25 May 2011

Keep Your Eyes Open When Researching

Today, I was reminded of an Aha Moment that occurred in my genealogical research more than 10 years ago.

I was checking the Cuyahoga County Historical Marriage License Index (available online at http://probate.cuyahogacounty.us/ml/) for my daughter's first marriage. Sure enough, it showed up as one of the results.

The surprise was that another result also showed up: my aunt Wilma Huskonen. She had lived in Ashtabula while growing up, and in later life, she lived in Warren, in Trumbull County. I never expected her to be married in Cuyahoga County, but her record entry showed up in the online index.

Using the index info (Bride: Wilma S Huskonen; Groom: Vaino Seppelin; Vol 130 [1923], Page 162), I was able to retrieve the record from microfilm. The Historical Marriage License microfilm is readily available at Fairview Park Library (Cuyahoga County Public Library System's genealogy department) through Vol. 200 (1942), at Western Reserve Historical Society through Vol. 599 (1956), and at the Cuyahoga County Archives (not sure the range of years). However, back in 2000, I retrieved the record from the Marriage License Bureau, Cuyahoga County Probate Court, which is another possibility, but not as convenient as the other sources mentioned. From the license application and return, I learned that Wilma was a telephone operator and that she lived on Fenwick Ave. Vaino was a steelworker living in Warren, and I learned the name of his father and the maiden name of his mother. They were married by a justice of the peace on 14 Apr 1923.

The bottom line: It always pays to keep your eyes open for an unexpected result when doing family history research.

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