Process II

Helen Louise Blue Bowen – FB query – Aug 2016 – Indiana

In my last posting “Process I” I told you I would give you the full detailed step by step process I used to find the death date for Helen Louise Blue Bowen.

What follows is a complete step by step process with details for each step, also screen prints of the documents I found and what you might want to look for when you are doing a similar investigation for a query. At the end of the document I put the links to other web sites and the text of files which might be useful for future studies.


The first (1) step in my process is to create a folder for the files that will be created or copied.

The name of the folder should be meaningful and easy to understand.

Here is the name I used for the FB query:

“Helen Louise Blue Bowen – FB query – Aug 2016 – Ind”


The second (2) step is to identify the important items in the query and put them on a text file.

I name the new text file: “Helen Louise Blue Bowen – FB query – Aug 2016 – Ind – original“. As you see the name is the same as the folder name except for the tail end “original”. I use this method of naming folder, files and text records so that all the files for the project will be grouped together and can be easily identified.

Here is the text of the FB query:

“Trying to find when a woman named Helen Bowen passed. Her husband Charles died in 1944 in the war and I’m not sure if she remarried or not. Her maiden name is Helen Louise Blue, born July 6, 1912 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to George Edward Blue and Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue. Her sister Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon passed away in 2008 and her obituary said Helen predeceased her. I have tried searching and reverse searching to see if anything comes up, but all I can find is that she was living in Arkansas at one point but it never said what years she was there.”

In this step 2, I remove all the extra words from the query and leave just words that contain information, and then put them in the “original” text file.

“Text file items”

Helen Bowen

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war

Her maiden name is Helen Louise Blue

born: July 6, 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.

 


Step three (3) is to rearrange the text file words using the information we now have; such as maiden name, expanded place names, group items together to make more sense. Some queries and obit will have information scattered throughout the item so this step is important as it allows me to gather all the information and put it into a useful format in the text document.

Updated Text file items:

Helen Louise (Blue) Bowen

born: 06 Jul 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

[Ancestry.com gives us full name – Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA]

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war (WWII)

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.


Step four (4) is to create a tree on Ancestry.com (or any other computer family tree program) and give it the same name as your folder and “original” text file:

“Helen Louise Blue Bowen – FB query – Aug 2016 – Ind”

Tree Created:

Helen Louise Blue Bowen – FB query – Aug 2016 – Ind

owner: josemunoz2546

link to tree: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/103323027/family/

001 - Helen Blog


Step five (5) is to start picking up records that are given as hints or which you have found on web sites such as Family Search.

002 - Helen Blog

Be careful in this step because it is very easy to start picking up the wrong information.

When looking at a record, make sure you have more than just one item that matches. Just because the person’s name is on the record does not mean it is your person.  Notice that the three hints are all from different states, one is Indiana, one is Michigan and one is Arkansas.


Step six (6) I pick up the 1940 census because it has information that we know; Helen and Charles living with her parents in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The only thing that I did not have was Charles middle initial “W”. The information from the record will be put on the tree and I will copy a text file and put it into my folder.  Remember the first thing I did was created a folder to hold all items. (See Below for text transcript)

003 - Helen Blog

The marriage record does not match because the husband is Charles L Pelkki and it is in Michigan.

The US Public record has her name and birth date as a match but no original record to view and residence is Jonesboro, AR. (I wonder if this is why the query person said Helen lived in Arkansas) I do not pick it up but I do look at the other suggested records on the right side of the page.

004 - Helen Blog


Step seven (7) I look at the suggested records but do not pick them up because they are all Jonesboro, Arkansas records.

Since I had not looked at the suggested records on the 1940 transcript page which I picked up, I go back.


Step eight (8) I go back to the 1940 transcript page.

I do that by going back to Helen’s profile page and clicking on facts and then clicking on View on the 1940 image. When that page comes up I click on View Record.

005 - Helen Blog

The suggestions are good but not for our purpose:

1930 census, (3) Indiana Birth, 1920 census, Pub Rec for a Helen Singewald

If this was my family tree I would grab all the verifiable records but since my goal is to find when Helen died, I don’t want to take the time to pick up all other records.  I want to track her, using records which are close to her husband’s death which we know as 1944.


