Sunday, August 14, 2011

My great grandfather hates me.

I really think he does.  Which is odd because I've never met the man in person (he died 2 years before I was even born), though I am starting to get to know him through my research.

I'm talking about Harold J. Crow(e) (Sr.).  I originally thought he and his family had been abducted by aliens, but I finally found those rascals hiding in plain sight, victims of an indexing error.  I also requested his military records from NARA.  Unfortunately, the fire in St. Louis in 1973 destroyed his records, so they are having to be recreated from some random other records.  I contacted the Continental Baking Company (Wonder Bread) company to see if they had any photographs or old employment records from the 1930s ... no dice.  I'm still waiting for an answer from General Motors (it's been 2 months).  Convinced yet?  Wait, there's more ...

As I was going through his file, I realized that I didn't have his birth certificate yet.  Birth records weren't officially kept in Indiana until 1907.  He was born in 1899.  It was a long shot, but I took it anyway.  As I mentioned in my last post, I received what I assume is a transcript of his birth record on a shiny new birth certificate (I'm pretty sure I asked for a photocopy, but whatever) accompanied by a handy-dandy "genealogy sheet."

Take a look and you'll see why I was disappointed:

The parents are correct and the date is correct, but there's no way I can use this as proof of anything!  Aaaarggghhh!  (The record wasn't even filed for almost a month ... I bet my poor great grandfather spent the first few months of his life being called "the baby."  At least I know that by June 1900 - the date of the census - they had decided on Harold John.)

Remember the handy-dandy "genealogy sheet" that came with it?  Not much more help.
While it does contain some additional information that isn't on the birth certificate (race and age of mother and father, mother's maiden name, etc.), it really doesn't help as far as identification.  See?  He hates me.

So what now?  I'm pretty sure it will be futile to contact the Perry County Health Department and request a photocopy of the actual book page, since the certificate they sent didn't have a name on it, the book probably doesn't either.  Is there some obscure record group I don't know about where you have to register your children once you pick a name?  Please say there is.  Does it qualify as "proof" if you have this sort of birth record and the very next census - 9 months later - shows a child born in September 1899 named Harold J.?  Obviously, I'm going to have to equip my "inferential genealogy" hat if I want any answers about my great grandfather.

Just for the record ... school is done.  Final algebra grade is a B (which is totally acceptable under the circumstances).  Hear that?  That was a sigh of relief.  I'm so happy to have some time to actually devote to my research now.  


Unknown said...

Jenny, both my mother and my mother-in-law are listed in their respective county birth registers by the name "female." When we mentioned this at our local genealogical society meeting, it was suggested that we apply for a copy of the Social Security application for each of them. You need to provide proof of identity for a Socical Security account. Both these women had accounts so they proved "something" to the government. We haven't sent for these applications yet. It costs $27 apiece the last time I looked. Hope this helps. (And tell me what inferential genealogy steps you're considering, please!)
Congratulations on the B in algebra; I know it has been worrying you.)

Unknown said...

Thanks Sue! I already have a copy of his SS-5, so that may be all the proof I need. I think that between the birth record, the census record, and the SS-5, I can make a valid connection. I will probably also see if there is a baptismal or christening record somewhere in order to strengthen the argument.

As far as the inferential genealogy goes, I don't really have a plan at this point, other than what I mentioned above. So far, every document I have gives the same birth date, same parents, etc. for him, so I may not need the inferential-ness just yet. I'll let you know if that changes :)

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