Helpful Hints History Success Stories

Not Lost After All

not lost after all
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Written by Juliette Eames

Arthur’s interest in genealogy began as he listened to his family members – parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents – tell stories about generations that came before. It wasn’t until he began editing his tree on Ancestry.com that he became seriously fascinated and intrigued over the gaps he found. One especially curious gap was his great-great grandfather.

For years I assumed the identities of Frederick Leach’s parents were irretrievably lost. No one in my family knew anything more than that Frederick had been born in Michigan.

The information about Frederick Ebenezer Leach, was incredibly elusive. He spent hours searching the records at Ancestry.com, finding several bit and pieces of information about Frederick, and a few hints about Frederick’s parents. He even enlisted the help of generous members of the family history community, but still no solid evidence to prove the identity of Frederick’s parents.

Even with the generous and helpful researchers he had worked with previously, they were unable to prove Frederick’s origins. Arthur received an email from AncestorCloud and decided to post a request to the community but had little hope for success, considering the amount of time he had already put into this specific research. He included details about what he knew and the records he had found.

Ericka found his request on AncestorCloud and already had plans to visit Michigan. She knew she would have time to do some research so she submitted a proposal. Arthur accepted it and she began to research.

She conducted a physical inspection of documents in Michigan that are not available online, and also turned up online materials Arthur hadn’t found. He was pleasantly surprised by her findings including the death notice for William Leach Jr., and the proof that accompanied it, that Frederick Leach was his brother – resident of Washtenaw County, Michigan. This piece of evidence tied Frederick to William Leach, Jr., and therefore definitively linked Frederick to William Leach, Sr. and an unnamed first wife. This little piece of evidence gave the address where Frederick had lived most of his adult life, and was the puzzle piece that completed Arthur’s uncertainty of the identity of Frederick Ebenezer Leach’s parents. She also discovered a wealth of information about William Leach, Sr., and his family.

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Because Ericka was able to provide this piece of evidence, Arthur feels confident in moving back along the Leach line, and was inspired to learn more about Frederick’s family. He has been able to prove the identity of Frederick’s grandparents – Ebenezer and Fanny Cranfield Leach, who came from England to Michigan around 1830. In addition, Arthur has been able to learn about Frederick’s extended family members, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, and has learned the first name of Frederick’s mother, which was previously unknown.

It’s been very satisfying to learn so much about Frederick’s origins, all thanks to Ericka’s help.


Want to find other expert researchers just like Ericka for your research gaps? Post a request to our community today!

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