Maud G. Cory was my 4th Great Aunt and the sister of Augusta Cory Massy—but she was also only three years older than her niece (and my 3rd Great Grandmother), Flora Jane both discussed in this post. So, for the longest time I thought that it was possible that the pair of them could have ended up together when Augusta died. Unfortunately, I’d pretty much come to the conclusion that this was not the case, which meant I was searching for Maud and her mother Nancy Jane Cory who seemed to disappear after the 1870 Census.

Anyway, I had a bit of free time on my hands this past week and had the chance to run a few searches that I haven’t tried in a while. I badly need a good checklist for each of my ancestors and which places I’ve checked for them and when—but I knew that I hadn’t tried searching for Maud in the updated So I gave that a try… And I believe I have found their trail.

I found two marriage records indexed for a Maud Cory born in Plymouth, Michigan and the daughter of John B. Cory and N. J. Foster (with the correct birth year) living in Harrison County, Iowa. The only new bit of information here was the last name Foster for her mother—who is at times listed as Nancy, Jane, and Jennie N. Well… that and Iowa. Iowa is a whole new world in researching my family.

Anyway, the first marriage was to George Kenney in 1880 and the second was with J. A. Wolcott in 1885 and she was listed as a widow. After these I also found an 1880 Census listing for Jennie N. and Maud Cory in Harrison County and I know that there are Kenney’s and Wolott’s in that county to sift through…

But that’s as close as I’ve gotten. I couldn’t find her in 1900 Census and of course the Census-that-would-fix-everything—the 1890—no longer exists. But I have a long list of other places to check online and a new list of resources to check at LOM and ACPL on my next trips.

I’ll keep you updated!

Happy Hunting,


Harrison and Rhoda (Rogers) TrotterThis last week was meant to be spent on my Massy/Alison family in prep for an upcoming road trip (I’ll get to next post) but instead I received an email from a fellow researcher about our shared Trotter/Hampton families from Bradley Co., Arkansas. It gave me a great excuse to make sure I was caught up that portion of my research. It also gave me the impetus I needed to go page-by-page through Afro-Americans of Bradley County, Arkansas compiled by MacArthur and Princella Davis.

This book is an amazing collection of photographs covering what looks like just about every African-American family from the southern Arkansas county my paternal ancestors have called home since before the Civil War. It includes more than 350 pages of identified photographs with sometimes minimal and sometimes extensive family information. The photo quality is all over the place–I’d guess based on what they received in their call for photos. The one of my grandfather, Levie Trotter, is bad because it was taken from his funeral program (black and white photo on brown paper) but the one of my great-grandparents, Harrison and Rhoda (Rogers) Trotter, with my uncle Christopher is great. Regardless, the fact that there are so many photographs and that they are identified, outweighs everything. The book is an absolute treasure! It has been particularly helpful in filling in gaps caused by the missing 1890 Census especially when used in conjunction with’s database Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957. Researchers may be thrown by the format of the index (first name), but again the detail and range of information in the book makes up for that.

I’ve now been through it once and it’s cleared up a number of confusing lines. And I believe that, as my research continues, I’ll continue to get more out of it. Anyone with African-American family or ancestors from Bradley County should grab this book. It’s been an amazing resource by itself and a great source of information when I go through it with my relatives.



Last month I attended the Michigan Genealogical Council’s annual Abram’s Genealogy Seminar and Jan Alpert, in the intro for her presentation “How My Michigan Ancestors Have Made Me a Better Genealogist,” hit solidly on one of my largest problems in researching… Coming home and not effectively working through the information I find. So many of us are always on the go and only able to catch time for the trip itself and we forget about the important follow-up–cleaning up those notes, making photocopies understandable when you come back to them, and generally pulling the new information into your research.

So, as I mentioned before, I had been effectively away from my research for almost two full years and the interruption came after a really frenzied period of trying to collect data from my local Family History Center, the Library of Michigan and Allen County Public Library. Evidently in my rushing around and as life took a turn away from genealogy the most I had done was folder the found materials. 

Imagine my surprise two years later when I start going through folders and realize… foolishly… that I had a military service record for my 4th great grandfather Lieutenant Hugh Massy who served in the 90th Light Infantry and 33rd Regiments of the British Army (from Record of officers services, 1770-1919).  It included date and place of birth, marriage information, and birth information for 5 of their children. Not one bit of it had made it into my database. I remember being thrilled at finding the record but I’m not sure if even then I had time to really look at all the fabulous detail in it. So on the one hand it was like Christmas in July but on the other hand I was mortified. Hence my post to twitter. 

So, two important things are changing in my research:

  1. I’m doing a massive clean-up to see what I have and hopefully I will avoid totally repeating steps
  2. I am scheduling time to sort out my finds as soon as I get home–while I still know what I have and why it’s relevant.

Both very basic, but both easy to forget in any projects you have to work on part-time.

Learn from my mistakes,