Monday, February 13, 2012

Genealogy research moves even more slowly than government

I can say that with authority, as I am deep in both. 

Way last year I wrote about my father and his brother and sisters in the Childrens’ Home, and included my Aunt Laura’s magnificent Chronicles.  I thought it a poignant story of events that happened more than a hundred years ago.  I had comments from several readers who had similar childhood experiences, or had listened to relative’s stories.

When the Childrens’ Home (now called Children Services) responded to my request with their records of my father’s stay at the Home, it was a scanty type written page transcript of records they had recalled from deep storage in another state.  The records were returned before I had opportunity to see them.  I did ask for and received a copy of the one record they identified in the transcript, a letter from Peebles County in Colorado notifying the Home that George Lytle, my father’s father, had died there.  But this avenue was quite the dead end.  The woman in the “Client Rights Office” was prompt to tell me these were not public records I was requesting and they had no legal mandate to help me, but she was doing as much as she could, short staffed and all.  Or, don’t bother her any more.

I took one nugget of the Home's information and ran with it.  “Our records indicate Mr. Lytle left the family in 1918.  He was located in Coalmont, Pennsylvania but did not appear in Court in Pennsylvania.”  Bingo.  Why was my grandfather required to appear in court?

I trolled the internet to see if I could find court records for an obscure hamlet in Pennsylvania.  I came across the historical society of Huntingdon County, where Coalmont is located and sent them an email asking if they could tell me what court to approach.  They replied with several suggestions, and concluded by saying that for a forty dollar donation they would go look for me.  You can believe that went in the next outgoing mail.

Within two weeks I had a packet from a genealogical researcher with copies of court records concerning George Lytle’s order of extradition to be turned over to the State of Ohio.  And an offer of further help, if requested.  I sent another forty dollar donation, the cost of the return tank of gas.  What a bargain.

I have written to the Summit County Clerk of Courts to learn what courts were in operation at the time of the order of extradition.  That has been two weeks; I may have to get another historical society involved.  I’ve pieced enough together, though, to have an interesting story to post tomorrow.

The sun is melting all the snow and seducing the cat. Jan quoted me the song Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine.


  1. Good for you following the clues. I hope you find lots more information on your family.

  2. my sister does the genealogical research for our family. fits and starts, dead ends but the farther you go back the more threads you have to follow. receiving a tip from a far distant cousin she found that we are descended from a king of Norway in the 900s (I think, I've already forgotten) but being a younger son my forbear traveled to England and received lands and a lordship from the then current king. I even have a castle! But again, my line descends from a younger son and the line that inherited, lost it later. I've been meaning to get the details from my sis and do a post on it.

  3. Eagerly awaiting your next post! Toby looks as though he has a white heart shape on his tummy. Please give him a fussing from me.

  4. Good luck on your research! There is nothing that portrays contentment more than a cat lying in the sun!

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This breed of cattle are very gentle.

    I can't reply to your comment so I came back here. Have a good one.

  6. Much of my own families history is lost so this has particular interest for me. I am really looking forward to your next post.

  7. Oooo! This is like a mystery! Follow the clues. Excited to read the next post!!!