My grandfather was possibly born in Dewey, Oklahoma. I'm trying to locate his siblings and parents.

I've Googled and found the following:

Tunin, Robert T. 1903 – 1989 (Grandfather) Tunin, Abbie Alice 1909 – 1972 (Grandmother)

Any suggestions on a free resource?


4 Answers 4


I think your grandfather might have been born in Oklahoma.

Take a look at these records from FamilySearch. In particular, there is the marriage record between a Robert Thomas Tunin and Abbie Alice Brooks. It gives Alice's parents names as well.


It looks like someone has created a relevant Tunin family tree on Ancestry.com for your family. Here is a quote from a story posted there:

In 1893, Willard Barton and Lillian May (Barney) Tunin, came from near Cherryvale, Kansas, to homestead in Dewey County, Oklahoma; in a covered wagon with two small children: Viola May, 3, and Mary Almeda, a baby. Five more children were born on the homestead, making a total of 8 children, one of whom died in infancy and was buried in Kansas. Those born in Oklahoma were: Rosa Elvira, Georgia, Gertie, Robert Thomas and Annalina. Almeda died in 1900 at age 6; Georgia in 1912 at 14 and Viola May in 1950 at 59 years.

While I haven't checked how well sourced this information is (I did not find a 1910 or 1920 census for them), it seems sufficiently detailed to have a bunch of clues to pursue.


Census records and vital records would be great places to start.

The U.S. federal census was taken every 10 years, so you should be able to find your grandfather living with his family in 1910 and 1920, and then perhaps with his own wife and children in 1930 and 1940. There's a 72-year privacy rule, so the 1940 census is the latest one available. FamilySearch has most census records available for free, as well as tons of other records.

EDIT: The following info was provided when Jerry originally thought his grandfather was from Indiana. The question has since been edited to ask about Oklahoma.

You may also want to check the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center -- they have a bunch of free databases, some of which are specific to Indiana.


Cyndi's list has some suggestions, and FamilySearch is always a good place to start. If you can provide more detail of what you've tried and already know, we can be of more help.


When you're doing genealogy on the cheap, one good place to start is the FamilySearch Research Wiki article on the locality your people lived in -- in this case, Oklahoma, United States Genealogy.

Each state article has sub-articles on Research Strategies and a guide to Online Records that are held statewide. You can also do a place-name search in the FamilySearch Catalog for United States, Oklahoma to see what is held Online, at the Family History Library, and at a Family History Center near you. Be sure to use the "places within Oklahoma" link and search all the jurisdictions at all levels (state, county, and local) where your family might have lived. The sub-article on Vital Records gives the coverage table which shows at a glance when records were kept at the local level and when they began to be held statewide.

For people who were born around 1903, you are working in the period just before statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1908 (with general compliance coming later, around 1928. But as of Monday, January 9th, 2017, researchers who have the same question about families a little later on can search the vital records indexes on the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH)'s new site OK2Explore. (See New Oklahoma index site to launch, by Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, posted Jan 6, 2017.)

If you can't find statewide birth registrations, what next? Use the United States Record Selection Table or articles like Sources of Genealogical Information to get ideas of where to find the information in other records. Also keep an eye out for Delayed Birth Records (where individuals might have applied for a birth certificate later in life.

Don't neglect websites which are not immediately associated with genealogy, such as the Internet Archive. Census microfilms and other records on microfilm are being shared there, which users can browse.

For any record set you locate for free, look also for guides about how the records were created and how they are arranged. Understanding the scope of the available records is key to getting the most information out of whatever resources you have.

For more suggestions, see Determining what records are available in a particular locale?.

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