Monday, November 2, 2015

Still Playing in That Research Sandbox

Every now and then, someone shares a great genealogical research utility—good enough to stop everyone in his or her tracks long enough to put the thing through its paces—and we all drift off delightedly to experiment with the research possibilities.

While I've been sifting through the slivers of Tully family newspaper clippings—mostly, obituaries of mystery relatives—a genealogy angel stopped by, in the form of blogger Elizabeth Handler of From Maine to Kentucky, to share a resource. I had been trying to take those obituaries and link them with family from the Ontario counties of Brant and Huron—and was bemoaning the lack of adequate search capabilities on Find A Grave for Canadian cemeteries—when Elizabeth provided a link to resolve that issue.

If you had missed her comment, she directed us to a site which actually turns out to be home to yet another genealogy blog, Stalking the Dead by Bruce Gordon. The handy genealogical tool included on this site is a Canadian map with hyperlinks—click on either the province names below the map, or click directly on the province in the map, itself, and you will be led to a second page with hyperlinked names of each of the counties in your selected province. There, you can view an alphabetized listing of all cemeteries in your selected county, or view them relationally in a map of the area.

While this may sound cumbersome in the description, it infinitely surpasses the clunky utility provided on the Find A Grave site for zeroing in on a cemetery in Canada—unlike the site's convenient arrangement for United States searches, where one merely needs select both state and county from a drop down menu, searches for Canadian information cannot be specified by province, let alone drill down to the level of county.

In my case, while I determined that my mystery Julia Tully was likely Michael and Margaret Tully's daughter known as Johanna, I had promised myself to revisit the obituary for the other Tully child—John and Catherine Tully's daughter Margaret (Daisy)—where the text had requested, "Detroit (Mich.) and Seaforth (Ont.) papers please copy." I wondered whether the Catholic cemetery in or near Seaforth might reveal some additional family members—in particular, John and Michael Tully's missing sister, Margaret.

Elizabeth Handler's recommended search utility led me to the spot quite handily. I found plenty of entries for those surnames in my Ontario database in the area's cemeteries. Nothing conclusive, of course—that would be too easy!—but this was encouraging.

I had to revisit one more old post to help determine just which branch of the Tully family might have been the residents in Seaforth. As it turned out, while there were some Flannerys in the area—remember "Ed-blot"?—the main connection was through the Ryan family, the married name of John and Michael's older sister Johanna. The census records for 1871 and 1881 included Ryans intertwined with Flannerys in McKillop Township in Huron County—exactly as one would expect for a location near the town of Seaforth. Though the Ryan family eventually moved westward—as we've already discovered—perhaps someone in the family may have remained behind, something to follow up on as I keep pursuing whatever became of John Tully's sister Margaret. If she no longer was in Paris, and obviously didn't go all the way with the family to Chicago, where did she go?  


  1. The Margaret Tully Fortune I found in Find-A-Grave was from McKillop Township. I remember because the name of the town seemed a little odd. :)

    1. Yes! That's why I've been so amazed with that possibility. There are too many other details aligning nicely, Iggy!

  2. I'm glad I could help! I look forward to reading about any Canadian burials you find that help you in your research!

    1. Actually, Elizabeth, it's already helping me zero in on one possibility, which I'm still checking out carefully. Hopefully, there will be others.

      Even if it doesn't turn out that way for my Tully line, there are others for which this device will make searching on Find A Grave so much more expedient. Again, Elizabeth, I certainly appreciate the tip!


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