Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back on track !

I don't know if there is anyone out there that still trys to follow this diary! My entries to " a Carroll research diary " are sporadic .

But, the winds of change are blowing !

Things are moving ahead since my March entry in this research diary.I have contacted a professional genealogist, named Kate Gibbons. She is based 1 hour from Schuylkill County and will be able to work on the case of Andrew and Catherine Carroll. We have yet to schedule the research date and finalize all the arrangements.

It seems that my tries to find a marriage date through snail mail will never come through. According to Ms. Gibbons, the parishes don't readily volunteer this information. This has surprised me after my experience of research in France(where I have been living for the last 17 years ).

In France, there is a civil birth,mariage and death registration since the French revolution (1792).Prior to this, it was the churches who recorded information.
State archives( or, archives départementales )were created, and the older registers transfered to these archives.
Anyone can consult the archives; the only requirement is the viewing delay ; all documents must be 100 years or older, to be viewed. The more recent documents that are less than 100 years are kept in the "mairie" or townhalls. There are restrictions to viewing these documents; exceptions are made for immediate family members or someone with a special permission ( professional genealogist, for instance).

To return to Schuylkill county, Ms Gibbons will be searching death dates through wills and obit lists. And may try and find burial site information.

I will not miss putting in the updates; do come and take a peek !

Happy hunting .


Christina said...

Hi Barbara,

It's great to find another expat who's trying to do genealogy research in the US from Europe! I've got German roots too on my father's side, and have written letters to several parishes here to try to locate where the family came from. We know the town name, Johannesburg, but there a lot of towns with the same name - any place that has a St. Johannes's (John's) cathedral, basically. One wrote me immediately to say they didn't find anything, I've been waiting 5 months now for the others. It really does drive you crazy!

Anyways, I'll be interested to read both your blogs now. Take care!

barbara said...

Hi Christina,
As you might see, I'am struggling to get up my family tree.Oooh, it's hard, working it from here ! I'am going to hire a pro soon, because there's no way I'am going to be able to return to PA in the meanwhile.

How lucky; you have German roots that you can work on ! How is it like working in the German archives ? Here in France, it is SO MUCH simpler. I work in French archives with my husband.
I hope you learn something soon about your ancestral village. As you can see in my blog, I had difficulties in obtaining info from PA parishes.Most did'nt even answer( I always pay return postage,too).

Looks like we have lots to chat about! You are always welcome here and at Home in France.
Take care,

Christina said...

Sadly, the archives are all on a local level here and as we don't know which Johannesburg my great great grandfather came from, I haven't been in any archives here yet! I'll be writing to the parish churches again if I don't hear from them soon. One did call to thank me for the donation (I donated €15 to each church for their time), but I never heard back again if they found anything! Argh! I've actually had much better luck getting people to find stuff in archives for me in the US!

barbara said...

Hi Christina,
Good luck writing to the parish churches.You just have to try all the the Johannesburgs ( I hope that they aren't too numerous!).

I would have been willing to pay a donation to the chuches in PA that I wrote to.
Only 2 answers, out of 5 or 6 letters.It really is not easy.

I'll keep the updates posted here when they happen. I still have to hear from the genealogist to schedule the research.

You take care. I'll be coming back to your blogs soon.