I've hit a dead end on both maternal and paternal sides,what can I do to find more ancestors?

+8 votes
in Genealogy Help by Jodie Willoughby G2G1 (1.5k points)

4 Answers

+4 votes

You should try to confirm all the data you have by searching on familysearch.org [it's completely free] and provide sources in the form of links on the profiles.

Cody Henry Willoughby
Texas Deaths, 1977-1986
death:8 November 1978 Tyler, Smith, Texas, United States
 father: Monroe Talky Willoughby
mother:Annie Beatrice Anthony

"Texas Deaths, 1977-1986," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KS8T-XHL : 27 December 2014), Cody Henry Willoughby, 08 Nov 1978; citing Tyler, Smith, Texas, United States, 96750, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin

I think this is your grandfather in the 1920 census with his family - which would mean his place and year of birth are wrong.

Monroe Willoughby Head M 39 Texas
Annie Willoughby Wife F 29 Texas
Bessie Willoughby Daughter F 12 Oklahoma
Bertha Willoughby Daughter F 11 Oklahoma
Beatrice Willoughby Daughter F 10 Oklahoma
Thomas Willoughby Son M 8 Oklahoma
Robert Willoughby Son M 6 Oklahoma
Cody Willoughby Son M 4 Oklahoma
James Willoughby Son M 2 Oklahoma

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJMN-T69 : 14 December 2015), Monroe Willoughby, Grayson, Jefferson, Oklahoma, United States; citing sheet 5B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,466

by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (138k points)
edited by Matthew Fletcher
my pleasure.


(ooops put this on the wrong comment. LOL)
+4 votes

I hope you don't mind, but I went to your tree and found you got a far as Cody Willoughby b Texas 1914. On Family Search, I think I found him:

1. Cody Henry Willoughby b 1914 d 8 November 1978 Wills Point, Van Zandt, Texas

father:Monroe Talky Willoughby  

mother:Annie Beatrice Anthony


Find A Grave has him buried in Myrtle Springs, Van Zandt, Texas, United States of America.


Hope this helps. Cheers

by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 8 (81.6k points)
Thank You Thank You very much!
+4 votes
Like Mattew and Susan, I also found sources for your grandfather Willoughby.

I went ahead and took the step of adding everything to his profile. There are enough links to sources that you can add his parents and siblings.

From that information, you can use FamilySearch to go back further. Sometimes you have to get creative in how you search. For example, I could find the 1940 Census and 1930 Census for Cody Willoughby, but nothing further back showed up in the search results. But using his father's name, and rough birth year, then I could find the 1920 Census, and then find Cody within that result.

Another tip is when you search on someone's birth year, don't search on an exact range. Do +/- 1 or 2 years. For example, Cody was known to be born in 1914. When doing a search, search for birth year 1913-1915. Or 1912-1916. Census records only give an *approximate* birth year. Which could be off by a year. When you widen the scope, this allows the search to find more records that might be useful, then if it was a narrow range.

The other big thing that helps in searching is having some idea of location.

For example, I found the 1930 Census for your grandmother Marie (Cody's wife). But I found what looks to be the right match because this particular 1930 Census record was for Precinct 1, Van Zandt, Texas. This location showed up in other sources for Cody, hence this is probably a match. This is coupled with the right name, and approximate birth year for her mother.

Now that you have the 1930 Census for Marie, you now have her missing father: His name, approximate birth year, and the state that he was born in. Sometimes this can be enough to go on to start researching where he came from.

Going to your mother's side is more of a challenge. The profile of your maternal grandfather, Clarence Smith, does not have any location at all. And of course only, the decade he was born in. This is ok, because of the privacy rules. However, going to his father, it's going to be really tough: A first and last name, both of them fairly common, with only birth year and death year. Without more information, like a location of some sort, for birth, death, marriage, residence, then it will be challenging to find the right match. Because then the only other information we have to match on is his wife name.

Any more information that you can get and add would be helpful in tracing it back further.
by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (531k points)
+4 votes
I do see that you got some answers here in the G2G, YAY!!!

Here's a suggestion for anyone that hits the proverbial brick wall, when no one can find the answer here:

Look for social genealogical groups. My breakthrough on my paternal line (England) came through a member of one of those groups that lives in the area where my second great-grandfather was born. With their help I was able to get back to the fifth great-grandparents.

Just a thought.
by T Counce G2G6 Mach 7 (75.0k points)

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