The multiple times-great grandfather of the client used to be a carpenter-cabinet maker-piano maker, and/or prison carpenter for the Cayuga County, New York prison and for the Kingston, Ontario, Canadian prison. Apparently he was good at what he did. Since looking for an estate file hasn't gotten me anywhere (I have tried to access it via international inter-library loan with zero luck at the present) I decided to try another tactic. Luckily for me and for the client, this man worked at prisons that are still in operation. That was my first place to check. Does this place have any records that go back that far? The prisons were both established at least 40 or more years prior to his employment there, so there was a possibility of it, whether or not it was rather remote.
Called up the prison on the US side, and they couldn't help me, but they recommended the vital records area. I may have been asking the wrong question, especially as apparently they have a museum to the prison on the premises, but I can check this later.
The New York prison recommended that I contact the vital records department. Okay, why not? By this time my goal had switched to finding the marriage record for the multi-time great grandfather. So they didn't have that particular vital record at the vital records office, but they said that I should check with the county historian. Now comes the good stuff.
The county historian, bless her, is a wonderfully informative lady who was willing to take some time and actually look up information pertaining to the surnames in question concerning the bride and groom. Although my main research goal is the groom's ancestry, I will take what I can get when it comes to information in general. If you find a gold mine, you don't stop and turn away because you were looking for platinum or silver. You start mining gold if the right resources are available.
So this nice little nuggety mine is coming up with the bride's surname non-stop. We have four folders of information for the bride's family, the Eldredge's. Some may be directly related, some may not be. I have reasonably high hopes. The skeptic in me wants to take a back seat this time, although I still am not even remotely sure how much is in there. Apparently the former county historian before this dear lady had the same surname as the bride that I am trying to find, and yes, it's not just a surname look-alike. They are the right people at least in one line. I am stoked!