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Another follow-up to Martin Brown - Photo Requests at Find A Grave!

Martin Brown's obituary - a follow-up from Friday's "Researching with Geoff - Live!" webinar

And now...the rest of the story...

After last week's "Researching with Geoff - Live!" webinar, lots of you wrote to me asking for a follow-up on Martin F. Brown's sisters. As you may recall, Martin's 1940 death notice in St. Paul, Minnesota identified his sisters as:

  • Mrs. C. H. Stram
  • Mrs. J. J. Wheeler
  • Mrs. H. E. Dane

But our problem was to determine which of these husbands' names belonged to which of Martin's sisters:

  • Susan Emily Brown
  • Minnie Ellen Brown
  • Fanny Brown

Through a series of database searching and analysis, we proved that Mrs. C. H. Stram was identical to Fanny. We learned that Fanny married Clement Stram in 1925 as her second marriage. We learned lots more about this couple. Remember the goose-bumps we shared?

The Follow-up

During and after the webinar, three separate viewers thought to search The Seattle Daily Times for another obituary. Of course! Martin dies in Minnesota. Look in Washington. :) Good thing Martin's Minnesota death certificate gave the place of burial as Seattle, Washington. They actually located the obituary, emailed it to me, and it included even more valuable information. Thanks to Mary, Jerry, and Ginny! Oddly, it stated that Martin only had two sisters:

  • Mrs. Clem Stram
  • Mrs. Emily Dane

I don't know why Minnie wasn't mentioned, but through the process of elimination (a very important research technique) I now know:

  • Susan Emily Brown was married to H. E. Dane
  • Minnie Ellen Brown was married to J. J. Wheeler
  • Fanny Brown was married to Clement H. Stram

The next steps

In addition to the three items I added to Fanny's To Do List during the live webinar, I'll also begin searching the census records (the best place to start) to construct the other two sisters' families.


Sometimes it's best to have another set of eyes look at your research. Or in my case - 1,000 sets of additional eyes! They may have suggestions that you had not thought of. This would be a great reason to join your local genealogy society. You will more likely find someone interested in talking about your genealogy there than you might at your dinner table.


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Thanks for the update. So happy for you.
I can personally say that I have been given many research ideas and been directed much more widely for sources since joining Wyong Family History Group(my local)and made good inroads in my research. The value of local genealogy groups cannot be underestimated.
Typically the eyes and ears at my dinner table just sigh and say "yes, Mum".

I tend to talk about my wonderful genealogy finds to my kids when they are (trapped) in the car with me. I'm surprised they don't try to jump out when we're at a stop light....

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