If At First You Don't Succeed…

Scholefield Family Tree

Come on, we all know the rest…Try Again! And that is true even in genealogy. There are several reasons for this: many times databases are updated or changed, new databases are being made available, and sometimes you just have a stroke of genius which leads you to request a search you have not used before. And sometimes, the same database on two different systems will produce different results.

On the other hand, maybe you just forgot which searches you had completed or were dumb and did not make a note of your findings.

I have run across Mary Ellen (Crampton) Fitzgerald’s death information — possibly for a second time. I can’t remember if I actually was searching and found it but was putting off blogging about it and did not make a note. All I know is that I realized I didn’t have her death information, figured that I had to have looked for it before, started with the widest possible search, and when I found the record, it actually does look like something I have seen before. But enough babbling, onto the information.

I ran a search for all ‘Mary Fitzgerald’s in the California Death Index at Rootsweb. There were only (surprisingly) 123 results. One of which is our gal:

born 01/17/1864 [this is incorrect] in CALIFORNIA
mother’s name BERNETT
father’s name CRAMPTON
died 08/05/1940 in SAN FRANCISCO1

Just for fun, I went to Ancestry.com and ran the same search in what is reportedly the same database — no results. Even attempting to narrow down to the information above does not return this result.

1. “California Death Records,” database, Rootsweb (http://vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ca/death/search.cgi : accessed 9 Feb 2009), entry for Mary Ellen Fitzgerald (5 Aug 1940); Citing California Department of Health Services Office of Health Information and Research Vital Statistics Section.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.