Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Capturing All Involved Parties

I love the index at Fold3 because all names on a document are recorded.  Finding a mention of a person of interest in a document that you would have never found otherwise opens up so many possibilities.

My ancestor Stephen C Duryea worked as a government clerk in New York City in the 1840s until the 1870s.  His name appears on a few index cards for naturalizations in the City as a witness.  I am not sure if he witnessed the event in his capacity as a clerk.  I think that his name would appear on lots of naturalization documents if this were the case.  So this leads me to the next question:  Does Peter Stewart of England have a family tie to Stephen C Duryea?  Every bit of information creates more questions to explore.

Here is Stephen's entry in the New York City directory by Doggett for 1848.  Back in the day, I photocopied the city directories from microfilm at the New York Public Library.  Fold3 has digitized them and indexed the directories, so you may view them from your own home.

1848 Doggett City Directory for New York City.
Note the variant spellings Duryea/Duryee.  This is the same (growing) family.

I do not have to return to New York City to start gathering some information on Peter Stewart.  Here he is in the 1848 city directory.  Knowing his occupation, sailmaker, will help narrow him down in the sea of Stewarts.  We can look at the other Stewarts to discover that nobody else is listed at 223 Varick.  Someone in the sailing business may be more mobile than your average elusive inhabitant of the 1800s, so be prepared to search far and wide.

1848 Doggett City Directory for New York City at Fold3.

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