12 February 2011

Finding Treasures

William "Billy" Grant and Lillie Woolsey

I had one of those happy dance moments the other day. I was on Ancestry.com just poking around to see if there was anything new on my family. I clicked on a leaf by William G Woolsey profile.

Normally the only thing I look at are the records. I'm so often disappointed by what other people have placed as fact in their trees that I don't look at trees that much, but this day something compelled me to look. Again I was some what disappointed because so many people have fallen prey to the genealogy pit falls that I experienced early on with the Woolsey family. I'm ashamed to admit, but before I knew better, I also shared the same information claiming it to be fact. There are a great deal of trees that now have a William Woolsey and Armile Hatch as the parents of William Grant Woolsey. However, I have yet to see any of these trees use anything other than census records to substantiate this finding. Since then I have traced that Woolsey family to a William Woolsey who died and is buried in Spokane, WA, ironicly 30 from where I live today. I have been in touch with that William Woolsey's family and we are not related. I know it's a lack of experience, but it's so frustrating to continually see this. Okay, enough venting. I think you get the point as to why I don't look at trees often other then to gather potential clues to dig deeper for records.

Any way this time was a bit different. Though I had my usual disappointments I also had a moment of shear joy. For the first time since I began my quest I got to see the face of my ggg grandfather William Grant "Billy" Woolsey! I've already seen a picture of Lillie his wife, but I had never seen a picture of William, and everyone in the family I have talked to has never had a picture to share either. Above is that photo. William died in 1913 at the age of approximately 50, give or take as I have yet to find concrete proof of his birth, only numerous records that contradict each other on his birth year. I would venture to guess that this picture was taken some time around 1910 and likely in Garvin Co., OK where he lived.

Unfortunately I didn't find any new information, but this photo was enough to put me on cloud nine for the day.

Well that was until recently when that moment of joy was obliterated! I shared the photo with a wonderful man that I have recently made contact with who knows more of the story behind William that I have been searching for years to find. He told me to take a second look at the photo. Notice the 1930's Ford behind the man in the photo? I do now! This mean the the man in the photo CAN NOT BE WILLIAM G WOOLSEY, as he passed away in 1913. *sad* Why does this man have to be such a myster????????

Then to make my week even better. The next night I decided to look to see if there was any new information on my best friend's Portuguese roots. One that I have had very little luck with because of my lack of experience with Portuguese genealogy. As if my week couldn't get any better it just did. There in the tree of a distant cousin to my friend were three more generations of information and photos to her Victorino family!!!! The only thing we knew is that her grandfather's mother was Mary Victorino and I had never found anything more. I think that was because of the Portuguese tradition, of which I still don't quit understand, of using two surnames and my distance from our old home town, otherwise I might had found more if I were close enough to make it to the courthouses in Stanislaus Co., CA The family can be found in records further back with the name Victorino Azevedo.

Anyway the following picture was found that then lead to more finds. I have since been in touch with and put my friend in touch with her cousin Gloria. It has been a real treasure for her whole family who has been just buzzing on Facebook about it. Her grandfather had apparently destroyed the families photos after the tragic death of his wife, and therefor her family has had no photos beyond the past 40 years or so. It's moments like this and the joys I know I bring to others when I help them find those special treasures that make me keep doing what I do.

The Victorino Family of Newman, CA
The Victorino Family Standing Ida age 13, Manuel age 17, Ellen age 11, Anna age 10, Mary age 15, Manuel Victorino Azevedo age 43, Maria Josepha (Cunha) age 44, Rose age 9 (Baby Tony Balthazar baptism)

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