Insomnia–The Genealogist’s Friend

A few nights ago, I was having difficulty falling asleep.   Rather than fight the feeling, I thought I’d just get up and cruise the Internet for a little while.

I went first to and noticed that their Texas death certificate collection is now about 50% complete.  So I just typed in the name Manson to see what would come up.  There were 55 Mansons in the database.  One I had not seen before was a Janice Manson who died in 1945 in Kerrville, Texas.

Death certificate for Janice Manson.  Image from

Death certificate for Janice Manson. Image from

I clicked on the image for Janice Manson’s death certificate.  I learned from the death certificate that she died at the state sanatorium in Kerrville from tuberculosis.  I also learned that she had lived in Galveston.  That set a tiny alarm bell off in my head, because my father’s family is from South Texas.  Then I learned from the death certificate that Janice Manson’s father’s name was George Felder.   That set another little buzz off in my head.

Felder . . . hmm. . .  Felder,   Helder.  I went to my RootsMagic database and found the name Helder.  Janice Helder.  She’s in the database as the second wife of my grandfather Quentin V.H. Manson.  The source of that information was a transcription of the  Aransas County, Texas, marriage records.  I have found misspellings in that transcription before.

So now I have a death certificate for Janice Felder Manson and a record in my own database of a Janice Helder Manson.  Are they the same person or not?

Sometime ago, I had asked my father about Janice Helder.  He knew nothing about her.  The Aransas County marriage records say that she and Quentin Manson were married in August 1942.  I know that at some point between 1941 and 1945, my grandfather was in the Army, stationed at Camp Wallace in Galveston County.  He played clarinet and keyboards in the camp band.

I went to look up the Galveston city directory in the “1940 census substitute.” And there, in 1941,  living at 2809 Avenue R, in Galveston, is Quentin (spelled “Quinton” as it often was before the mid-1950s) Manson whose occupation is musician.

I’m satisfied that that passes the Genealogical Proof Standard.

I slept well that night.


One Response to “Insomnia–The Genealogist’s Friend”

  • Donna says:

    I don’t usually get out of bed, but I am certainly glad to see I’m not the only one who spends the occasional insomniac time solving genealogical problems or devising research plans in my head!

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