Need Help Solving Genealogical Puzzles?

Submitted by thoskins on February 6, 2013 - 11:02am

Need Help Solving Genealogical Puzzles? Join us for our monthly Genealogical Workshops

The Sonoma County Genealogical Society has begun conducting regular Genealogical Workshops (intermediate level) preceding each monthly General Meeting (third Saturdays of the month at the Finley Community Center, 2060 W College Ave . Santa Rosa, CA 95401). These meetings are conducted by me, beginning at 12:00 noon (General Meeting begins at 1:00). Each month I choose an article from a major genealogical journal that explores some typical and perplexing genealogical stumbling blocks many of us have encountered in our own research.

This month’s article – to be discussed February 16 – is Thomas W. Jones’s, “The Three Identities of Charles D. McLain of Muskegon Michigan."

Born in 1848-49, arrived in 1871, and divorced in 1879, Ida’s husband [“Charles D. McLain”] should have been found in the thoroughly indexed, every-name 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 federal censuses. But he was not. Finding him and his origin required comparing his records with those of another woman’s husband and a man with another name.

And you thought your genealogical research bottlenecks were tricky!

For a copy of this article please email me at And, please join us at the Finley Center on February 16!

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Hi Janet: Please email your querry to and I'll see what we can find.

I am working on my family tree. I am told that my grandfather had a sister who was Mayor of Bodega Bay about 30 years ago. Her name was Dorothy. I do not know her married name. Her maiden name would have been Draguna Shimac which supposidly later became Dorothy, The problem is the name is unsure. Did you have a mayor named Dorothy and maybe she had a son named Mitch?

Thank you-


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