Photo linked from Findagrave.com
Albert Monson Parker and wife, Elizabeth Y VanZant
1) What was your best research achievement in 2014? Tell us - show us a document, or tell us a story, or display a photograph. Brag a bit! You've earned it!
Finding the Albert & Elizabeth Parker family in Montana and documenting their relationship to my great grandfather, Charles Albert Parker, was my biggest breakthrough in the year 2014. I'd been looking months for a clear parental connection between this couple [the Parkers] and my great grandfather.
Charlie Parker ended up living most of his life in Missouri where he raised two daughters and a son with his wife, Leona Ann Anderson. I had US Census records documenting an "Albert and Elizabeth Parker family" living in Iowa & Nebraska but there was no trace of them in their later years. Since "Albert Parker", "Charles Parker" and "Elizabeth Parker" are fairly common names, I felt I needed concrete evidence that could connect the Parkers that immigrated to Montana to the Parker family that lived for years in Iowa, then in Nebraska, and finally in Montana.
My big break came through a distant cousin I met through FamilySearch.org. He sent me scans of several documents, including an obituary for Charlie's step brother Edwin E Smith, which helped me finally connect all the pieces. [Thank you Cousin Robert!]
2) We all have elusive ancestors. What research problem do you want to work on in 2015? Tell us where you want to research and what you hope to find.
In 2015 I hope to discover more about the Parker and VanZant families, especially Elizabeth's parents.
- Why did the Parker family leave the mid-west and head to Montana?
- And how did my great grandfather Charlie end up in Missouri?
- What's the correct spelling of VanZant? I've documented at least four different spellings
- Is Elizabeth's mother's maiden name Sarah Hutton or Hutlon?
- How did Elizabeth's first husband, Esiriah Edward Smith die? This is when a death certificate would come in handy.
- Discover more about the child, Henry S Parker, that shows up on the 1880 US Census while the family is living in Woodbury, Iowa but isn't listed in the 1885 Nebraska Census or the 1900 US Census? Perhaps he was a child that died young. Once again, I need to locate a death certificate.