Monday, May 17, 2004

I've found you! Kunta Kinte! 

My great-great-grandmother, however, is still playing coy and hiding her 1870 and 1930 wearabouts. Y'see, I took the day off from work today with a mind to go watch Bunnah's gymnastics class. (It's a parent thing.) Since her class wasn't 'til 6:30, however, I decided to spend the early part of the day at the National Archives to do some research in the census records. I mainly wanted to follow up on a census report I got via the wunnerful message boards at RootsWeb. (Okay, the boards are actually hosted at Ancestry.com, but I always access it through RootsWeb.) Based on the 1870 census listing, I speculated that the Hamburger clan moved to New York from Canada before 1860, so I wanted to find them in that census. I also hoped that g-g-grandma, who was 12 in 1870, might be living in the same area as g-g-grandpa. I figured that there wouldn't be too many 12 year old girls named Celestia living in Hastings township.

There weren't. In fact, there was only one Celestia--a grown woman. So instead of expanding my search to the whole on Oswego county, I decided to go looking for the g-g-grandparents in 1910, 1920, and 1930. (I had recently learned, in one of my various internet searches, that g-g-grandpa, Lewis, lived until 1930 and Celestia until 1942.) Finding them in 1920 was a breeze. the other two searches, however, were hampered by the fact that there is no index for the 1910 and 1930 records. I checked their 1920 residence in both censuses and of course, they weren't there. My mother's side of the family has been very practical and stayed put in Schaumburg, IL for over a century. The Hamburger clan, however, are a bunch of nomads. They do have the common courtesy to stay in Oswego and Onondaga counties, but every time a census rolls around, they're somewhere else. (Well, I guess Lewis and Celestia did eventually stop moving. ;-) ) Of course, I suppose I'm not one to talk--I'm hardly typing this from Scahumburg, IL. (By the by, my family is consistant in that the past four generations have been born along the I-90 corridor. Hamburger Grandpa was born in Syracuse, NY; Hamburger Dad in Chicago; I was born in Elgin, IL and Poodlepums was born here in Seattle. Each town has an exit ramp to I-90.)(This bit of trivia is provided free of charge.)

Another distressing thing that I discovered today is that my family is a bunch of liars! Until today, all I had for the great-great-grandparents was census records from 1880 and 1900. (The 1890 records were toasted so nobody's getting those.) Both state that Lewis and another g-g-grandfather, William, were born in Canada and Germany, respectively. Well, today I found the 1920 records for Lewis and the 1910 for William and in those they both claim to be native New Yorkers! Celestia is even weirder. In 1880, she was a native New Yorker whose parents originated in Canada. In 1900, her dad is still Canadian, but now her mom is a New Yorker. In 1920, both parents hail from New York! I figure either my kin tend to go senile as they age, or that the state of New York had managed to annex parts of Canada early in the 20th Century, or that my kin lie through their teeth. Knowing the Hamburger clan penchant for humor, I'd vote for the third choice.