Monday, March 11, 2013

The Never-Ending Search for Sarah Jane Elson's Marriage Record

You may have heard me complain about Sarah Jane Elson. My matrilineal great-great-great-great grandmother is both my favourite and my least favourite person to research. I'm rather obsessed with my maternal line, and the fact that Sarah Jane has been a brick wall for me for the last year has been very frustrating. It's really taught me how little I know about genealogical research. In all my other lines, I've been able to get by with the basic census records and vital records, mostly available for free online. Rarely have I ever had to look at a microfilm. But with Sarah Jane, it's become apparent that I need to expand my research horizons.

Some googling led me to learn that marriages in Ontario between 1858 and 1869 are recorded in county marriage registers. It's quite likely that Sarah Jane Elson and Henry Prince were married during this time. (It was definitely after 1852 and before 1861. They had their first child in 1861, when Sarah Jane was about 22.) These records are available to order to any FamilySearch Centre. So, for the first time, I have a reason to go to a FamilySearch Centre! How exciting! I'm kind of embarassed as a genealogist that I haven't been yet. :)

So I'm going to order the microfilm for the Middlesex County marriage registers. Sarah Jane shows up in censuses in that county both before and after marrying Henry, so it's pretty likely that that's where they would have been married.

It's only $8 (plus possible taxes) for me to get these microfilm records for at least two months, which is pretty awesome. And now that I'm working irregular hours, rather than business hours, I'll probably have more chances to get to the FamilySearch Centre during its very limited hours.

Once my order arrives, and I get a chance to take a look, I'll write more about my visit to the FamilySearch Centre, and about my continued search for this elusive marriage record! Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck, Lianne! I love living vicariously through the genealogical searches of others. All of the joy, none of the frustration. :D

    1. Haha, thanks Roger! You really don't want to experience the frustration this brick wall has caused me. :D

  2. Your brick wall story reminds me of mine with Bridget Murphy (b. Ireland abt.1832) and married Robert Forrester sometime after each had arrived in the US. Unfortunately Bridget was THE most common name for girls born in Ireland between about 1820 and 1840 AND Murphy was and remains the most common surname in Ireland. 248 young women named Bridget Murphy emigrated to the US during the Potato Famine years. So far, I have little idea which of them would be my own g-g-g-grandmother.
    But I have used the Family Search Centers of the LDS in times past In fact, in the early years of my research, they were among my mainstay resources. Always friendly and helpful, and never a push to join their church.