My Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness

My Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness

This has been a thoroughly enjoyable challenge to complete for the Genea-Blogger Group Games. Any reason to do genealogy research is a good time in my book. It doesn’t matter if it’s my family or not. I’ll research anyone. It’s always good to work on trees unrelated to your own. You often find yourself in localities and resources that you normally wouldn’t work with.

In order to accomplish this challenge, I posted a thread on the forums at It’s an online book swapping site that I’m very active in and I know several people are working on their family trees.

I offered to do census look ups for the first two people who responded. I got responses within minutes of posting the thread.

The first request was to find Claude Alumbaugh in Indiana in the 1930 census. The person supplied spouse and children’s names.

This turned out to be a very easy search. The Alumbaugh’s were centered in one region of Indiana and quite easy to find.

Since the first search was so easy, I decided to see how far back I could go. I found the family in the 1930 and 1920 census. I also found a possible relative, Oscar Alumbaugh, living next door in 1920. I found him in 1910, but no Claude. In 1900, I found a Claude with his parents. It’s possible this is the person’s family. I couldn’t go any further in the census records without confirmation of Claude’s parents’ names.

I then decided to see if anything else existed on Claude. I found him in the World War I Draft Registration Records.

This person’s tree is back to at least 1918 and possibly to 1900.

The next request was to find the Merhmann family in Pennsylvania. I didn’t have any luck here as the information didn’t go back to the 1930s. Their were many Merhmann’s but it was too far of a jump to piece together names.

I asked for more information and was given the name Sarah Campbell in Pennsylvania, a widow, living with her children. This turned out to be much easier. I found Sarah Campbell and her children in the 1930 census.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t go any further. Sarah seems to vanish in 1920. It’s possible that her name is transcribed wrong. Searching for Campbell in Pennsylvania was just as good as trying to find Smith without a first name. I don’t know Sarah’s husband’s name. A search for him may turn out fruitful.

In accomplishing this challenge, I was able to help out two researchers who are just starting out. With any luck, this bit of information will infect two more people with the genealogy bug. 🙂

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