Sorting through documents, scanning, saving them to my hard drive on my laptop, and importing them into Family Tree Maker 2012 has helped me keep track of what I have and don’t have. Also, I have created a back up disc just in case my laptop decides it doesn’t want to operate anymore. This is very important to me because I had another laptop two years ago where the motherboard fried. All information was lost! Photos, college papers I had written, my resumé, my artwork, and many other important documents that I had saved over time. All GONE! Irretrievable.
Lately, I have been seeking information on my father, Billy Edward Cornett, and have discovered that he has become a brick wall of sorts. Not knowing him as a daughter should, my parents divorced when I was very young, I am finding that I don’t even know the details as to where he was born! After creating a research plan for my father, I hadn’t realized that I was lacking this particular information. Granted, I know that he was born in the state of Virginia in 1944 but that is all I know. I am lacking the information of the county, city and even the hospital in which he was born at. How do I request a birth record based only on this little bit of information I have of him? Where is his paper trail?
I have all the other documents I need, except this one little piece of paper that could tell me so much more! Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings on this lack of data on my own father, no less. I am a family historian and genealogy buff, I should be able to find this piece of evidence at least. I have written emails to family members and no one seems to have a copy of his birth certificate or even know where this document could be; they don’t know who might even have it, if anyone even does. Dead end #1. I have searched for him on the Family Search web site. Dead end #2. I have searched Archives.com and nothing but census records and an SSDI reference. Dead end #3. I feel like I am overlooking something that is staring me right in the face!
My next step would be to contact the Virginia Vital Records office to see what information I can get about his birth. Since I am his next of kin I should have no problem ordering his birth certificate through them. This will have to wait until Monday morning as they are closed right now. Being on Hawaii time, I am 6 hours behind the east coast.
These are the documents I have on him to date:
- Death Record
- Marriage Certificate
- Marriage Certificate Receipt (Ha! My parents only paid $5 back in 1971)
So today, I ask myself, “Who’s My Daddy?”