Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Blogging Gets My Butt in Gear

Green Bay Press-Gazette (abt 1951)
I've said it before and I'll say it again, my blog gets me into my research.  We blog to connect with other genealogists, but we also blog to get the names of our families out there in hopes of making connections, and I know that I blog to get my work done.

Think about it, I'm dedicated to my genealogy research but everything ends up getting in the way.  Life just has a tendency to do that.  When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I told myself that I wasn't going to give it up.  I didn't know what I was doing, but I was going to post and I was going to post regularly.

Even if I only transcribe an obituary, I'm looking at it and making sure it's in my tree and citing it.  I've got tons of obituaries that haven't made their way into my tree so this is a good thing, but I've been trying (when the kids aren't saying, "Mommy, mommy, mom, mom, ma..." every 2 seconds) to do more then just transcribe.  I'm trying to see if there's anything new that I can find online while I'm doing it.  Sure not everything is online, but not looking doesn't help, and when I conduct this research I can always put into my Research Log what I need to do offline.  Research and planning at the same time.  Sweet!

So this is what I'm tackling this evening as I watch the playoffs...

"Long Illness Fatal To Frank Dart, 49

Frank Dart, 49, 1203 Reber street, died in a local hospital early Wednesday evening following a lingering illness.  He had been employed by the Van Drisse Motor company for 28 years, and for the last year by the Checker Yellow Cab company.

Survivors are his wife, the former Mildred Van Caster; two sons, Donald and Cletus, Green Bay; and a daughter, Mrs. Bernard Motquin, Green Bay.  Also surviving him are six grandchildren; his mother, Mrs. Louise Dart, Green Bay; and two brothers, George, Green Bay, and Richard Algoma.  He's father died a year ago, and a brother, Harvey, preceded him in death four years ago.

The body is at the Schauer and Schumacher funeral home, where the rosary will be said at 8 o'clock each evening.  Funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock Saturday morning in the Cathedral.  The Rev. John Gehl will offer the requiem mass and burial will be in Allouez cemetery."

Since this was one of those clippings that I have with no publication information, I had to do a little research on the newspaper.  I confirmed my suspicions (using Google maps) that 1203 Reber Street is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so I'm fairly certain that the newspaper was The Green Bay Press-Gazette. As for the date of death and birth.  Sadly only an age was given for Frank Dart and no birth. I do have Frank (and his siblings) already in my family tree, but I had no birth.  So here we go...

I searched on and found a record for his birth on December 1, 1903 (in the Wisconsin Birth and Christenings Index, 1826-1908, FHL Film# 1302886) to John B Dart and Louisa Jadin.  This was a great find since I had no maiden name for his mother and no death date for his father, Jean Baptiste.  Now, I'll at least be able to estimate since the obituary tells us he died a year earlier.  I also didn't have any information on his brother, Harvey's, death so I can estimate that one too.

I actually had no spouse for Frank previously.  Now I do and there is another Van Caster in my family tree already, not Mildred, but it may be a relative.  All the same region!  No proof yet though.  Moving on....

Since I had no spouse for Frank, I had no children.  Now I've been able to add and cite them.  Of course I have no name for his daughter since, at that time, it was acceptable to say nothing more than "Mrs. Bernard Motquin".  An irritant to genealogists mean an exciting new puzzle to try to solve!

A quick online search wasn't favorable for finding a name for his daughter, but I have high hopes of finding her, Jean Baptiste, Harvey, and many more people as I get through the hundreds of newspaper clippings that were passed on to me and my blog will help me get there.  I just need to persevere!

[Frank Dart is my husband's 1st cousin twice removed].


  1. Thank you for what you are doing to post genealogy on your blog. I have so much I need to add to mine, many family members, many photos and records. Our resent life does get in the way at times, but I think its important to carry on the family line. I just wish I could get family that are living interested. I wont be here on this earth one day and I hate that all these years wont carry on. I hope someone will want to pick up that torch!

  2. Sounds like it's been a really productive day! Blogging does have a way of making us tie the lose ends together. Congratulations!

  3. Kathy - Don't know if it's been REALLY productive. I was a little distracted by watching the playoff games, but was determined to work too!

    I think most of us worry about having someone to pass our work on to. I am fortunate that most of my family does like the work I'm doing even if they don't want to get out there and do it, they are willing to share. Maybe when my boys grow up one of them will take it over. I just need to make sure it's ready when they do.

  4. Cheryl,
    I just stumbled onto your blog while searching louise dart on google. Frank Dart was my grandfather although he died many years before I was born. Frank's son, Donald, although he went by Arthur in California, was my father. I may be able to fill in a little bit of that family history. I'm not sure how to contact you and do not want to publish my email address. I did subscribe to your blog though so that may work?

    1. My email address is linked to this blog so I don't mind giving it out. It's :)