Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Pearl of Wisdom

Saturday I attended the Du Page County Genealogical Society 38th Annual Conference. I was fortunate to sit on two presentations given by Jean Lazalere Bloom, my favorite being her “Excel 101: The Genealogist’s Underutilized Tool” presentation. I knew nothing about the power of a spreadsheet.

Her biggest selling point being that Excel spreadsheets aid in breaking down brick walls. Ms. Bloom was absolutely correct. My first venture into researching with Excel yielded positive results.

Here is an example: Ms. Bloom suggested recording evidence on a spreadsheet for all individuals with a common surname. With that in mind, I ventured off to Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, Illinois. I made a date with the kiosk in the office and began my research of the surnames Dooley and Egan.

My time and attention span wore out before I was able to record all Dooley and Egan burials in Calvary. By the time I reached George Dooley, I had sixty Dooley names with gravesite locations.  I bored of recording Dooley records and moved to Egan.

It was time to narrow my search parameters for the Egan’s. I looked for two names: Margaret and Patrick Egan. There were nineteen interment records for Margaret Egan and eight for Patrick. As Ms. Bloom predicted, I found a common gravesite.

Margaret and Patrick Egan share a common gravesite location of Lot N6, Block D, Section X. They rest in peace with the following family members:

                      Elizabeth Scanlon, daughter
                      Baby Morrissey,grandchild
                      Daniel Egan, A newcomer! What is his connection to the Egan Family?
                      William Morrissey, son-in-law
                      Celia Morrissey, daughter
                      Patrick Morrissey, Another newcomer to consider!
                      Margaret Morrissey, granddaughter Elizabeth

Dates of Interment were included in the gravesite information.  The date of burial for Patrick Egan and Daniel Egan were identical, as was their age at death. This suggests one of two things: Patrick and Daniel were twins who died on the same date OR an error in recording had occurred. More sleuthing is needed to answer the questions of Patrick and Daniel death dates always with the hope of discovering their relationship.  

Shoot for the moon and I just might reach the stars!


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