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Since I mentioned receiving my great-great grandmother’s obituary yesterday, I thought I would share how finding it would lead me down a path you may not have considered.

I don’t know much about my great-great grandmother, Mary Marble, and know nothing of her parents, siblings, etc.  I know she was born in Vermont, moved to Oneida County, New York, met and married Levi J. Ballou, and eventually headed west, settling near Wheaton, Illinois where she raised her family on a farm.  I  know she died there, too.  But what of her parents?  How could I find out?

Well, doing a name search on “Marble” led me to every Marble and marble, big “M” and little.  Not so helpful. So, I tried “Marble, Oneida, NY” in the search engine and was led to every site that contained the word, “marble” in Oneida County.  Still not so helpful.  I decided to shelve Mary Marble for the time being and continue my searches elsewhere.

Then, last night, I received a copy of Mary’s obituary.  What clues would this provide?  Would it name her parents?  Would she be survived by siblings still living in New York?  Mmmm…  Well, take a look for yourself.

“What a lovely woman…I wish I had known her,” was my first thought.  Very loved, such a Christian, what a legacy!  But what clues could I glean about her family?  Her children were not mentioned.  Her parents are referred to as “pious members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”  I have the name of the pastor, but not the exact name of the church in central New York.  Mary became a member of the church in 1829.  So, my first step was to find the pastor in the 1830 Federal Census records.  I found him living in New Hartford, NY at the time.  I know that Mary and Levi’s family lived in Oneida County at one time, and New Hartford is in Oneida County.  I don’t think the pastor or the Marble family would have traveled far to attend church in those days, so now my search continues as I search for a Methodist Episcopal church in that area.  I haven’t had the time to trek down this road yet, but I will!

I just wanted to show you how you can use documents of any kind to gather information in your search.  Never overlook anything, as it may provide clues you never thought about.  Keep up the good search.  Remember, I said this was addicting!