I was looking for a genealogist the other day to do some in-person research I can’t do. The web site for one of the genealogist search places was down, so I looked at the site affiliated with Ancestry.com. They charge $1900 for 25 to 30 hours of research. Basic research. I joked on G+ that people should hire me because I’m much cheaper.
But really, people should should hire me. I’m pretty decent at this. And cheaper.
I was going up to Calvary Cemetery to get some photos of graves of relatives, so I decided to fill some of the photo requests for the cemetery. Today I traipsed around for 30+ minutes trying to find a request for a husband and wife. The plot is in the largest section in the cemetery, and not one I’m familiar with. Eventually found the plot but the graves are unmarked. Left a message for the woman asking if she wanted the photos I took of the unmarked plot. She responded a bit ago saying she did, and also if I came across an Amalie Stevens would I get a photo of her grave?
I leaped into action. The information I was given was that Amalie Bouchard Stevens was the wife of James Stevens, birth name Stefanski, and that she probably died between 1930 and 1942 in Seattle.
First I searched for her name in the Seattle Times archive. However, when an obituary was in the classified, the OCR is really bad and usually doesn’t find it. Next I looked up James Stevens, Amalia Stevens and James Stefanski on the Washington Digital Archives. I found the marriage certificate for James Stefanski and Emilia Bouchard. No information to go on unfortunately. Some marriage certificates have ages and places of birth.
Then decided to look at the online burial records for Calvary Cemetery. I didn’t look there first because I figured the requester had already looked. But there was an Amelia Stevens buried there, and her grave was located in a section I photographed last night. It gave her date of death in 1949. Went back to the Seattle Times archive and found a funeral notice in the classifieds. No next of kin was listed, so I wasn’t sure if it was the right one. And then I looked at my photos from the section, and realized she was buried right next to a Helen Bush who had a maiden name of Stevens. Also, the same person had requested a photo of her grave. So yep, that’s probably Amalie Bouchard Stevens.
All figured out in the space of 15 minutes.
I’m not a pro-level genealogist, and some of this went smoothly because I took 700+ photos in two days for the fun of it, and some of it because the person happened to have records available online. But still, 15 minutes.