Down the Rabbit Hole and how a question was answered

This week I thought I would ask a question about someone in my SIL’s tree. Remember the advice to stay focused? Well, I had a difficult time following my own advice to stay on track and stay focused on the question at hand.

Step away from the research.

After a brief break to refocus I zoomed in on one of her distant relatives, Minnie Bell Snyder. I did not have parents listed for her and there were only a few “hints” from Ancestry so I thought this would be a good road to go down. Who were Minnie Bell Snyders parents? I started out with the marriage record. Minnie was married on 12 July 1891 to Berkley Anderson in Belmont, Ohio.  This information was found in the Ohio, Compiled Marriage Index, 1803-1900. As this was only the index there was no record to view and no parents listed. I also found a marriage notice at in the Belmont Chronicle on July 16.  Again, no parents listed.


The West Virginia Birth Index lists Minnie as being born on 8 April 1870 to John C. and Nancy L. Snider. Different spelling of the last name. As this was just an index on Ancestry I headed over to to see if there was a record there. There were eleven Minnie Sniders listed. Ten were all listed with birthdates too late to be the one I wanted so the only left was the 8 April 1870, and there was a document showing her birth in Grant, WV. with parents John and Nancy. Just in case I also checked Minnie Snyder, spelled with a y. They too were born too late to be the one I wanted so I felt pretty sure that the record listing John and Nancy was the correct one.

Now to prove that the Minnie that was married to Berkley Anderson was the same Minnie born to John and Nancy Snider. Some of the trees on Ancestry had John and Nancy listed as parents but no one had any source for this information. Going back over the census from 1870 through their marriage, I find that Minnie and Berkley are both from Ellsworth, Tyler Co., WV so it makes sense that this is, in fact, the family I am researching. I also check Find A Grave and voilá, there is a listing for Minnie Bell Snider. It has a photo of the headstone, matching birthdate, matching husband and a death date of 30 July 1948. The cemetery is located in Canton, Stark Co. Ohio which is where I expected it to be or thereabouts according to later census records for the family. The memorial on Find A Grave does not mention parents so really all this did was confirm the other information I had found. I needed an obituary or death certificate  (if it lists parents) although with the previously mentioned census records I feel comfortable saying that John and Nancy are indeed her parents but it does not give me her mother’s maiden name, still need confirming documents!

The search continues.

Since it costs $25 to order a death certificate in Ohio and I have other things I need to order before this one, I decided to go on an obit hunt. Finding nothing in or on My Heritage I just put the facts in a Google search and up popped an index that listed an obit in the newspaper The Repository from Canton, Ohio. I put in a request at the Stark County District Library for Minnie’s obit and they quickly responded with a digital copy. It did not mention Minnie’s parents but did mention two brothers. Oh, this is getting good!!!

One brother, Marshall, was listed as a sibling on the census forms and turns out to be George Marshall, but the other, Harvey, was not listed on the census. Delving a little further I find that her brother Thomas’ middle name was Harvey. Back to the site and I found not only Thomas Harvey Snider’s BC but his delayed BC which had both parents’ names and the mother’s maiden name! The certificate was signed by Minnie B. Anderson, sister. This is all the proof I need.

Minnie’s father’s full name is John Calvin Snider and her mother is Nancy Laura Gorrell. Question answered. From there it went pell-mell forward with the Gorrell family, but that is another post.



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