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Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Extraordinary Extra Minute

Hartford Michigan
One more minute I told myself, and then I really must go to bed. I was wandering around FamilySearch and had already entered several surnames from my tree looking for something new.

Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995, had been updated in May. I typed Clarke in the Last Name field. 3585 entries. I narrowed the search by choosing Maryland in the Place tab. And there he was. My grandfather's grandfather; Wm. P. Clarke.

William Penrod and his wife Mary Ella appeared in the 1930 census in Hartford Michigan. They posed for a picture with their grandsons in the early 1940's, after which the trail grew cold. And stayed that way for years.

Until late one night when William's name filled my computer screen in an index that included his full date of birth, a date and place of death, and news that Mary had predeceased him.

Who needs sleep? I quickly located a web site for the Van Buren (Michigan) Regional Genealogical Society where they've created an index of death records from 1935-1945. Just the years I needed! For a mere $3 each, I ordered uncertified copies of the two death records that had eluded me for years.

I'll have to allow myself 'one more minute' more often.

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