate NY? Did they all come at once or a few at a time? So what's the story... what happened to them? Where did Daniel's family go? It's unlikely that they simply disappeared off the face of the earth. I need a solid research plan!

I talked to Mom this morning - and she's doing much better after her fall 3 weeks ago, thanks for asking:) We went over what we know and then what we'd like to find out.

I think I'll start with New York State records for the area around Troy. The lead is that photo of mother Jane and six of her seven children.
The two girls are there in the picture:
Elizabeth (24 Oct 1841-?), and
Jane (4 Oct 1846-?).
There there is GGF Daniel, seated on the right side of the photo next to his mother Jane. Mom, Aunt Betty and I have spent some time trying to match up the boys with the photo, knowing that one is missing.
For the record, the boys are:
David (22 May 1844-?),
Thomas (25 Mar 1851-?),
Daniel my GGF (31 Mar 1852- 19 Apr 1920),
John (Nov 1853-?), and
William (23 Jan 1865-?).
But which of the boys is missing?
So we do know that Jane was alive when this photo was taken, whenever that was. I'll need to study up on the available records for the area because I'm clueless:)

I think I need to start timelines for Daniel and his parents. In the past, timelines have been especially helpful to me. I use them in a very loose fashion and feel free to make copious notes anywhere and everywhere. They are for sure not your Family Tree Maker's timelines;)

Then it will be time to take a look at the good old US Census. Hopefully by that time and after looking into NY State records I might have a better idea of where in upstate NY to look. Hopefully. Those brothers will be my first target.

I want to check immigration records looking for when they came over. Mom says that she has tried without much luck, with the exception of perhaps finding Daniel and Elizabeth on the SS Wyoming on 2 May 1873. Want to spend time verifying that and seeing if the original record image contains any other clues. My bet is that if there are other clues Mom and Aunt Betty would have already found them... but I get lucky every once in a while.

Can cemetery records help? I could really use a location to narrow the search. Hope I find one!

Have my work cut out for me!! And as usual, any thoughts you might have are very much appreciated:)


Photo from the Archive of the Williams Family taken at Troy NY. Can you help us match the names with the faces?


The Girls:
Elizabeth (24 Oct 1841-?) she's the oldest girl so is that her on the right?
Jane (4 Oct 1846-?) is that her on the left in  the fancy dress?

The Boys:
David (22 May 1844-?)
Thomas (25 MAR 1851-?)
John (Nov 1853-?)
William (23 Jan 1865-?)

Daniel my GGF (31 MAR 1852- 19 APR 1920) is seated on the right
and his mother Jane (1815-?) is seated to the left of him


The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-research-plan-for-jane-james-williams.html

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