Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Paid A Visit to the State Archives and Library of Michigan Today ...

Yes, I went to the Library of Michigan and the State of Michigan Archives earlier today. I did not post anything to inform everyone that I was going there only because the visit was a bit unplanned. (I had planned to go to the Library on Friday, but my plans got changed. So, I ended up going today.) I went with my grandparents, and this time, we did not have to deal with road construction in Lansing. (When I visited before, in other years, there was always road construction that blocked the most direct route to get to the Michigan Historical Center, the building that houses the Library and archives.) Instead, I discovered that construction work is going on at the Michigan Historical Center.

I first went to the Archives, as that was what was open at the time. (The hours for the Library and Archives have been greatly reduced, so I decided to go to the Archives first.) While I was at the Archives, I decided to try to look for one of the naturalization records of my ancestors, but I was unsuccessful. I then decided to look in the social statistics schedule of the 1880 census to see if I could find someone that I could not find in the population schedule, but again, I was unsuccessful. Before I left the Archives, I asked one of the archivists if he knew where the 1904 state census was, and I learned that it had not survived. The archivist told me that during World War Two, the state census records were thrown out to make room, and that the surviving state censuses held in the Library came from the counties that happened to keep copies of the state censuses for their counties. So, the state censuses held by the Library appear to be the only state censuses that survived.

After the Archives closed at 1 p. m., I went to the Library of Michigan (in the same building), as the library opened at 1 p. m. At the Library, I started to search for my ancestors in the 1884 state census for Bay county, but I did not have any luck. (I'll just have to try again.) I then looked in the 1894 state census for Bay county, and I found them. Included in the household of my ancestors was a man that I had been trying to connect to me ancestor, and I finally had a relationship listed between him and my ancestor. The only problem was that he was listed as a son to the head of the household, which was impossible as the head was only seven years older than that man. (I write more about this later.) I then decided to look for an obituary of an ancestor, and I was able to find her death notice. I continued to look through old newspapers, but I did find any other information that would help. I last decided to look through the NARA index for naturalizations to see if I could find my ancestor. I had to figure out the soundex code for my ancestor, as that was how they were indexed, but after I w s able to figure it out, I was able to find my ancestor's index card. After I found that record, I had to leave as the Library closed at 5 p. m. So, after researching for about five hours, I was only able to find a little bit of information. Hopefully, the next time I visit, I will have some more success in my research.

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