Success Stories

Finding an Orphans Family

Written by Juliette Eames

The Request

A few months ago Keith posted on AncestorCloud in hopes to find the missing piece of a family mystery that had blocked family research for two generations. Keith had very little concrete information but went ahead and posted a request to see if anyone may be able to help him solve this mystery.

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Summary of the Work Done:

Su began looking for the mention of Kearns in the Nevada Death Certificates within the Cherry Creek vicinity and found a Katherine Goodwin who died in Wells, NV in 1936, whose father was listed as Unknown Kearns. She then was able to find an 1899 marriage for bride Katie Duval of Cherry Creek and Edwin L. Goodwin (as listed on her death certificate). Next I found the marriage certificate for John Alonzo Duval who married a Katie Young (age 21) in 1896 in Cherry Creek (Divorced).

She was also able to find Katie Young age 5 (born 1875 in ID) (matching Birth info on Death Certificate: 10 June 1875 in Silver City, ID.) in the 1880 Cherry Creek, NV Census, whose mother was Margaret aka Maggie, whom Keith was searching for! After Julius, left she married Anthony Young in 1878 according to the 1900 Census. Later, Katie & Edwin Goodwin appear with Margaret Young, listed as mother-in-law in the 1910 Census, solidifying the proof of Katie Kearns (Young) Duval Goodwin’s identity as a sister to Keith’s orphaned great-grandfather William Kearns. In addition, she found a half-brother George A. Young, and several generations of Katie’s descendants.

The Breakthrough

This project was relatively vague, considering the lack of concrete information given. Su did a marvelous job fulfilling this request. She said the most exciting discovery was finding Margaret’s Death Certificate and loved the enthusiasm with which Keith responded to her findings.

Keith got back to me very quickly after I shared my info with this enthusiastic response: “Holy Smokes!! – Excellent Work!! – lots of info to digest, but the pieces all fit! Thank You!!!!!! how exciting! – I’m nearly speechless…” which was worth more than any monetary reward for me.

Keith felt that the biggest breakthrough was getting enough info to look at Census records that helped fill in more blank spots. He also felt that it will propel his researching further, Keith said “I have already used census records to gather more info and I’m currently searching Immigration records to see if I can verify the spelling of the last name, so I can go back even further!”

Want to find other researchers who can help you further your research? Post a request to our community of thousand of genealogists!


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