12 January 2007

Hello, My Name Is Sharon and I'm a Genealogist.

Yesterday morning while eating breakfast, I read that Yvonne De Carlo had died. Some folks wondered if De Carlo was really her mother's maiden name of if Yvonne really had Italian ancestry. I spent the rest of the morning searching for records on the Internet.

I looked at census, marriage, death, birth, and divorce records for California, British Columbia, and Canada as a whole. I found the death of Yvonne's mother Marie Middleton, which gave her maiden name (De Carlo) plus the maiden name of her mother (Purvis). I found marriages and deaths of people named De Carlo in Vancouver that could have been Marie De Carlo's siblings (John and Constance) and parents (Margaret and Michael). I found nothing in Canadian census records, which only go to 1911.

I also found nothing on Yvonne's father, a man named Middleton, at all. British Columbia marriage records did not have the marriage, but they may have married elsewhere and not all provinces (or states) are indexed, so I did not even know his first name.

Then I made the bed and ate lunch.

In the afternoon, I searched immigration records for American and Canadian ports. I found records for John Purves De Carlo, a merchant sailor based in Vancouver, who was the right age to be the brother of Marie De Carlo, Yvonne's mother, and his middle name matched her mother's maiden name. He said he was born in France.

I found a record of Margaret De Carlo entering the US in 1923 for a visit. She was born in Scotland and had arrived in Quebec in 1902 or 1912 on the Ionian.

I looked at census, marriage, and birth records for Scotland -- which I found little of -- and England, where I found a Margaret Purves the right age born in Scotland, but nothing to tie her to Yvonne.

I did a bit of grocery shopping, ran a couple errands, and made dinner.

After dinner, I returned to the passenger lists for Canada. They are not indexed, but are available to be read online. In just a few hours I found the family. Father Michael, mother Margaret, children Concetta, Mary, and John. All the right ages. The whole family was listed as Italian and Presbyterian and on their way to Vancouver.

A few anomolies, but I went to bed a tired and satisfied genealogist.

This morning, I walked to the library and checked out Yvonne, an Autobiography. In it, Yvonne De Carlo talks about her grandparents Michael and Margaret De Carlo. Michael, she says, was from Sicily. He had moved to France when he was young. There he met and married the Presbyterian Scotswoman, Margaret Purvis. Their children were born in France and they emigrated to Canada in 1912. She talks in the book about her merchant sailor uncle John, her aunt Connie, and her mother's marriage to William Middleton in Alberta.

Aren't books amazing! They're the latest and greatest technology and maybe someday they could replace the Internet.


Carol said...

I've noticed several comments from you on ruthcampbellsmith.blogspot.com

Thank you for the additional research! I've been told those are "random acts of geneaology". I had looked for a picture of an amusement park from that time period, and couldn't find one. Thank you.

I hope you enjoy reading the diaries. I post one day each day.

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

We're here when you need us, Sharon.