Step nine (9) I go back to Charles profile page, click on facts, and click on view the 1940 census so that I can look at his suggested records. (Just like we did above on Helen’s profile page)

006 - Helen Blog

Notice we have the following suggestions: a Find A Grave page, (2) City Dir, 1920 census and 1930 census.

I want to see where they lived when he died (1944) and the city directory will give me that information if they are for years close to 1944.

Note: When you bring up the transcript page for the city directory it will have some of the information that is on the original page but not all of the information. The information on this page was gathered using OCR and therefore the words could be distorted or not shown. (See OCR information at bottom)


Step ten (10) I look at the suggested records.

The first City Directory record I pull up is for the year 1943

007 - Helen Blog

I see that Charles C Bowen and Helen Bowen live at 830 Clover la, he is a MacHinist and the city is Fort Wayne in the state of Indiana. (see transcript text below)

On this transcript page we have new information that we can add to our clues on Text File, namely in 1943 she and her husband Charles C Bowen lived at the address 830 Clover la. But just because it is given on this transcript page does not mean that it is correct because of the OCR. One must look at the original City Dir using “View”.


Step eleven (11) I view the 1943 City Directory page and see this:

008 - Helen Blog

I see that they are listed at top left of a two page photo copy, so I create a “close up screen print”:

009 - Helen Blog

the entry is: “Bowen – Chas C jr (Helen) mach h1830 Clover la”

I notice that the address is NOT 830 BUT 1830 (due to OCR See OCR info below)

I also look at the front of the City Dir to see what the “la” means because some directory might have a different abbreviation code. We find that “la” stands for Lane, so the address is “1830 Clover Lane”

I make sure to put in the correct address number on the “Text file items”.

I can also put the “close up screen print” of the 1943 City Directory on the Family Tree profile page for Helen and Charles so that other family tree owners can see what I am seeing.


Step twelve (12)   Updated Text file items:

Helen Louise (Blue) Bowen

born: 06 Jul 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

[Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA]

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war (WWII)

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.

1943 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1943 – Charles was a mach

1943 – City Dir image is: 51 of 585

 


Step thirteen (13) I follow the same steps for the 1946 City directory which is the second City Dir suggestion.

006 - Helen Blog

010 - Helen Blog

I look at the 1946 City Dir even though it says Charles L Bowcii because it has a Helen L Bowcii, is in Fort Wayne and if she is a widow it would narrow my search. I also have experience having looked at hundreds of these City Directories over the past years. I know that the scanner sometimes has trouble reading the individual letters so “Bowcii” might be “Bowen”.

011 - Helen Blog

Bowen – Helen L (wid Chas L jr) clk Howard’s Camera & Gift Shop h1830 Clover la – image 40 of 358

Since the original and the transcript do not match because of the OCR I put in a correction to the record (See YouTube genealogy tutorials on how to correct a transcript error – See below)

I can now again update my text file of clues.

 

 


Step fourteen (14) Updated Text file items:

Helen Louise (Blue) Bowen

born: 06 Jul 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

[Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA]

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war (WWII)

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.

1943 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1943 – Charles was a mach

1943 – City Dir image is: 51 of 585

1946 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1946 – widow of Charles

1946 – City Dir image is: 40 of 358

 


Since the FB query is asking for a death date for Helen and we found an address for her in 1943 and in 1946 when she is a widow, maybe she is in the City Dir for Fort Wayne, Indiana in other years.


Step fifteen (15) I pull up one of the City Directories for Fort Wayne and click on View. When the page comes up I look at the top header and click on the year.  A pop down panel with a list of all the available year appears and the last year they have in the collection is 1960 so I click on that year.

1960 year city dir list

012 - Helen Blog

Remember we copied the image number for 1943 where we found Bowen and that number was 51 of 585. Also in 1946 the image number was 40 of 358. Now in 1960 we have 1 of 902 images and we must find Bowen among those pages.

