Instead of jumping to another ancestor in my family tree and blogging about them, I’ve decided to continue my family history research of Vincenzo Massera’s life using a more ‘scholarly manner.’ I don’t have a hypothesis to test or statements to prove, just lots of questions to answer.
In retracing my great-grandfather’s past in my first blog post, I was surprised to see how much information I had found. Basically, I have been conducting exploratory research for a long time—looking for whatever bits and pieces I could find. To continue my genealogy research in an organized manner, I came up with the following list of research questions. My research objective is to answer these questions.
· Was “Pa” born in Gerra Verzasca, Switzerland?
· Who were Pa’s parents? Where were they born? Where are they buried?
· Did Pa have any other siblings? If so, what were their names and dates of birth?
· Why did Pa immigrate to the United States?
· Was Pa naturalized? If so, where?
· What were his physical features? What were his traits and how did he relate to others?
· What Catholic Church did Pa attend?
· When did Geremia die? Where, and from what cause?
· When did Pa marry Nellie Olive Lyons?
· What were her physical features? What were her traits and how did she relate to others?
· When did Nellie die? Where, and from what cause?
· What did the Buckhorn Saloon look like?
· Who is Edward? When did he die? Where, and from what cause?
To get my questions answered, I identified the records and resources I plan to search. Here’s what I have so far:
Learn more about the different types of U.S. naturalization Records. Fax research request to the Monterey County Superior Court for Pa’s naturalization records. If they have them, make appointment to review and copy them. If they can’t find Pa’s records, contact the Monterey County Historical Society to see if they have records.
Search Monterey County Recorder-County Clerk indexes for copy of Pa and Nellie’s marriage certificate. Also, search for Geremia and Edward’s death certificates.
Identify Catholic Church closest to Pa’s residence as noted on the census. If Pa and Nellie’s marriage certificate is not found at the Monterey County Recorder’s Office, contact Diocese of Monterey for church records. If Geremia and Edward’s death certificates are not located at the Monterey County Recorder’s Office, check with the Diocese for church records.
Check with the Monterey Historical Society regarding their listing of the Old Calvary Cemetery. Search for Geremia, Nellie, and Edward's records--date of death and cause.
Contact Salinas Public Library for information about local history collection including historical newspapers.
Search Salinas Public Library historical newspaper collection for death notices and/or obituaries for Pa, Geremia, Nellie and Edward.
Photographs and Images
Check with the Monterey County Historical Society to see if they have any photos of the Buckhorn Saloon and/or downtown Salinas around 1919. Review Susan Costa-Anderson’s box of family photo’s to identify those containing Massera family members. Contact oldest brother for copy of Pa’s IRS-License for Bar dated August 18, 1919.
Gather information about the use of historical timelines in genealogy research. Check with the Salinas Public Library and Monterey County Historical Society regarding historical timelines.
Set up a meeting with Vosti family members to learn more about Pa’s traits and how he related to others.
I will use a research log to keep focused on what I am trying to discover and track the progress of my research. I will document my efforts as I do the research.
It took a lot of time to think through all of this. But, it was well worth it. Now, I have a plan. All I have to do is work the plan. Of course, I will keep you posted of my results. Happy hunting!