Saturday, January 23, 2010
Success Story: When the pieces come together . . .
After receiving the photo of the gravestone of my great great grandparents, Mark Welch and Sarah Conneally, I went back to work on filling in some pieces of the Welch family genealogy. I'd had a great start as I have the autograph books that belonged to my great grandmother, Minnie Welch Kelly and her sister, Nellie Welch. Members of the family signed their entries as cousin, brother, uncle, aunt, etc. This really provided me with the first instance of being able to connect family members together.
Email correspondence amongst my fellow Conneally "cousins" and family history researchers continued to present some more clues to family relationships. We became intriguted with the 1900 census which showed Mark Welch at age 74, widowed and living with (as indexed) Clarence Gawngus, Margartta Gawngus and their child, Alfred C. Gawngus.
Other searches of the Gawngus name showed a possible variation as Gaengus. Again, this produced very little in other records searches. So I began searching based only the first names of the family. This turned out to be successful and I discovered the correct surname for this family was Garrigus.
My next step was to, once again, look through my great grandmother's photograph album that included photos of the family members in Connecticut. There I found the photograph above. The handwriting certainly confirmed the last name of Garrigus and there was Alfred, who was listed as their son in 1900 census.
One of the Conneally "cousins" asked if the family had other children. I had come across a daughter, Ethel, in a later census. Back to the photograph album.
Alfred and Ethel Garrigus
Aha! Written on the photo were the names Alfred and Ethel. The connection to the Welch family was made! From that point, I was able to find several members of the Garrigus family which I have added to my family tree. I am hopeful that I can locate some obituaries and tombstone locations that may lead me to more of the Welch family members.
You just never know what will happen when one thing leads to another.