Part of the difficulty in this case is the lack of an 1890 census, the closest one to William's date of birth. What I needed was a source of residents in the Chicago area as close to William's date of birth as possible. Two potential sources came to mind: voter registration lists and city directories. The voter registration lists are available in microfilm from the Family History Library, the Illinois State Archives, and to Ancestry.com subscribers. The directories are available in a number of locations both in print and on microfilm. I chose to use the voter registration lists first because they are easily accessible and they provide the registrant's place of birth. I make a note on my sheet of assumptions that once I have exhausted leads from the voter registration lists the directories should also be checked, as William's father might not have registered to vote.
The 1888, 1890, and 1892 Voter Registration Lists included several Frames, but only two born in England—Thomas and Ralph. Since 1888 was approximately the year William was born and in 1910 William Frame indicated his father was born in England, it was decided to follow Thomas and Ralph through as many census records as possible in order to determine if additional research on either of these men should be performed. The voter registrations did not provide the men's ages, so even though Ralph is not listed in 1888 he could easily have been William's father and simply have been too young to vote.
It is possible that there are multiple William Frames in the Chicago area. The 1910 census in Cook County, Illinois, was searched for all William Frames to see if there was more than one with a similar date of birth and background. The only William Frame in 1910 who “matched” the one living with Thomas Frame in 1900 was the William Frame living with Louis Demar.
- Thomas Frame in 1910 is living in the same neighborhood as William Frame in 1910 with Louis Demar.
- Learn about the records in the area. In this case, the voter registrations helped get me started.