Having my parents here while filling out the family tree turned out to be very helpful. I didn’t learn anything too exciting about my dad’s side of the family, thought we did get a great many of his aunts and uncles married off to the right people.
But on my mom’s side, I was able to really get some good information. First, I had been stuck on my grandpa’s mom–Marie Corcoran. Let me tell you, the amount of Marie Corcorans who were born in Illinois at the turn of the century or right before is pretty dang large. And they apparently all have mothers named Mary. But I was able to discover, while showing my mom the census records that listed her uncles as small children, that Marie’s dad was born in South Carolina and her mom was born in Illinois.
Well, the amount of Corcorans who were born in both South Carolina and Illinois and who had a daughter named Marie? One couple. William and, of course, Mary.
I even found William’s parents–James and Bridget–who came to South Carolina from Ireland.
So, that was fun, because before yesterday, Marie was basically just a big question mark.
But! More excitingly, having my mom here to help with her dad’s dad’s people–the Riches–was very helpful. We knew the basic outline of the story–that Grandpa Bob’s people had gone out to Colorado and then there was the Dust Bowl and so they returned to Chicago.
And because Grandpa Bob was born in Colorado, we were able to find his birth place–Arapahoe, Colorado.
Mom said that it wasn’t just Grandpa’s immediate family who went to Colorado, but the whole family. So, I looked in the census records for all the Riches in Arapahoe, Colorado, and read down the list until we hit a Beatrice and Mom shouted “I remember my dad talking about a Beatrice!”
So, I traced Beatrice’s family tree, found her dad–Leonard Rich, who had a brother Robert, and a brother Clayton and, Bingo!, that’s Grandpa Bob’s dad! (So, we’ve complicated the story that Grandpa Bob was named after Robert Louis Stevenson–since apparently he had an uncle Robert as well). Well, once we found Leonard’s branch of the family tree, we were able to discover his (and Clayton’s) dad–Frank–and Frank’s dad, also Leonard.
And we could follow the Riches on their westward trek–Leonard born in New York, Frank born in Michigan (where we were supposedly notorious socialists), Clayton born in Iowa, and Robert born in Colorado. Interestingly enough, it seems that it was Frank who hauled the whole extended family out to Colorado.
Then they mostly came to Chicago, which was, interestingly enough, not a “back” as they had never been there.