This is the story of my 30+ years genealogical journey to find my long-missing great-grandfather, Harry Steward. After the death of his wife and adoption of his daughter, Harry left his home in Denison, Iowa, in January 1899 and was never heard of or seen again. This is Harry’s story as it is known today and my story of Finding Harry Steward.


In genealogical research, we know to be aware of the perils of “same name, different person,” or proving one-and-the-same — meaning the John Smith who was born to James Smith and Mary Jones is the same John Smith who married Sally Brown. Or how to determine if all the references to James Smith, for example, in the same town, refer to the same man or multiple men with the same name.

But what about more than one name for the same person?

My mother was born on a farm in East Boyer Township, near Vail, in Crawford County, Iowa, on…

Martin W. Beerman

The Intrepid Genealogist

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