A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.



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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Puzzling Your Way Through to Answers

When you start researching the spouses of sixth cousins, the chances of actually knowing the person (or your cousin for that matter) are pretty slim. Don't get me wrong, I have introduced myself to extended family via mail, phone, and Facebook. Facebook is particularly fun because you get a window into distant relatives' worlds and they get to peek into your world too. I have several distant cousins in far flung places who have become Facebook friends.

When I search, my usual modus operandi is to do wide and then targeted Google searches and Pipl searches. Between the two websites, I can usually match up someone who is still living (or recently dead) and lots of time I end up with contact info in case I want to contact the person. These types of searches rarely fail. However, when they do, it can be a long slog to finding the info you need.

The search for Harold Iverson was one of those rare failures. I had a problem...too little information and too many search returns. A Google search returned several results for Harold Iverson...but no hint on which Harold is the right one.

When I started, here's what I knew: Harold Iverson was married to Consuelo D. Mangano b. 22 Sep 1931 Saint Louis, Missouri. Consuelo is a McKee cousin of mine via her mother. Consuelo's parents were:
Roy O. Mangano
b. 18 Feb 1917 Saint Louis, Missouri
d. 26 Jan 1996 Saint Louis, Missouri (FAG 60855895)
Mildred H. McKee
b. 12 Aug 1911 Central Township, Saint Louis County, Missouri
d. 14 Mar 2006 Saint Louis, Missouri (FAG 60062371)

Roy's obituary said that Connie was married to Harold Iverson but it gave no location for the Iversons. Mildred's obituary said that Consuelo was married to Hal Iverson and it also gave no location. However, I still had a new piece of information. Consuelo and Harold went by the nick names Connie and Hal. When I searched for Connie and Hal Iverson, I found an obituary...and a location...Lakewood (Pierce County), Washington.

Robert Gene Iverson 1953 - 2002
Bobby left this life on March 20th to meet Grandpa Roy. He left behind countless memories of love and beauty with his mom and dad, Connie and Hal Iverson of Lakewood, WA; his twin sister, Betty Jean Ashby-Iverson of St. Louis, MO; his sister, Karen Porras of Aurora, CO; his brother Steven of West Palm Beach, FL; his brother Kenneth of Tacoma, WA; and his beloved partner, Michael Lyons of North Bend, WA. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM Monday, April 1 at the Bonney-Watson Funeral Home, Capitol Hill, 1732 Broadway, Seattle; (206) 322-0013. Cremated remains will be committed to the waters near The Dry Tortugas, FL at a later date.
Pub Date: 3/29/2002 Tacoma News Tribune 
Other circumstances (Grandpa Roy and the Saint Louis connection) gave me the confidence that I had the right family and the right location. From this point forward, finding an address in city directories was easy. I could match the addresses for Hal and Connie. In addition, the city directories included Hal's date of birth, 19 Aug 1928. 

Having a date of birth meant that I could search the social security death index. I found that a Harold Edward Iverson b. 19 Aug 1928 had died in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington on 23 Jul 2006. Lakewood, Washington is a suburb of Tacoma. In addition, the index noted that the social security number had been issued in Wisconsin before 1951. Perhaps Hal was born in Wisconsin. 

For cross confirmation, I checked the Tacoma newspaper (The News Tribune) and found a death notice that said the Harold E. Iverson of Lakewood had died 23 Jul 2006...no birth location. 

I'm continuing to work on tracing information for the Iverson family, including hunting for a burial location. If I get too antsy, I can always contact Connie. However, from my point of view, I still have lots of work to do before I try contacting Connie. I'll post an update when I find more to say about the Iverson family. 

In the meantime, the point of this post is to examine what you know and see if you can put the puzzle pieces together. The most benign pieces of information--in my case, nick names--might be just the thin trail of info you need for success. 

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