The First Mystery: Where it all began

From Dallas to Portsmouth

My genealogical journey started with a question -- where did my paternal grandfather come from and where did he disappear to? Almost 2 decades ago -- before there was technology to bridge the miles and shorten the research time -- my father traveled to Dallas to try to find some answers. 

Based on family lore, he believed his grandfather came from Texas via the railroads (he worked on them). Using census research, he found two possible candidates (because the name is a bit unique): one in Dallas and one in Arkansas. But given the family stories, the Dallas one seemed the most likely candidate.

He travelled to Dallas and spent many hours at the fantastic Genealogy Section of the Dallas Public Library (if you haven't visited, it's a must for anyone serious about tracing their roots). He found some information -- although very little by today's technology-assisted standards -- but the most compelling find was his grandfather's death certificate:

The death certificate (my favorite research tool) provided a wealth of information and created even more questions:  who is/was Vivian Craig? Why did he leave Texas to come to Virginia, and then go back again? That's where my father's journey ended but, ten years later, that's where my journey began.

I solved that mystery (I believe) and went on to find and solve many more. I'm a research and technology junkie, and researching all sides of my family (and my husband's family!) has become my passion. This blog will share some of the interesting stories, connections and mysteries I've found; it will share any techniques and resources I've come across; and will serve as a platform to share and work with my new AAGSAR friends!


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