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Old 04-30-2012, 02:10 AM
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Smile Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Random Research

Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night and time for more Genealogy Fun! Play along with us and tell us about it.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow Chris Staats' rules (from Freaky Friday: Random Research Reports) for picking a random person's name and then doing some online research about that person. Here are Chris's rules (somewhat modified):

1. Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen

2. Go to Ancestry.com (or FamilySearch.org) and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page.

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name. If there are no census records, go back and obtain another randomly generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

5. Post about it on your blog or wherever you wish, or tell us about it as a comment here or a comment on Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter.

Here's mine:


1. There were no U.S. census matches for "Andrea Steele" or "Sheila Patton" so the next one was "Ellis Randall."

2. On Ancestry.com, the first census match for "Ellis Randall" was in the 1920 U.S. Census in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts.

3. The 1920 entry:

* Ellis Y. Randall - head, male, white, age 64, married, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass., no occupation.
* Clara E. Randall - wife, female, white, age 59, married, born Maine, parents born Maine/Maine
* Walter Randall - son, male, white, age 26, single, born Massachusetts, parents born Mass./Maine, a clerk in a bank

4. Working backward in time in the census records:

In the 1910 U.S. census, the family was in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts:

* Ellis Randall - head, male, white, age 54, married, for 28 years, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass., a superintendent at a shovel works.
* Clara Randall - wife, female, white, age 50, married, for 28 years, 2 children born, 2 living, born Maine, parents born Maine/Maine.

In the 1900 U.S. census, the family was in Easton, Bristol county, Massachusetts:

* Ellis G. Randall - head, white, male, born Sept 1855, age 44, married, for 19 years, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass., a superintendent of shov. works
* Clara Randall - wife, white, female, born May 1859, age 41, married, for 19 years, 2 children born, 2 living, born Maine, parents born Maine/Maine
* Elmer A. Randall - son, white, male, born Aug 1882, age 17, single, born Mass., parents born Mass./Maine, a clerk at shovel works
* Walter E. Randall - son, white, male, born Dec 1893, age 6, single, born Mass., parents born Mass./Maine
* Sarah Randall - mother, white, female, born May 1822, age 78, widowed, 2 children born, 2 living, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass.

In the 1880 U.S. Census, Ellis Randall resided in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts with his parents:

* Isaac Randall - white, male, age 61, married, a carpenter, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass.
* Sarah Randall - white, female, age 58, wife, married, keeping house, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass.
* Ellis G. Randall - white, male, age 24, son, single, a stationary engineer, born Mass., parents born Mass./Mass.

In the 1870 U.S. Census, Ellis Randall resided in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts with his parents (indexed on ancestry.com as "Landall"):

* Isaac Landall - age 51, male, white, works as a carpenter, born Mass.
* Sarah Landall - age 48, female, white, keeps house, born Mass.
* Mary A. Landall - age 19, female, white, at home, born Mass.
* Ellis G. Landall - age 14, male, white, at home, born Mass.

In the 1860 U.S. Census, Ellis Randall resided in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts with his parents:

* Isaac Randall Jr. - age 41, male, a carpenter, born Mass.
* Sarah Randall - age 38, female, born Mass.
* Mary A.S. Randall - age 9, female, born Mass.
* Ellis G. Randall - age 4, male, born Mass.

In the 1930 U.S. Census, Ellis and Clara are still residing on Main Street in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts. Therefore, Ellis and Clara both died after 1930. I wonder if they're in the 1940 U.S. census on Main Street in Easton?

All of the above is very consistent, and because Massachusetts had excellent vital records during this time period, I will look for a birth record for Ellis Randall on the FamilySearch.org site (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list, in Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915).

Looking in vital records on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org:

I found no birth record for either Ellis or his sister Mary Randall in these records, even when using wild cards for the surname, and inputting parents names of Isaac and Sarah. In the American Ancestors database for Massachusetts Births, 1841-1910 I found Mary A.S. Randall's birth record (on 11 Sept 1850) but not Ellis Randall's. The Massachusetts Town Vital Collections, 1620-1988 has a birth record for Ellis Randall in Easton, Mass. on 30 September 1855, son of Isaac and Sarah.

In the Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915 collection on FamilySearch.org, I found the marriage record of Ellis G. Randall:

Place of marriage: Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts
Date of marriage: October 1881
Groom: Ellis G. Randall
Age: 26
Occupation: Mechanic
Birthplace: Easton
Parents: Isaac and Sarah Stone

Bride: Clara E. Baker
Age: 22
Birthplace: Maine
Parents: Bradford and Helen M.

I checked the FamilySearch.org and American Ancestors.org sites for a death record of Ellis G. Randall and found none.

Ellis G. Randall acted in a play, "The Rehearsal," at his graduation ceremony at Easton High School in 1873 (Stoughton (Mass.) Sentinel newspaper clipping on GenealogyBank.com). He was a Republican delegate from North Easton, Mass. in September, 1896 (Boston Herald newspaper on GenealogyBank.com).

There are no Ancestry Member Trees, or Rootsweb WorldConnect trees, with this Ellis Randall in them.
A Google search for ["ellis g randall" easton] had only two matches; one an Ancestry tree that was not the right Ellis, and the other an Easton Historical Society newsletter that noted that Ellis G. Randall was a town officer in 1910.

That's about all I could find in about 45 minutes of searching the available online databases. A summary:

* born 30 September 1855 in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts to Isaac and Sarah (Stone) Randall.
* married October 1881 in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts to Clara E. Baker.
* they had two sons, Elmer (born 1882) and Walter (born 1893) in Easton.
* was a stationary engineer and a superintendent of a shovel works
* was a Republican delegate in 1896.
* no death information found.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/04/...n-do-some.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


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