Genealogy is a bit like building a puzzle. Or like a scavenger hunt. On your way you find here a piece and there a hint. And very often you research in parallel. At least that’s what I am doing quite often. I have this notion then that a certain person somehow belongs into my family tree but I cannot put my finger on it.
And this is what just happened again. I made a big step forward on my mother’s line via the online database of the Allenstein Archive (today’s Olsztyn, Poland). My greatgreatgrandmother’s last name CZASCHKOWSKI turned into TRZASKOWSKI lately. I will tell you in a seperate blogpost how that happened. And this last name showed up quite often in the documents of the civil registration of the city of Bössau. For some of the people it was very easy to match them as direct relatives of my 3xgreat-grandfather Nicolaus TRZASKOWSKI and his wife Anna JASCHINSKI.
But other people were more challenging. Either the husband-wife-constellation wasn’t right or the relationship of parents to children wasn’t fitting.
We go fishing!
What did I do with this database? I went fishing! I collected all documents showing my family names, downloaded them into a new folder I named “Allenstein Archive” and created a new notebook in Evernote as a research log. I used that one to document exactly where I downloaded which document and if I was able to match it to my family tree. In addition I added the archive signature as a unique identifier.
This special folder and the notebook got bigger and bigger. How was I supposed to know that JASCHINSKI is such a common name in that area? It is the first time I concentrate on that place.
But okay, this is how it worked out well. With every match in my family tree I already had the source provided in my Evernote notebook. Nothing without a source gets added to my family tree. Some lessons have to be learnt the hard way!
Mine and the other
In parallel to “my” Nicolaus TRZASKOWSKI there was another constellation showing up. Nicolaus TRZASKOWSKI and his wife Caroline SKUBSKI. I had he notion that he somehow belonged to me. He could have been my 3xgreat-grandfather in his second marriage. Or third… or fourth. But I couldn’t prove it by the records I found so far.
So I was collecting two lines. “My” Nicolaus and the “other”. And I found quite a lot – on the “other”.
And then I spotted this one document which connected the dots of those two lines. The death certificate of the “other” Nicolaus TRZASKOWSKI. It was the son of my Nicolaus. The brother of my 2xgreat-grandmother Veronika TRZASKOWSKI.
With that and the help of my Evernote notebook I could add him, his wife and eight children to my family tree.
Like I said, sometimes it is just this one information to create a picture from all those pieces of the puzzle.