Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Do You Have a Mary Smith?

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:

1)  How many persons named JMary Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How many persons named Mary Smith are ancestors?

2)  Pick out one of those persons named Mary Smith and do some online research for them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections.  Your goal is to add something to your database.


3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.

Here’s mine:

I recently started a new tree as part of my genealogy do-over.  So far, these is only one Mary Smith in that tree.

In my old tree, however, there are 4 Mary Smiths. None of them are ancestors.

I decided to do some more research on the Mary Smith that is in my new tree, as so far all I have is her marriage to Lawrence Templeton Wainwright in 1933 in Perth, Western Australia.  Lawrence died in 1964, and is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery in Western Australia, so my first step was to check the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website to see if she is also buried there.  There were 3 entries for Mary Wainwright: Mary Wainwright, year of death 1980 age 64 – that would give her a birth year of 1916.  It’s a possibility, though she would have been only 17 when they were married.  There is also a Mary Wainwright, year of death 1970 age 91 – that would give her a birth year of 1879.  Lawrence was born in 1894, so this one appears to have been too old.  The third was Mary Ann Elizabeth Wainwright, year of death 1962 age 78 – that would give her a birth year of 1884.  Since the marriage entry only lists her as Mary Smith, I don’t think this entry is for her.  I’m not sure if any of the entries are the right one.

I then tried Trove, to see if there was a marriage notice for them, as marriage notices often list the names, or initals, of the parents, but I wasn’t able to find one.

I know that she was still alive in 1964, as she was listed as the grantee on Lawrence’s cemetery record.  I think the best way to try and determine which, if any, of these are Mary Smith, I need to follow Lawrence and then Mary through the Electoral rolls to determine when (or if) she disappears.  To do that, I’ll need a subscription to Ancestry, which I don’t have at the moment.  This research will therefore have to wait until after I’ve renewed my subscription.  I may end up having to apply for their marriage certificate, to find out who her parents were, and how old she was when they married.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Do You Have a Mary Smith?

  1. Fascinating – I discovered 3 Mary Smiths in my tree – a 1st cousin 5 times removed , a 3rd cousin 3 times removed and a 5th great aunt of my husband

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  2. The Smiths are a tough group to research, aren’t they? I seem to find that either someone has researched a family correctly, or else the records are a total mess and not much in between.

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