Highlight the image number and type in some number such as 90 since the 1943 image was 10% of the total. We keep doing this; typing in an image number and looking at the names on the page. When we get close such as this image 180 we use the arrows on the side of the page to go backward to a page that has “Bowen”.

013 - Helen Blog

We find “Bowen” at the top of image 178 of 902, we look for Helen or Clover Lane but it is not on this image so we go back one page to image 177 of 902 where we find the start of the Bowen listing.

014 - Helen Blog

015 - Helen Blog

We see that a Helen Bowen is not listed but a Judy Bowen is listed as living at 1830 Clover la (Lane).

 


Step sixteen (16) Updated Text file items:

Helen Louise (Blue) Bowen

born: 06 Jul 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

[Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA]

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war (WWII)

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.

1943 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1943 – Charles was a mach

1943 – City Dir image is: 51 of 585

1946 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1946 – widow of Charles

1946 – City Dir image is: 40 of 358

1960 – No Helen Bowen listed

1960 – a Judy Bowen ofc clk Cent Soya r1830 Clover la

1960 – City Dir image for Bowen is: 177 and 178 of 902

If Helen is not at her old address in 1960 but a Judy Bowen is living there then:

Question to answer: is Judy related to Helen

Question to answer: does Helen have a new last name?


Step seventeen (17) go to the front of the City Directory and see if they have a street listing like so many City Directory had in the past.

We find a description at the front of the Dir and it tells us that there is a street listing. So once again we use the image number to page through the directory and on image 741 of 902 we find Clover Lane listed. We also find that 1830 Clover is occupied by a Singewald – Ray F who has a phone.

016 - Helen Blog

017 - Helen Blog

This listing gives us a name but no connection to a Helen, so we must use the image numbers once again


Step eighteen (18) find the listing for Singewald.

On image 593 of 902 we find Singewald.

018 - Helen Blog

“Singewald Ray F (Helen L) slsmn American Greeting Publ h1830 Clover la”

So we now have a connection in 1960 with Helen at the same address that she and Charles lived at in 1943 and where she was a widow in 1946. We also know that a Judy lives with her and Ray F. Singewald. So we can update our clues text file.


Step nineteen (19) Updated Text file items:

Helen Louise (Blue) Bowen

born: 06 Jul 1912

in Fort Wayne, Indiana

[Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA]

husband: Charles Bowen

died in 1944 in the war (WWII)

father: George Edward Blue

mother: Beulah Pearl (Shively) Blue

sister: Bonnie Belle (Blue) Shannon

died: abt 2008

Bonnie’s obituary said Helen predeceased her

Helen might have lived in Arkansas at one point.

1943 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1943 – Charles was a mach

1943 – City Dir image is: 51 of 585

1946 – lived at 1830 Clover Lane

1946 – widow of Charles

1946 – City Dir image is: 40 of 358

1960 – No Helen Bowen listed

1960 – a Judy Bowen ofc clk Cent Soya r1830 Clover la

1960 – City Dir image for Bowen is: 177 and 178 of 902

1960 – at 1830 Clover Lane lives at least three people:

Ray F. Singewald and his wife Helen L: image 593 of 902

with another person named Judy Bowen: image 177 of 902

 


Step twenty (20) put all this new information on to the tree:

The 1943 City Directory info for Charles is different because it has a “Charles W” and he have him as “Charles C and a Jr” we make those corrections.

The 1946 City Directory info has his middle initial as L, so we add that to his profile page.

The address in 1943, 1946 and 1960 City Directory is the same; 1830 Clover Lane Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Helen has a new husband named Ray F Singewald and they live at 1830 Clover Lane.

Another person named Judy Bowen lives at the same address with Helen and Ray; we don’t know the relationship between Judy and the married couple so we can put Judy on tree but not connect her to anyone else. We will use the relationship button later, to add a mother and father to her.


Step twenty-one (21) we look through the suggested hints and records that we are now getting for George E Blue, Beulah Pearl Shively, Bonnie Belle Blue, Helen Louise Blue and Ray F Singewald. Maybe one of those records will give us a death of Helen.

