Sunday, November 18, 2012

In response to the challenge of ...Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - 100 Word Challenge - Grandparents

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - 100 Word Challenge - Grandparents

Grandparents are important because they are really all that a genealogist needs in order to succeed in tracking someone's ancestors. We don't need any information about the descendants but we do need the birth dates and places of those grandparents. Once they are found in the census, all of their ancestors can be found (theoretically at least!). This principle applies especially to autosomal DNA matches, who are usually living and who may wish to have their privacy protected. All we researchers need are their grandparents! The information gleaned provides a gateway to the places and times of their own ancestors.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Creative searching for the Diabo family of the Mohawk tribe

I had some good luck in my search for the Diebo family of Canada and New York. The person I was searching for was Joseph Diebo or Diabo (as I found out through the 1915 New York Census--thank goodness for those in-between State censuses). He does not appear, at least not together with his wife and children, on the 1920 or subsequent census records. His children can be identified by the last name Deibo or Diebo.

Although he stated on that census that he was an alien and had been in the U.S. for ten years, I found him listed in the 1900 census in a school in Seneca, Erie, New York for Catholic Indian boys. It pays to check for people in times and places that might work, even if there is a statement to the contrary! I could tell it was the same person because in 1915 he has family members living with him who also appear in the 1900 census. He was identified as Indian on that census, with 1/8 white ancestry.

 I looked then for the brothers of Joseph, and found a scholarly write-up on line of his brother Paul, who had challenged deportation from the U.S. to Canada in the 1920's. The article gave the names of the parents of Paul and of Joseph: James Diabo and Therese Montour. Further research on those names revealed that the family came from Sault St. Louis, and Caughnawaga in Canada.

 I was surprised to find this much information on families with Native American ancestry, and was pleased to see that there were a number of websites listing marriages, graves, and family lines of the Mohawk tribe in that area. I found a nicely transcribed census record of the Indians in Canada in 1901, and learned that "Diabo" was sometimes written "Dailleboust." Of course--sounds similar!

The research wasn't easy at first, but I kept telling myself that there was always one more place to look, and it was a quick look at that gave me the clue that led to all the others--that 1915 New York census record.