Genealogy Search Tips

US Federal Census and the
Search for Nellie Byrne

We knew that Nellie (Helen) Byrne was born in about 1888 in Pennsylvania and that she had a son named William.

Byrne was Nellie's married name but we didn't know her maiden name. We decided to first search the US Federal Census for Nellie Byrne because we thought she might have been married by 1910. The US Federal Census is a great source of information about individuals and families and can be used to confirm relationships among both family and non family members.

We didn't find Nellie in the 1910 US Federal Census and in the 1920 US Federal Census we found 2 Nellie Byrnes living in Pennsylvania but neither was married.

So we searched the 1920 US Federal Census again. This time we entered Helen in place of Nellie because Nellie was a popular nickname for Helen. We found 3 Helen Byrnes, born around 1888, living in Pennsylvania but only one had a son named Williiam. We learned from the 1920 US Federal Census that Nellie's husband was also named William and that Nellie had a daughter named Alice. The family was living in rural Bradford County in northern Pennsylvania.

We next went to the 1930 US Federal Census where we found the same Byrne family that we found in the 1920 US Federal Census still living in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. We learned that Nellie and William were married in 1911 and that she was now 43 and he was 59 years of age. Nellie and both of her parents had been born in Pennsylvania while William and both of his parents had been born in Ireland. William worked as a Station Agent for the Lehigh Valley Rail Road.

We visited the Pennsylvania Gen Web site for Bradford County and looked for information about Nellie Byrne and her family. We didn't have much luck but we found a picture of the train station where Nellie's husband William had worked and we discovered that Nellie's son William had died in January, 2000.


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Genealogy Search Tip

Find a Birth Date

If you are looking for the birth date of a male who was living in the United States between June, 1917 and September, 1918 you might try looking for a copy of his World War I Draft Registration Card.

All males born between 1872 and 1900 were required to register for the draft and the birth date was one of the questions. See our discussion of Military Records for additional information.








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