Sometimes you really need the obituary – Luxembourg-American research

I’ve been tracking down the siblings of my Luxembourg born great-grandfather. Why? Because the family was close knit and actually used photographs (my great-grandfather was a photographer) to keep in touch. I know there are many I haven’t seen and to find them, I need to find the people holding them… Like every other genealogist, I love photos.

In tracing his sister’s family, I hit a brick wall. I had a death certificate for a child – listed under different last name – that I couldn’t place anywhere on the tree. What was I missing?

When the death certificate is available online, genealogists often don’t bother to order an obituary (usually they can be obtained from the local library). In situations like this, that choice can be a mistake. Obituaries usually list far more of the family than the death certificate.

And so did the  obituary for this child. It didn’t indicate how she was related to her parents, but it did give me her husband’s name – and an idea. Using the age listed in the obituary and her husband’s name, I was able to trace her back on the census.

She was in the family tree already – listed under her nickname… I probably should have caught that “Maggie” was a nickname sooner.  At least I finally know what had happened to the child who disappeared from the family!


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