Archive for the ‘Case Studies’ Category

Finding a house in the UK census

There’s little worse than looking for a family in a census and not finding them. Especially when you have other records, and you know exactly where they were living at the time. I recently experienced this again while searching for a family in the 1851 census of England.

James Farmer, his wife Nabby, and at least a few still-unmarried daughters and an infant son should have all been living somewhere in Wigan, Lancashire. Yet the family did not appear in the indexes to these records on FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, or FindMyPast.com. On each site I tried numerous variations, “soundex” settings, wildcards . . . with and without birthdates, with and without surnames, with and without given names. Nothing worked.

I knew that the family was living in Scholes. The birth registration for a son born in 1848 reported their address at that time as Wellington Street.[1] I looked at a map of Wigan and found Wellington Street. I read the enumeration district descriptions on the first page of the census for each nearby district and thought I had found where Wellington Street was likely to have been enumerated. Yet I did a page-by-page search of these districts and still no Farmer family.

Finally, I solved the problem using an online finding aid provided by the National Archives [UK]: the Historical Streets Project.[2]

For each census from 1841 through 1901, the Historical Streets Project provides a listing for each street within each registration district. You will need to know the district in which the street lay in order to browse directly for the appropriate street, though it is also possible to use the wiki search engine to find references to the street name. Each street listing identifies a nearby street, and, more importantly, the NA reference number and folio of that street’s enumeration.

To find the Farmer family, I simply had to go to the street index for the 1851 census, focus on the Wigan registration district, and look for Wellington Street. The Historical Street Project revealed that the street was enumerated on HO 107/2199, folio 252–257. The reference “HO 107/2199″ corresponds to several enumeration districts within Wigan. Folios 252–257 appear in enumeration district 1I in Wigan. Looking through these six pages was quite simple, and the family appeared exactly where they should have![3]

Interestingly enough, the handwriting on the entry is quite clear. I am still not sure why none of the online indexes contained this Farmer family by name.

SOURCES:

[1] England, birth certificate for James Farmer, b. 6 October 1848; citing Volume 21, page 763, entry 372, Wigan Union registration district, County Lancaster; General Register Office, Southport.

[2] “Your Archives:Historical Streets Project,” The National Archives, Your Archives (http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=Your_Archives:Historical_Streets_Project : accessed 4 November 2013).

[3] 1851 U. K. Census, Lancashire, Wigan Borough and Township, St. Catherine’s Ecclesiastical District, folio 257 (stamped, verso), page 31, household 105, Wellington St., James Farmer household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 November 2013); citing Class HO107, Piece 2199.

Writing the Ridgelys

On 11 August 2010 National Park Service archaeologists at Monocacy National Battlefield announced that, using clues from the historical record, they had discovered the remains of several slave cabins dating from ca. 1794–1827.[1] I remember reading the Washington Post report on the discovery, and thinking I would love to research the families that lived there.

Within two months, I received an interesting telephone call from the owner of African American genealogy website Afrigeneas. They had been contacted by Essence Magazine for a feature piece, and needed someone with experience researching slaves in Maryland. With the deadline looming I was able to identify one of the slaves owned by the Vincendiere family and trace his descendants down to a journalist in Pittsburgh. His obituary named his ex-wife and a daughter, both still living. The piece, “A Legacy of Love and Pride,” by Robin D. Stone, appeared in the February 2011 issue of Essence.[2]

I decided to follow this with an article discussing some of the research I had done—the methodology, not just the results. On 21 February 2011 I published “Researching the descendants of the Vincendiere slaves, part one” in the African American Genealogy column I wrote on Examiner.com.[3] I originally intended this short piece as part of a series describing the research I had conducted on the family. The first part garnered some attention from the right people. Within another few weeks I received an email—and then a phone call—from the Cultural Resources Program Manager of Monocacy Battlefield, Joy Beasley. We met for lunch and discussed a potential project.

To make a long story short, the National Park Service hired me to research the lives and descendants of all of the slaves living in the slave village—all of the slaves owned by the Vincendiere family. When all was said and done, several months later, I delivered a report over 900 pages in total length, including document images. I had discovered the identities of slaves and their descendants not only in Maryland, but also in Louisiana. One of these families was the Ridgely family.

The Ridgely family—including mother Caroline Ridgely, her children, and their descendants—fascinated me. Their stories were remarkable. All of them had been freed by 1860. Caroline’s son Cornelius Ridgely served in the U. S. Navy during the Civil War. A number of the descendants graduated from various universities. Several became doctors or dentists in Baltimore and Washington, D. C. One descendant worked for the National Park Service during the 1930s before serving in World War II, and later became principal of a Washington, D. C., high school not far from where I worked in Washington. The family story seemed perfect for a three- or four-generation family history narrative. The story wrote itself.

