U is for Under-utilized

Don & Anne Grant, Eleanor & Harold Melanson

Don & Anne Grant, Eleanor & Harold Melanson

These records are not high on the list of sources for genealogical information, but can yield important clues to further your efforts.

City Directories- a good indicator of mobility–when did they arrive in or depart from a city?

Court Records: Probate, Wills, Divorce, Adoption, criminal

Land Records/Plat Maps – Check for who the neighbors were… often relatives.

Dawes Rolls

•A Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, also called the Dawes Commission after its chairman, Senator Dawes, was established by Congress in 1893. Its purpose was to exchange Indian tribal lands in the southeastern United States for new land allotments to individuals in Oklahoma. More than 250,000 people applied to this commission for enrollment and land. Just over 100,000 were approved. The rolls do not include the applications that were rejected, stricken, or judged to be doubtful. Those found eligible were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.

•Today these five tribes continue to use the Dawes Rolls as the basis for determining tribal membership. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on the rolls.

Family Vignette: Uncle Mickey

I grew up calling Eleanor and Harold Melanson “Aunt” Dusty and “Uncle” Mickey, even though they were not related to our family by blood. They were more than blood–they were my parents’ best friends. Here’s the story of how it all began in my Dad’s words:

“I was about 10 years old when I met Mickey. He went to our church, and that’s where we met. After a few years he moved near me and we palled around a lot after that. We didn’t do much but go to school and work on small farms in the summer. Mickey came from a large family and they didn’t have much money so whatever he earned went to his mother and we spent mine.

One Friday [circa 1948] Mickey and I and Bob Dicker decided to take a ride in my new 1936 De Soto up to the White Mountains, which was a long trip in those days.  We had a ball and stayed overnight somewhere near Mt. Washington. The next day we started for Lake Winnipesaukee. there was a hill about eight miles down and my brakes let go. We came down about 70 mph free-wheelin’, as the motor didn’t hold the car back at all. It was a narrow country road and we went so fast through small towns the hub caps all flew off. We made it to the bottom, stopped (changed our shorts…) and headed for my Uncle Harry (Gilchrest’s) houseboat on the Lake. We did not get to the town until 11 pm so we drove into a big open field and slept the night in the car.

The next morning I heard somebody hollering at us and running towards us. I looked around and realized we were parked right in the middle of the golf course of the General Wolfe Hotel. Boy did we make tracks out of there! They never did catch us, but we sure dug up the course! We finally found Uncle Harry’s boat and had a ball on it for a day, then went home.”

Through marriage, children (our “cousins,” and best friends, Tammy and Hal), trials and triumphs, until the day Dad died, he and Mickey remained the best of friends.

Post Script: This week Mickey passed away. As sad as we all are to lose him in our everyday lives, we are happy for him to be free from the pain of his mortal body and know he is very excited to be able to see and visit with Donald again after almost 20 years of being apart from his “best bud!”

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge 2014


About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Family, Genealogy & Family History, Good Old Days, Life Lessons, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to U is for Under-utilized

  1. Sammy D. says:

    What a charming, funny story about a loving friendship with a bittersweet ending – not an ending to theur friendship, just to the earthly portion of it. Very touching.

  2. kristin says:

    I have found city directories very helpful in my genealogy to place people when and where.
    It must have been a sight seeing that car flying through town losing hubcaps.

  3. Marie Abanga says:

    You take record keeping very seriously in this part of the world and it is as fascinating as it is important must admit. Thanks also for the family vignette 🙂

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