We do find the 2008 death of Bonnie, Helen’s sister and also the Find A Grave memorial which has her obituary. Remember the query said “(sister) Helen predeceased her“, but still no death date for Helen.

Bonnie Blue Shannon 1920-2008 - Arz


Step twenty-two (22) we look at the Find A Grave hint for Ray F Singewald and on the memorial page there is a Helen listed but we still don’t have a solid confirmation that this Helen is our Helen Blue.


Step twenty-three (23) we pick up the Find A Grave pages for Ray to capture the information they have for Helen L Singewald (1912 – 1997). We put the information on the tree even though we are not 100% sure that we can confirm the information.

The Find A Grave memorial pages can be a bit iffy to pick up because those pages are created by people who may or may not have the real information. Sometimes the memorial page has many relatives listed with their birth and death dates but there is no source on the page. I pick up memorial pages but I am careful of the information that I put on the tree.   

Ray - Find A Grave

We will pick up the Find A Grave page for Ray and also get the Helen L information. Also on the page we see an obituary which has information about Ray’s daughter named Judy Montanye, so we will assume that this Judy is Judy Bowen who lived at 1830 Clover Lane. We fix her relationship on the tree to point to Ray as her father. The obit does not say Judy is Helen’s daughter but we can assume she is because of the Bowden last name. Since in the obit Judy has a different last name we will assume she is married and we will also add a husband to Judy and put her residence in 1992 as Fort Myers, Fla.

Family Tree at Montaney

As we have been picking up new records in the hints and added them to the tree other hints have come up. We have to look at those new hints to see if one contains the death date for Helen or at least a confirmation that she is Helen Blue.


Step twenty-four (24) we look at the hint which has the death record for Ray F Singewald, and we get a good possible confirmation because it has an actual photo copy of the death record and modern death records are usually typed and contain fairly reliable information.

I pull up the transcript of the record (see text below).

019 - Helen Blog

I then go into the actual record using VIEW.

020 - Helen Blog

021 - Helen Blog

Here we finally have our confirmation “Helen L Blue”.


Step twenty-five (25) we can now accept all the clues as being 100% accurate.

Helen born on 06 Jul 1912 died on 09 Aug 1997

Helen was married twice; once to Charles who died in 1944 and then to Ray L Singewald

Helen lived at 1830 Clover Lane from 1943 until Ray’s death in 1992

Helen lives with a daughter named Judy (need to confirm if it is her daughter or Ray’s daughter)


Step twenty-six (26) we contact the FaceBook person and tell him that we found the death date of Helen and Alex Reed replies with a Thanks.

Conclusion Notes: We have found Helen’s death date and have confirmed her marriage to Ray. We also saw that she lived at the same address 1830 Clover Lane from the time she was first married to Charles until her second husband Ray died. We can assume she never left the state of Indiana so the Helen in the Arkansas records are not our Helen Blue even though the birth date is the same. The fact that the record does not have an actual record we can view leads me to believe that someone transcribed a record but mixed up some information, or there indeed is a Helen who was born on the same date as our Helen. In any event we will not have any Arkansas records on Helen’s Family Tree.  


Other Items for reference:

OCR Information:

I will use Ancestry.com own words to describe what you can find in a City Directory.

 

“About U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

This database is a collection of directories for U.S. cities and counties in various years. The database currently contains directories for all states except Alaska.

Generally a city directory will contain an alphabetical list of citizens, listing the names of the heads of households, their addresses, and occupational information. Sometimes a wife’s name will be listed in parentheses or italics following the husband’s. Other helpful information might include death dates for individuals who had been listed in the previous year’s directory, names of partners in firms, and forwarding addresses or post offices for people who had moved to another town…

…This collection was created using a new OCR indexing method that improves searching and results…”

[for Ancestry.com users: above can be found on –http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2469]

Notice in the above explanation the term “OCR”. It refers to:

“Optical character recognition (OCR) software works with your scanner to convert printed characters into digital text, allowing you to search for or edit your document in a word processing program…”

(this info is from http://h71036.www7.hp.com/hho/cache/608037-0-0-39-121.html)

Since the city directory is created using OCR technology some of the text you see on the transcription may not be correct or not all there.

