Remember, it all started with a gravestone....
To effectively help someone else out with their family, you have to stay organized and keep communicating. Communication is easy these days but you have to find time to work with each email! I pulled all I knew about this family and put it in a notebook.
I keep an ordinary index card file on each "client" like Steve with the surname, the client's name and contact information and their email. I jot down what they asked in their first email and if they are related to me which ancestor we have in common. In this case, I made a list of the gravestone, places where other family members may be buried and any work I have done previously to this line.
At one time, I taught a workshop on Ellis Island after doing a lot of reading and listening to lectures given by John Coletta and Sharon Carmack. I researched my own family and anyone else that was related to them. That's why I already had a file on my uncle.
I reviewed what I knew about them from the oral interview I took to finding them in cenus records. I sent Steve the Ellis Island Passenger lists I found and we went over them. He questioned, rightly so, the generation above Uncle Jack's father, James William Crompton. It was a wrong guess. Steve worked successfully on creating a tree at Ancestry, adding in his family and mine and seeing where they overlapped. He worked on possibilities for the earlier generations while I searched the Rhode Island City Directories. [I LOVE city directories!]
With both of us toiling away and concentrating on specific tasks, we have accomplished much! I started a list of what we still did not know and spent a morning looking for his ancestor's passenger list. He was so excited that I found it. That's so rewarding for me! It was a big missing piece.
His ancestors stayed in England longer than my uncle and his father. We knew they were there at a certain date because they had a child born there. The 1881 and 1891 British census records helped with that. Finally, I found them coming into Boston (not Ellis Island). The passenger list is fairly clear as it is typed. But, some of the places of birth are hand corrected and are very faint. Steve's eyes are younger than mine so I have him working on that.
The adventure continues. Fortunately for us, Steve's mother is still living and is excited by what we have found. He may find out more from his family over Christmas. That will be fun for me.
My aunt and uncle were very special to me and I do this in their memory and to further my ability to be a professional genealogist. The quest continues...