Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why we Hunt

My genealogy search is a joint effort between me and my cousin Alicia. We both want to know who our grandparents, great grandparents, gg grandparents etc are. What kind of people were they? What were their occupations? Were they in the military? Any famous people?

The surname ELZY is not that hard to find because it is unusual. But know what? It is harder than you think. ELZY can be spelled ELZY, ELLZEY, ELZEY, ELSEA, ELSEY, ELZIE, and that is just a few of the spellings. You have to assume everyone with this last name living in Jefferson County, Kentucky is related to us. This is regardless if the person is white, black, orange, or purple. We all have the same last name; it is unusual; and even in the same family line, the name is spelled differently.

Every other year Alicia, her mom Brenda, and I go to Louisville, Kentucky to search for our ancestors. Occasionally my mom Pat tags along. We go to libraries, archives, genealogical societies, and every cemetery you can find. Yes, Alicia and I have crawled through woods (which thankfully did not show us any snakes). We have driven in the hills, up people's driveways, and down each country road looking for cemeteries, regardless if they were on a map or not.

We are trying to find where ELZY ELZY was buried. If it is in a cemetery where there are documents, perhaps we can see if someone who we believe is his grandson, Robert Elzy, was listed on the cemetery papers. We believe we know who Robert's parents are, but have no concrete proof. Even if we found where he was buried, it is a good probability that there is no headstone. That is what we have found with a many other number of Elzys.

We are trying to do the "reasonably exhaustive search" as defined by the National Genealogical Society. But come land records, no census records, no city directories show Robert living with James (who we believe is his father)??? I looked on and their earliest city directory is 1861. Guess what? Robert moved to Illinois and was shown in the Moultrie County census in 1860. So that is no good! In fact, in the Louisville City directory for 1861, there is only a Richard Elsey and no other variations of the spelling!

I searched for over 2 hours to look in the Civil War pension files. I was looking for James C Elzy (or Elzey). I found an initial document, but the meat of what I want is not online. Not at,, or So I guess I need to get my wallet out and order it.

Until next time.


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