©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writing and Searching; Searching and Writing

Once again I sat down at the computer to add to the Ruch story. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m putting in a paragraph or so on each of the children. Yesterday, I actually finished “the girls” so this morning I began with Charles J. E. Ruch. I managed one complete sentence before I felt the need to wander off to check something out on the internet. One whole sentence!!
I knew where Charles moved when he left home in 1891 (from divorce records) and I knew where he lived in 1900 (from the federal census) but I wondered where he’d been in-between? When he married in 1895, where did the young couple begin their lives together? When did they move to their home on Monticello where they were in 1910? Those were the questions bounding around in my head and when things like that start pinging my brain I have no choice, I must go searching!
So it was off to Footnote and the Chicago City Directories. Back in the day, I had to go the Arlington Heights Library and read microfilm which would take most of a day, but, thanks to Footnote, I was hard at work within seconds. I always browse these databases because, for me, it’s just easier to find what I’m looking for, especially since the Ruch surname is seldom spelled the same way twice from year to year. I’ve learned I have to check Ruch, Rush and Rusch in these directories.
Now I have a good sense of where Charles was in any given year, at least through 1930, and what his occupation was as well. A side result from this search was a clarification of the name (changes) and ownership of a family restaurant. I’ve seen this information before but seeing it again made it plain: in 1905, Mary Ruch and Louis Bouchonville (Mary’s sister, Eva Ruch’s husband) owned the Ruch & Co. restaurant on Ogden Ave; between 1909 and 1911, Mary must have bought Louis out because in 1911 the restaurant is listed under Mary Miss Ruch with no Bouchonville included.   
Even though this little research project only took a little over an hour, I really need to get back to writing about Charles. Maybe I can get more than one more sentence in this time.


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