One of the mysteries I’ve been pondering for years is the whereabouts of my great great grandfather, George Washington Adams (1938-1945) after his divorce in McLean County Kentucky in June of 1920 and before he checked into the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Danville, Illinois, in July 1922. I haven’t found him on the 1920 census and it’s been bugging the heck out of me. In the divorce, he was awarded custody of his 12-year-old son Wayne Horace Adams (1907-1976) and for the longest time I was looking for the two of them.
A few years ago, I found Horace (as he was known then) on the 1920 census living with his half brother. I blogged about how an indexing error kept his whereabouts elusive. But I still haven’t found George on the census. When I was at RootsTech this year, I did a free consult with a genealogist from Trace, seeking help on the question George’s whereabouts between 1920 and 1922. The genealogist asked me why I wanted to know. I didn’t have a good answer, but I still wanted to know. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any Eureka! moments in that short session, but she gave me some avenues to pursue.
In any case, as I was working through my backlog of downloaded documents during the August 30 x 30 challenge, I processed a couple of newspaper articles that shed some light! It was very exciting. (I found out an article about him visiting a son in Oklahoma in 1921 and returning to Kentucky in 1922, a month before entering the soldiers’ home, with his son, after an extended visit to Oklahoma. I don’t know which son, but it’s something.)
Those newspaper articles had been languishing on my hard drive for two years! If I were processing my documents as soon as I downloaded them, which is always my goal, I would have had this information years ago. This is an inconsequential example, but it shows how these newspaper articles–which can be a bit tedious to process–can contain important nuggets. (Here’s a post I did on how I process newspaper articles.)
Lesson learned. My resolve is stronger than ever to eliminate that backlog, which I’m working on once again in this month’s 30 x 30 challenge.