Today was my first day of doing research at a Record Repository or Archive of Records. I went to the NARA Northeast Facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. I had really no idea what it would be like, but the staff there were very helpful. They had lots of handouts and resources. I sort of forgot my research objectives because I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of gaps I have in my research, but I had a good time improvising as I went along. Even If I had struck out completely, I still had the opportunity of getting used to using the microfilm readers and printing out my own copies on their printers.

                Even though the entire US Federal Census was available on ancestry.com, I still went about looking for some census records in the gaps I have yet to fill. My grandfather, Robert Fletcher, is the only grandparent I haven’t found a census record today, although now I have a possible match. I searched the 1930 United States Federal Census on ancestry.com for Robert Fleischhauer and there were no results. A name like Fleischhauer probably had a lot of misspelled listings in the Census, but I searched for Caroline Fleischhauer, born 1901 in New York.

A few names down I had a match under Caroline Fleichhauer and Robert Fleichhauer was listed there as well. The information given on Caroline and her husband, Frank, matches with my information. However, there are some noteworthy discrepancies in the children. Robert Fleischhauer was listed as 2 years old in 1930 when his birthday is 1922. If this is him, there is also a sibling I was unaware of named Friedrich who was listed as 8 years old at the time. The two siblings of Robert who were in my family tree were not listed in the census (at their birth dates, they were only young children). Perhaps this is a different family, but I am still considering it and made a copy.

I also found the 1860 census listing of David Freeman.  He was living in Westville, Franklin County, New York, living next door to his son-in-law, Albert Tower. At the NARA in Waltham, you can only read microfilms for the US Federal Census in New England, New York, and New Jersey.

I searched the NARA’s naturalization records, looking for my great-grandparents, Henry Walfred Anderson and Signe Maria Johansson. I searched the Naturalization Record from the U.S. District Court 1906-1926 in Massachusetts (M1545, Roll 14) and found no Henry W Anderson.  They suggested I try next the Mass State Archives because if they moved to Marblehead, the next place to try is the naturalizations for the Essex County Courthouse.  I did search for Signe M Johansson in the same microfilm, but learned that until after 1922, any one married to a naturalized husband was automatically naturalized.

Through a packet that Carolyn gave me, I was aware of the military records that were available on microfilm at NARA Waltham. With what they had, I had a good shot of finding something. I was curious to learn more about my ancestor, Elisha Freeman, who I am using to apply to the SAR. I used this visit as an opportunity to find a service record and a pension for Elisha Freeman.  My only source of his military service was in the Roche Family Tree, where the AGBI (American Genealogical-Biographical Index) had him listed as serving in the Connecticut Militia in the Revolutionary War.

The first thing I did was search heritage quest for a pension record, and there was nothing. They gave me a binder showing the specific revolutionary way holdings and told me it was best to try the index first to the service records (Microfilm M860) because they were alphabetical and I didn’t know the regiment.  In Roll 0019, I found a Private Elisha Freeman, serving in 8th Connecticut Regiment, lead by Col. John Chandler. With the regiment, I consulted the compiled service records (M881). In Roll 334, Private Elisha Freeman was there. He had about 50 company pay roll cards and said he was a private in Capt. Jesse Kimball’s Company and he enlisted on 28 April 1777, served for three years, and was discharged the same day in 1780. He was sick at home for a period of time. I didn’t have enough money to copy the entire company pay roll card. Unfortunately, my print-outs couldn’t repair the fadedness of these records, but I wrote everything down.  I searched for Elisha Freeman’s Revolutionary War Pension (M804), but didn’t have good luck. There were other persons named Elisha Freeman that lived New York. I will go back again and conduct a more thorough search. I also tried Index to Naval Service Records (M879), but no Elisha Freemans were there. 

Finally, I searched for General Patrick Edward Connor, as I knew he left somewhat of a trail due to his military status.  I searched the Index to Mexican War Pensions and he was not there.  I also searched the Old War Index to Pension Files and found Captain Patrick Edward Connor, serving with the Texas Volunteers in the Mexican-American War.

So while I had hits and misses, I learned a great deal and it was a great experience. I’ll post the images later, there too large for my scanner, but I will figure it out.

Copyright © 2008 by Jake Fletcher

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