I was always upset when I saw an address or name which was clearly visible to me when I looked at the original page but on the transcript page was not accurate. I did not know that a machine (OCR) was grabbing those items.

 

There are several good videos on YouTube that explain the use of City Directories.

I have watched these three:


1940 United States Federal Census

Name: Helen L Bowen

[Helen L Blue]

Age:       27

Estimated birth year:     abt 1913

Gender:               Female

Race:     White

Birthplace:          Indiana

Marital Status: Married

Relation to Head of House:         Daughter

Home in 1940:   Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana

Map of Home in 1940:    View Map

Street: Third Street

House Number:                1325

Inferred Residence in 1935:        Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana

Residence in 1935:          Same Place

Sheet Number:                 3B

Occupation:       Cashier

Attended School or College:      No

Highest Grade Completed:          High School, 2nd year

Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:    4

Class of Worker:               Wage or salary worker in private work

Weeks Worked in 1939:                26

Income:               350

Income Other Sources:                 No

Household Members:

Name    Age

George E Blue   54

Beulah Blue       48

Charles W Bowen            28

Helen L Bowen                 27


(1943 City Dir) – U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Name: Charles C Bowen Jr

Gender:               Male

Residence Year:               1943

Street address:                 830 Clover la

Residence Place:             Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Occupation:       MacHinist

Spouse:                Helen Bowen

Publication Title: Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, 1943


(1946 City Dir) – U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995

Name: Helen L Bowcii

Gender:               Female

Residence Year:               1946

Street address:                 830 Clover la

Residence Place:             Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Occupation:       Clerk

Spouse:                Charles L Bowcii

Publication Title:             Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, 1946


Possible genealogy tutorials on YouTube video links.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlAvutSHbRg

 


Find A Grave Memorial Page

Ray F Singewald

Birth:     Oct. 29, 1910

Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana, USA

Death: Dec. 27, 1992

Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA

(Obituary)

RAY F. SINGEWALD, 82, of Fort Wayne died Sunday in Parkview Memorial Hospital.

The Greenfield native was a retired sales representative for American Greetings Corp. and member of North Highlands Presbyterian Church.

Surviving are his wife, Helen L.; daughters, Jill Wagner of Cape Coral, Fla., and Judy Montanye of Fort Myers, Fla.; sister, Johanna Singewald of St. Paul, Minn.; and three grandchildren.

Services are 11 a.m. Thursday in D.O. McComb & Sons Lakeside Park Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Ave., where calling is 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Preferred memorials are gifts to the church. News-Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, IN) – December 29, 1992

Family links:

Spouse:

Helen L Singewald (1912 – 1997)

Burial:

Greenlawn Memorial Park, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA

(memorial page) Maintained by: JC

Originally Created by: HoosierGirl88

Record added: Sep 08, 2011

Find A Grave Memorial# 76205847


Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011

Name: Ray F Singewald

Gender:               Male

Race:     White

Age:       82

Birth Date:          29 Oct 1910

Birth Place:         Greenfield, In

Death Date:        7 Dec 1992

Death Place:      Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, USA

Marital Status: Married

Spouse:                Helen L Singewald

Father:                 Frans Justice Singewald

Mother:               Gertrude Fryman


Confirmation of address:

I did find confirmation on these other Family Search records. The SKM record below confirmed the 1830 Clover Lane address.

Ray F Singewald

 

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK4D-FSQQ

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV2L-KNHG

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KTJ2-SKM

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JBBB-JMR

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KTJ2-9TM

 

After I found Helen’s death date I continued playing around with the tree and picked up records which had good sources and added people to the small tree.

Family Tree after picking up many hints

From the query we had Helen, her parents, a husband and a sister all the rest of the info on the tree we found by picking up hints and following clues.

 

 


Thank You.

I hope this lengthy step by step has given you some new ideas on how to chase down a family tree mystery and will help you organize information for your genealogy work.

Jose, M.Ed

from Clarkston, Michigan

Blog: https://newspaperproject2012.wordpress.com/

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