I need help to find my gg Grandfather william J Hammill dob 1866 in Detroit Michigan.

+4 votes
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I would like any help on where to  look for information on my great grandfather.  William j Hammill. b 1866, came to Minnesota and married my great  grandmother Elvira Hatch in Milaca, Minnesota around 1899.  They divorced 6 years later and that's as much as I have found.  He was never mentioned again that my Dad ever knew of.  I was wondering if there are different was to search to throw out a wide net of information?  Thanks Kathy Hammill Tougas.
WikiTree profile: William Hammill
in Genealogy Help by Kathy Tougas G2G Crew (360 points)
...like Eric says, your profiles are unsourced which leads to brickwalls.  Best to start with your father and find and post the 1940 census which likely exists and then do this for the previous generation.  If you click the link he provided and then click the records section at Famiy Search there likely is a great deal of information not yet posted.
Thank you for the information.  I have added a couple of photos from Grandma and Grandpa's wedding certificate and I'm not quite sure if I have the source part of it right though.  Kathy

1 Answer

+1 vote

I saw that you don't have any references for Elvira Hatch.

Information for Elvira Hatch, from the Minnesota State Census, 1885:

"Minnesota State Census, 1885," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQFJ-LSQ : accessed 13 April 2016), Elvira Hatch in household of Emily Hatch, Princeton, Mille Lacs, Minnesota; citing p. 20, volume Traverse, Mille Lacs, Pine, Benton, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 565,756.

This is probably a match, based on name, location, approximate birth year.

If this is a match, the reference above shows her mother and siblings, but no father. I assume that he passed away before 1885.

by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
Thank you for your help I've added some sources and I'm not sure if I'm doing it right or not if you could look that would be great thanks Kathy
Hi Kathy,

You're doing great! :-)

That's quite an intricate marriage certificate! Thanks for uploading these photos.

I went ahead and added the reference I found to the profile for Elvira Hatch. The link that is in the source will take you to the FamilySearch site where I found the information.

What I like about FamilySearch is that when you look at a source page, at the bottom of the page it gives you the exact paragraph that you can use to cite the source. You can see that I just copied & pasted this paragraph into the profile. This also contains the link back to the source on FamilySearch.

This is how you start stitching together a the background of your family.

Now with what is on the profiles so far, this is how I would go about doing further research. Others may have different or more suggestions.

First, your immediate goal is to find more about William J. Hammill. Sometimes it's challenging to do direct search. So we have to do it indirectly by finding out more information around the person.

* You uploaded a photo of the divorce notice. There are 3 minor children listed. You currently only have one son listed, Clifford Hammill. Who were the other two? What are their birth dates?

* I go to Clifford's profile, and the biography says he was born in 1896. This was before William and Elvira were married. He would be about 4 years old during the 1900 Census. You can use FamilySearch to see if you can find them in Minnesota. If any of the other children were born before 1900, then they will probably be listed too in the 1900 Census.

* I see that there is already a reference on William's profile to the Minnesota state Census in 1895. You can go to this reference in FamilySearch, click on Elvira, and then copy & paste that citation to her profile. Then do the same for Charles. These are great sources for them too.

* It seems that Minnesota does a state census in between the US Census. Can William and Elvira be found in a Minnesota State Census in 1905? Was a state census done then? Were they still married at the time that Census was done? I see that they divorced about 1905. Do you know when that divorce happened?

* Did William stay in the area, or Minnesota afterwards? Can he be found in the 1910 US Census in Minnesota? Or does he just "disappear"? If he stayed in the area, did he remarry? If so, then you can search for Marriage Records in Minnesota.

* William was born about 1866 in Michigan. Can he be found in the 1870 US Census in Michigan? Or found in the 1880 US Census? It may be hard if there are multiple matches. His names are not so unique that it's easy to spot a match, but oftentimes you can infer the right person based on approximate birth year, and location. If you can find a good match, that it's likely him, then you can possibly find his parents and siblings, and then this is a good starting point to the rest of his family tree?

Hope this helps you think of questions to ask and ways to approach the research.

Eric

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