Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Mission- Find ____ Rothenbaum!

Didn't I just post a big project coming up for next week? I can't help it, when I get on a roll I start thinking up all kinds of things to do and this next one is a doozy.

I'm going to attempt to find the ex-husband of my Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Taylor Ward. All I know about him is his surname (no given name yet), that he and Grandma Ward were married in New York around 1912-ish (no idea where in NY), that they had been living in the Adirondacks before moving out to Harvey, IL sometime prior to 1930 when she and my Grandma were found there in the census, that Rothenbaum had, at one point, been in the Army, and that Grandma Ward said she divorced him (considering that he was not shown living with her in the 1930 census and she was employed I'm guessing they were at least separated, if not divorced, by then). Just for an added challenge, I have not found them in the 1920 census so my time frame for most of the events is something like 10+ years.

Right off the bat, I'm thinking this is going to be my first foray into divorce records. Before I head that way though, I think I'm going to try and pinpoint when they might have come to IL. Bessie is shown as a renter in the 1930 census so no property purchase info is going to be found but tax information may be available. I haven't done much work with more recent events so I really need to find out what is available to help figure out a formal plan of attack. But tax and divorce records are really sticking out right now. Both records could give me a first name for Rothenbaum and that would be extremely helpful. Once I know that, I may be able to find info on him from Army records. So there are a few possibilities here. The first thing to do though, is work with their last known location, Harvey, IL (which is in Cook County), and find out what is available there.

More to come on this, hopefully soon.


  1. I hope you blog about this experience, because I'm interested in reading about divorce records. I may have to go there myself (1930's CA) in the coming year.

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