08 April 2011


In the early part of the 20th century, birth records were not necessarily maintained in the organized, systematic fashion that we are all used to in this, the glorious age of computers. Depending on the state and county, birth records might or might not have been recorded at all. Hence the beginning of my problems with trying to find information about William C. Kendall.

In Shelby, Indiana, several male children were born between 1900 and 1901; many of them were only recorded as "male Kendall" because their parents decided to wait a while before naming them. This aspect of my research became a process of elimination. I took the information that I knew and searched for male Kendalls that seemed like a good fit.

Going with the information that I had about him (approximate date of birth, full name, location of birth), I continued to look through records, storing any information that looked like it might be a match. Luckily, my William C. Kendall's middle name is a bit unusual (Chauncey), which made it easier to eliminate records as I discovered them. I found someone in the Social Security Death Index who looked like a match for my relative, so I paid the $27 for a copy of his original social security card application. Bingo!

I now have William C. Kendall's parents' names, as well as his address at the time he applied for a social security card in 1938.

I still have lots of questions, though. I still haven't found any record of his marriage to Myrtle Hooker, but I'm working on it.

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