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Searching Forward to Find a Living Person

Sometimes you need to research back until you are able to choose enough descendants to turn around and research them forward until you discover living descendants. I have done this numerous times. I find the living by creating a Facebook page, consulting city directories, phone books, social security, funeral programs, and newspaper obituaries, just to name a few ways.


One of my ancestors I did this with was Anderson Chick. Anderson's wife was Elenia Coleman Chick. I took the 1900 US Census were pretty much whole the family was listed:

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 August 2014), South Carolina > Union > ED 69 Goshen Hill Township > image 4 of 30; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


Before the 1910 US Census, Anderson died, so I looked for Elenia Coleman Chick. Several children are not home in 1910. Daisy Chick had married George Anderson Tucker, my great grandparents.

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 June 2017), South Carolina > Newberry > Maybinton > ED 106 > image 10 of 42; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


I had chosen to look for descendants of Sarah Chick. Since Sarah was not home, I figured I would search for her with Cleveland Talley, her husband:

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 December 2015), South Carolina > Newberry > Maybinton > ED 113 > image 14 of 30; citing NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


Cleveland Talley died before the 1930 Census. Children at home with Sally aka Sarah were Lillian, Cleveland JR., Sadye, Congee, Irene, Eugene, John, Rosalee, Ella, and Aughtry.

"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2015), South Carolina > Newberry > Township 03 > ED 10 > image 14 of 21; citing NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002).


In 1940, Sallie aka Sarah Talley was home with Congee, Eugene, Irene, John, Rosalee, Ella May, and Aughtry.

"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 February 2019), South Carolina > Newberry > Township 3 Maybinton > 36-11 Township 3 Maybinton > image 11 of 15; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.

Linking to the Living

I now knew which of the children of Cleveland and Sallie Talley to find descendants for or to determine if they were living. When I first looked this at was before 2005. I was living in Illinois. I had neither seen nor talked to any of these people. I decided to choose Sadye, Congee, Rosalee, Irene, Eugene and Ella.

I had heard my grandmother speak of some of the children. My mother knew some of them as well. I looked up Clarence Chick, son of Pettis Chick, grandson of Anderson and Elenia Coleman Chick.

I sent my family tree to him by mail. He wrote me back. He said he was definitely a descendant. The Chick's were cousins to the Talley family. I got Clarence's address from

You can look at U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 or other public records when you want to find people who are living. Clarence told me about another cousin who descends from Coleman Chick who would answer my questions about the family. When I moved South, she showed be where Anderson and Elenia Coleman Chick were buried. I learned birth dates and death dates from that experience.

This cousin also took me to see Rosalee Talley Hunter in Maybinton, Newberry, South Carolina. She was the daughter of Cleveland and Sallie Chick Talley. My next post will show further how to find the living and a little about the experience meeting Rosalee.

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