Monday, February 8, 2010

Madness Monday - A photograph Helps Solve the Question of When Nancy Died

Nancy Ballenger Robinson is my gg grandmother and one of the oldest children of William and Lucinda Ballenger, who I wrote about last week for Madness Monday. She married one of Boulder, Colorado's early pioneers and later in their lives they moved to Montana probably either with their children or to be near them. After Nancy's husband Daniel died, she stayed on in Montana, living off and on with her various children.

My goal was to obtain Nancy's date of death and place of burial. The latest record I had for her was a 1925 homestead file in Stillwater County, Montana. She was not listed in the 1930 Federal Census. It seemed logical that she might have died in Montana, so I sent off to the Montana State Vital Records Office for her death certificate (this was before the index was available online). They were able to search well before 1925 and well after 1930 but she was not in their index. Frustrated, I set her file aside.

At a later point, while looking through some of the family snapshots taken at Alki Beach in Seattle, I notice a woman who looked suspiciously similar to a photo I had of Nancy. Was she visiting her children who had moved on to Seattle? Or had she possibly moved there herself? I was able to check the Washington Death Index and there was a Nancy Robinson with a death date of 7 September 1927. I obtained her death certificate and discovered Nancy had followed 3 of her children when they moved to Seattle and had been living with her daughter Georgie Williams.

I was able to visit the cemetery where she, my great grandparents and my grandparents are buried in Seattle. Sadly, she is buried in an unmarked grave.

So now I have an end to that story and as a result of the research I did trying to find Nancy's death date, I now have names for several more faces that keep showing up in some of the family snapshots.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Goodrum

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the Geneablogger community! I heard about your blog through Lisa Louise Cooke's Valentine's Day podcast.