14 Day Challenge #3: Create a Timeline

14 Day Challenge #3: Create a Timeline

[I’m participating in the 14 Day Mini Research Like a Pro Challenge. Thanks to Diana and Nicole at Family Locket for sharing their expertise and guiding us through the experience.]

I love timelines. Years ago, I worked on a complex project to piece together the lives of Myrta Z. Belknap and her daughter Lucy Theodate Holmes (you’ll recognize the names if you’ve read The Devil in the White City) and I created an Access database to sort and organize the many events I wanted to wrap my mind around. It was pretty cool — and extremely helpful.

Today, my challenge project focuses on one little thing — finding a death date and place for Nicholas Connolly, my great-great grandfather — and so, really, what I need it to do is narrow down a range of dates for when he disappears from the face of the earth.

Considering my focus, the most important timeline information I have is this:

1891 : Nicholas was enumerated at 9 Terrace Street, Northowram, Halifax, Yorkshire, England with wife and children

1898: Rosella, his wife’s daughter (presumably fathered by Nicholas, but not necessarily), was enumerated as age 3 in 1901, making this her approximate birth year

1901 : Nicholas’ widow was enumerated at 9 Terrace Street in the same place

It appears that I will be looking for a record of Nicholas’ death sometime between 1897 and 1901.

I went ahead and added other entries to my timeline though. Why? Because when I find his death certificate, I am going to have to make a good case to prove it’s his and having other information such as approximate birth date and occupation in the various years may prove useful in that regard.

Date Event Source
1854-1856 Born in Ireland (27 in 1881; 35 in 1891) 1891
1880 Birth of son John Hg or Ed in Halifax (1 in 1881; 11 in 1891; 21 in 1901) 1891 1901
1881 Living at 13 Old Lee Bank, Ovenden Township, Halifax Borough, Yorkshire, England with wife Catherine and children 1881
1881 Occupation: Hemp Cutter 1881
1882 (after census in 1881) Birth of daughter Mary in Halifax (9 in 1891; 19 in 1901) 1881 1891 1901
1884 Birth of daughter Margaret A in Halifax (7 in 1891; 17 in 1901) 1891 1901
1887 Birth of daughter Catherine in Halifax (4 in 1891; 14 in 1901) 1901
1889 Birth of son James in Halifax (2 in 1891) 1891
1891 Living at 9 Terrace Street, Northowram Civil Parish and Municipal Ward, Halifax Municipal Borough, Yorkshire, England with wife Catherine and children 1891
1891 Occupation: Mechanics Laborer 1891
1897 Daughter Agnes born (4 in 1901) 1901
1898 Daughter Rosella born (3 in 1901) 1901
1901 Wife “Katherine” enumerated as a widow at 9 Terrace Street 1901

I debated on whether or not to include source citations and source analysis in this document, and I decided not to.  I see this timeline as a rough outline to help me overview what I know about the family and I will likely add to it as I look for information about other family members. If I wasn’t participating in the challenge, I wouldn’t share it.

But, tomorrow I will pull together an evidence analysis document that looks at information that is directly relevant to the research question (When and where did Nicholas Connolly die?) and that’s the place where I will carefully record the details.

On another note, I’ve already made two entries in my “Suggestions for Further Research” notes.

First, based on a quick glance at the census records and Catherine’s answers to the how many children born/how many living question in 1901, I’m thinking James likely died between 1891 and 1901.

And, I’m pretty sure the 1880 birth year for Mary Connolly, my ancestor, that’s been on the FamilySearch tree for years, is wrong. If she had been born in 1880, she would have almost certainly appeared with her parents in the 1881 census.

Of course, there’s a small possibility that this is the wrong Mary Connolly, but I don’t think so. Family tradition says her mother’s maiden name was “O’Toole” and there are “Tooles” in Nicholas Connolly’s household … but that’s a big project for another time.

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