I was happily surprised yesterday when I got the mail. I ordered copies of death certificates from the State of NY Vital Records, for two children who passed away in 1893. My ancestors, Henry Bierweiler and Louisa Dewald were listed on the 1900 Census, and were enumerated has having two children who were not living in 1900. My quest was to find more information about these children, their names, causes of death, birth dates, death dates, and whatever I could track down.
The death certificates that I ordered copies were written for a Katie and Willie Bierweiler. When I found these names, the only information that accompanied was the death dates, ages at death, and that they died in Manhattan. But their death dates, and ages "fit" within the possible family plan of Henry and Lousia's children, and the few "Bierweiler" residents of the greater NYC area of the early 1900's would leave only a few possible choices. I eagerly opened my mail. Sure enough, in Brown, black and white were the causes of death for little Katie and Willie. Also listed were their parents! As suspected Henry and Lousia lost Katie and Willie at the ages of five and seven years respectively. My next tast for Katie and Willie will be to find the local newspaper, and see if an obituary is available, perhaps listing more information about the family.
I am somewhat addicted to my research at this point. I will say, it is not my fault, but it is also not an unhealthy addiction. It is very satisfying to uncover these little mysteries about the people that I am apart of. These people walked the same walk that I walk each day. They faced the same types of daily adventures that I anticipate, fear, and shed tears...going to school, having a best friend, dating, and building a marriage, and losing loved ones. It hardly seems justified that the only thing I know about their lives are their birthdates, death dates, and where they lived every ten years.
I often think now, about how I am living each day, and how my great great grandchildren will be able to track me down and learn about my life. Everyone dreams of immortality, but can it be acheived through research? I want to think that my life will warrant more than one page of information. There is so much more to me than my birth, death and marriage date. So far, I know that I should appear on the 1990 and 2000 census. Two tiny entries of the millions who have been counted in those years. I wonder, how I can be found, amongst my many years of moving. I find it difficult to find my ancestors who are living in the same place from year to year. I can only imagine how difficult it will be to figure out why I moved from Oregon, to Florida, to SC, and the CT, and how I met my husband who was from a small town in Pennsylvania. I am anxious to fill out the next Census in 2010, and will be sure to list as much information as I can fit. One hundred years from now, I want my great great granddaughter to read that census record and say wow!