Fishing in Salt Lake

So…I went fishing. I was hoping to catch a big fish or two. I had a methodical laundry list of non-digitized books and microfilms as bait for big fish. And what did I catch?


Yes, my trip to Salt Lake City was a bust. About the only thing I accomplished was validating that my various brick walls are not in the publications that I had time to look up. I feel as though my elusive ancestors have found new ways to taunt me. A few of the books I wanted to look at were at off-site storage locations that would take more time than I had to wait for library volunteers to retrieve them. By the time I made it through all the books on my list, I was only able to look at one microfilm…that kinda tempted me, a little. LOL


Since Myrle Grimes stated that Marion B. Tucker may have been of old Holland-Dutch stock in New York, I targeted birth, baptism, and marriage records of the Dutch Reformed Church in Herkimer County, New York.
And there were Tuckers in German Flats, Herkimer County. Nothing new, but…
And they were married at around the right time I estimate Marion’s parents to have been married.
And they had four daughters whose names all started with M, and who were all born in the right decade.
But then…I found the family after 1860 still all together, parents alive and kicking. Bust.


I still have this obsession with determining if M. DeJean of “a certain settlement” was Stephen’s father. He mentioned a son-in-law, Genet (no first name). I also had an index (generated through a text recognition algorithm) that referenced DeJean in Rensselaer County on a 1767 map of Van Rensselaer Manor (deeds). The year pre-dates the estimated arrival of our DeJeans, but I had to find out if there was possibly another DeJean line floating around New York (this would complicate some of my hypothesis, if true). The library has a copy of this map, so I hunted it down. No DeJean. Van Deusen and Van Derzee were the closest names the algorithm likely honed in on. But…there are a lot of Schuyler’s on this map and Rensselaer County borders Albany County at that time. Stephen named his son Julian Fayette Schuyler DeJean. Hmmm…

I followed that string in the one microfilm I managed to pull and look at before the library closed on my last day. The Schuyler’s had parallel land transactions with Genet’s in Rensselaer County starting in 1814, about the time our DeJeans were in Albany/Saratoga County. This Rensselaer County Genet family all descend through Citizen Genet (Edward Genet) of France. He had quite a large family so it’s a bit to sift through. My suspicion is that there is some relation to the lone Genet family that I have been trying to trace in Menand, Albany County. But do they have any DeJean connections? This is the real question.


I have been trying to find validation to prove/disprove that the “Cobb (but pronounced Cobe)” of Barrie, Simcoe County, Canada is our Cobe’s of Ohio. So I have been targeting church records. Since our Cobe’s left records indicating they were Catholic, I focused on Catholic records. The Roman Catholic Church did not have a brick-and-mortar location in Simcoe County until 1857 after the Cobbs left the area. The needs of those Catholics living there before 1857 were probably met by traveling priests and records are few. I scanned the earliest Catholic record indexes just in case they left family behind. And there are four Cobe’s listed in Catholic cemeteries occurring after the Cobb’s disappeared from Barrie. I’ll have to pull those strings.

I did find an interesting history titled The Genesis of Barrie 1783-1858 by W. Allen Fisher. I got lost in that rabbit hole. It was an enjoyable book as histories go and was written in plain language and simple for us non-academics. It had key events and dates leading up to the founding of Barrie as well as explaining clearly when people settled and the waves in which foreign immigrants arrived, AND a nice reproduction of an 1833 street map of Barrie. While it did not mention any Cobe’s, it was interesting enough for me to determine I probably ought to purchase my own copy.

Since Barrie church records were of no help, I moved on to Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding, Putnam Williams and Wood Counties Ohio Newspaper Obituary Abstracts, 1838-1870 in the hopes of finding a death notice for either Richard or Eliza. I have a list of newspapers that were published during the decades they died and only one newspaper was covered in this book. Guess what – nothing. I will simply have to either wait for or Chronicling America to purchase the rights to digitize the other newspapers on my list OR travel to Paulding County, Ohio to visit the library there.


For the Coomer’s, I had quite a list of books to look at. In the published family genealogies for Coomer’s in Kentucky, I found one that had some interests. Carlis B. Wilson compiled Descendants of John Coomer. This genealogy studies the same John Coomer whose line I believe Edward comes through but does not mention Edward. It does have some of the associated Coomer’s that I have targeted as near relatives so it’s still a good lead to look into further. The other published genealogies offered no interesting cookie crumbs. Church records were also void of any trails.

I also had a list of published genealogies for the Tarter family to peruse. Same results, in The Kentucky Tarters, Elmeree Tartar Oakley covered the descendants of Balzar Tarter, whose grandson, Peter (through son Christian) is the father of America Tarter Cooper and Eliza Tarter Coomer (wife of Andrew). Because Andrew and Eliza lived with America Cooper in 1850 and then with Edward and Darthulia in 1860, I suspect Darthulia may be a sister of Eliza and America. I had previously found records to validate that Eliza and America are daughters of Peter Tarter. But because there are several Peter Tarter’s in Pulaski County, I had not yet been able to sort them all out. This genealogy does that for me! However, to deflate my excitement once more, this genealogy does not mention Darthulia or Edward in any Tarter family covered in Elmeree’s research.

The Good News

There is some good news for me (and others). It seems that during the COVID lockdown, the library made some significant changes. The most noticeable change was there were hundreds of computer terminals (across 4 floors) with double and triple monitors, some even with 42″ monitors.

I have been building my in-library-only look-ups for some time now. And I never double-checked availability before this recent travel. On the first day, after settling into one of these fabulous workstations, I found that many of the books on my list were now available online. This fast-tracked me through those that were not yet digitized.

The library has also replaced all the old microfilm machines and replaced them with combination reel/computer stations which makes it easier to digitally “clip” images to your thumb drive or cloud drive. And, as with the books, I was finding that most of the microfilms I had on my list were now available online. I had previously noticed that online icons with keys that used to indicate in-library-network access only are now open to the world-wide-web.

So…if you are a genealogist reading this, and you haven’t looked at your FHL reading list, it may be time for you to re-visit your list to see if something you wanted to look at is now available from the comfort of your own home.

I may not have made any new breakthroughs, but at least I checked off quite a few references off my to-do list and have more yet to scroll through online when I get back home.

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