Genealogy Research Journal #4, Entry #5
So Many Pieces and They Don’t Fit Together
Normally, you start with a person’s adoptive parents but can’t find their birth parents. Helen’s adoptive parents turned out to be a pain in the butt to research. Jesuina or Jessie Fitkal appeared nowhere in the census. The surname Fitkal was absent from all the census indexes.
I gave up on the census and went to the Social Security Death Inde. I located a Peter Fitkal. His age at death fit in with the right time frame to be Jesuina’s husband. I couldn’t find an obituary for Peter Fitkal though. But, since the surname was rare and the age was about right, I was fairly sure this was the right guy.
Meanwhile, my chances of finding Helen with her adoptive parents were running out. She married Frank Correia in 1927 in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. The marriage certificate shows her birth parents names, not her adoptive parents names.
This meant that the window for finding Helen with Jesuina was limited to 1906-1927.
These Records Might Help
- 1910 and 1920 Census
- City Directories (iffy given these are women)
- Jesuina’s obituary
- Mortuary records
- Cemetery records
It was a short list and I wasn’t really sure how I would connect all the pieces. I was beginning to think that my instincts were wrong. What if Jesuina Fitkal was the wrong person? What if Helen’s relatives were wrong about her relationship to the Pacheco family? I sure hope there wasn’t another Helen hiding somewhere.
I was missing something, but I wasn’t sure what it was.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com