21 January 2012

SNGF: Random Research

Randy's challenge this week is random genealogy research, meaning research on a random  person. The details are here.

My random name was Neal Barnett. The first census result was for an H. Neal Barnett in 1930, so I went with the second which was Neal Barnett of Brazil, IN in 1930. Mr. Barnett was a lodger with Nathan and Cora Harris and their two adult children. He was 19 years old. His birth place and the birth place of his parent's is listed as "Unknown". That's going to make any further research very tricky. He must mot have been at home when the census taker came calling and the Harris family knew nothing of his background. His occupation is listed as piece worker at the clay plant. A quick Google of "brazil indiana clay plant" informs me that Brazil, IN is in fact in Clay Co., IN. That's in the southwest part of the state. It's named for Henry Clay and not the clay plant. Jimmy Hoffa and Orville Redenbacher were both born in Brazil.

But enough about Brazil and back to Neal Barnett. I wish Randy had posted this after the 1940 US Census was released. I hope in 1940 that the census taker found where Neal was from. Anyway, I'm left with trying to find a 9-year-old Neal Barnett in the 1920 US Census with no way of knowing if I have the right one.

In 1920, there is a 10-year-old Neal Barnette in Sycamore, Montgomery Co., KS. His parents are Charles J. and Ethel E. Barnette. Charles was born in Indiana. Ethel was born in Kansas, but both her parents were born in Indiana, so this Kansas-born Neal Barnette does have some Indiana connections. The Barnetts are also listed in Sycamore in the 1915 and 1925 Kansas state censuses.

So how do I verify that this is the right Neal Barnett? Next thing is to look for Charles Barnett in earlier censuses and see where in Indiana he's from. Lots of Charles Barnetts in earlier Indiana censuses, but none appears to be near Brazil. Let's see if there are any other Barnetts in Brazil in the 1930 census. OK, tons of Barnetts in Brazil in 1930. So it's plausible that Neal went to Indiana to be near relatives.

I went back to the original search for Neal Barnett to follow up on an entry in "Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947." Here are the details:

Name:Neal Barnett
Birth Date:23 May 1910
Birth Place:Neodegha, Kansas
Death Date:29 Nov 1942
Death Place:Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Burial Date:30 Nov 1942
Burial Place:Hammond, Lake, Indiana
Cemetery Name:Local
Death Age:32
Occupation:Queen Anne Candy Co.
Marital Status:M
Father Name:Charles Joe Barnett
Father Birth Place:Indiana
Mother Name:Ethel Edith Betts
Mother Birth Place:Russell, Kansas
Spouse Name:Leona

So this is obviously the Neal Barnett from Kansas. Is it the one from Indian in 1930? The next step would be to look for a 1942 obituary from a Chicago paper and see if it mentions Indiana. He was buried in Hammond in northwest Indiana. Unfortunately that's about all I have time for tonight.

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