Side Trips in Genealogical Research

One of the road hazards of genealogy research is the lure of side trips. A particular question might come up that I am curious about or an oddity of place, year or name will grab my attention. The most recent example of a side trip was an interest in Euphemia’s son, John Garwood Ross.

Most of the other children spent their lives in Ohio, but John left Ohio in the early 1900s and moved to California. I wondered just when he had left Ohio to head west and looked for him in the 1900 census. He was on the census, still living in Logan County, Ohio. He was listed with a wife of two years, Althea M. He also had a new baby son about two months old; young enough not to have a name yet.

The next checkpoint was the 1910 census. This time the family was in California living in Fresno. Their son had been named James. John was working for the railroad and Althea was working as a fruit packer. The census listed two other people living with them, Sarah V. and Albert M. Sweet, John’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law. That meant Althea’s maiden name was Sweet. I remembered finding that name before, so I checked through my database and found that John’s great-aunt, Jennett Ross had married a Fielding H. Sweet.

So I followed Sarah V. Sweet (Althea’s mother) back through a couple of censuses to see who her husband had been. Sarah’s husband and Althea’s father was Sanford H. Sweet. Sanford turned out to be the son of Fielding H. Sweet and Jennett Ross. So John and Althea were second cousins.

Occasionally those side trips turn up interesting facets of family history.

(And no, I do not know for sure why they moved west, but it might have had something to do with John’s job with the railroad.)

Second Cousin Relationship of John Garwood Hewlings and Althea Maud Sweet.


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