What do you do when you are about to embark on a journey, but you are not exactly sure where you are headed? I'd say, even in such doubtful circumstances, it's important to formulate a plan. So, step one as I launch into this adventure to learn more about Aunt Rose: outline a plan for how to approach this month's exploration into the life of Aunt Rose.
Before I can draw up a plan for this month, though, it would be wise to take an inventory of what I already know. This, I began with yesterday's post, when I reviewed what I had already written about this sister of my paternal grandfather. However, besides checking what I've already written, it would help to review the documents I've found, to see what gaps in Rose's timeline might be begging for more information.
Though Aunt Rose, like her tight-lipped brother who refused to divulge his national origin even to his own children, was not born in the United States, I do know I'd like to focus on what else can be found on Aunt Rose through American resources. Besides rounding out the collection of the usual documents—census records, marriage records, and death certificate—I do want to know more about her day to day life. For this, I have precious few resources, but I know there have to be more out there. This is where online newspaper resources become a potential goldmine—especially those society pages which keep tabs on who was invited to wedding showers and baby showers, or dinners with out-of-town guests or extended family. I want to harvest as many names as I can find from the pages of local newspapers. Even more, I would love to learn what life was like for this aunt I've never met.
Finally, as I was reminded in the last two weeks, I need to revisit my DNA results, not only through Ancestry.com's ThruLines tool, but also using the tools at MyHeritage, which is rich in matches from European countries. According to my ThruLines results for Aunt Rose's Polish maternal grandfather, for instance, I have twenty matches which belong to that line. Examining their trees online might lead to more information—and I won't forget to reach out and connect with those distant cousins, in case anyone might welcome a conversation on our mutual research focus.
We'll make that first step a wrap-up of our document inventory with tomorrow's post, before we launch into an in-depth exploration of Aunt Rose's milieu, the thriving, bustling metropolis of New York City.