Writing a family history narrative uses different skills than does writing a proof argument or a case study. The one piece of advice I would give anyone attempting to write such a piece is to identify a common theme that holds the story together. This technique produces a compelling narrative.

After I had finished it, I spent about a month editing it. Reading it and re-reading it. Making sure the sentences were concise and the paragraphs were topical. Finally, just a few days before the deadline, I mailed copies to the National Genealogical Society, for its annual Family History Writing Contest.

Several months passed. Finally I received a response. I had won First Place. The prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to the NGS Conference and possible publication in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. As I was already speaking at the 2012 Conference just a month or so later, I was given the option of attending the 2013 Conference in Las Vegas.

For publication in the Quarterly, more work still needed to be done. The Contest judges had provided me with comments for improving the article. Taking these into consideration, I went into another round of editing and rewriting. Finally I submitted the product to Thomas W. Jones and Melinde Lutz Byrne, the editors of the Quarterly.

A short while later, the editors came back to me with more edits and a few items that needed follow-up. Another round and I resubmitted the article.

After all was said and done, the editors sent me a final draft. This draft was in the familiar format of the Quarterly—the fonts, the spacing, the header and footer. It was a very exciting day for me. Having an article published in the preeminent genealogical journal in the United States had been a long-term goal of mine. I was finally at the last step.

Of course, the rest of the issue had to be laid out. It had to go to the printer. I had to wait for the issue to be completed.

About two weeks ago, my two-and-a-half-year journey had reached a new milestone. I received my copies of the December 2012 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. My article, “In the Shadow of Rebellions: Maryland Ridgelys in Slavery and Freedom,” was the first in the issue.[4]

This research has not yet reached its final conclusion. Who knows where it may take me next?

SOURCES:

[1] “Slave Village Discovered in Maryland,” press release, 11 August 2010, National Park Service, Monocacy National Battlefield, Maryland (http://www.nps.gov/mono/slavevillage2010.htm : accessed 16 February 2013).

[2] Robin D. Stone, “A Legacy of Love and Pride,” Essence Magazine, February 2011, 122–127.

[3] Michael Hait, “Researching the descendants of the Vincendiere slaves, part one,” posted 21 February 2011, in “National African American Genealogy” column, Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/article/researching-the-descendants-of-the-vincendiere-slaves-part-one : accessed 16 February 2013).

[4] Michael Hait, CG, “In the Shadow of Rebellions: Maryland Ridgelys in Slavery and Freedom,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 100 (Dec 2012): 245–266.

Analysis of the Elizabeth (Smith) Hait family history, 1938, part one

This post is part of an analysis of a manuscript family history written by my great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Smith) Hait, in 1938. See “Practicing what I preach…” for more information.

I received a photocopy of this handwritten, unpublished family history in 1998, from a first cousin of my grandfather. In this first part, I will describe the structure and content, and assess the origin and provenance of this manuscript. See “Five things you have to know about every record” for some of the analysis I will be conducting.

One of the first things that we should do, as genealogists, is determine what exactly we are looking at, on the surface.

The manuscript is a photocopy of an original, handwritten narrative. The photocopy clearly shows the edges of the pages on which it was originally written, and additional notes and pagination appears outside the bounds of the original pages.

The first page is dated “May 1938,” and a note in the top margin states, “Written by Elizabeth Nancy Hait, Our mother (Kenneth B. Hait) May 24, 1971.” This marginalia directly states both the author of the manuscript history, and the identity of the person who made the copy, as well as dates for both events.

Who were these individuals?

Elizabeth Nancy (Smith) Hait appears in the 1900 U. S. Census in Brookhaven Township, Suffolk County, New York–the mother of Chester M., George E., Marion, Frank F., Myron, and Kenneth B. Hait.[1] Internal evidence confirms this identification.

According to my source [name withheld for privacy reasons], she received the family history from her father, Frank Smith Hait, the son of Elizabeth and brother of Kenneth. Frank had received it from his brother Kenneth, who sent a copy to each of his six then-living brothers. This story was later confirmed by another cousin, who had received a copy independently from her grandfather, another of the brothers.

(Presumably, my own great-grandfather should have also received a copy of this family history, but it appears that he either did not receive it or did not keep his copy. Though he died when I was only a year old, his wife–my great-grandmother–was very helpful to me in the beginning of my budding genealogy career when I was 8 or 9 years old. She sent me copies of stories and notes about our family. When she died, my grandmother was able to “rescue” innumerable family history scrapbooks and notebooks spanning back several generations. But this family history was not among these papers.)

Kenneth Blaisdell Hait, the son of Elizabeth, died in Lafayette, Louisiana, in September 1980.[2] He was a professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana from 1938 until his retirement in May 1968.[3]

In summary, the provenance of the manuscript is likely as follows:

  • Written by Elizabeth Nancy (Smith) Hait, May 1938
  • Photocopied and distributed to [among others] Frank Smith Hait, by Kenneth B. Hait, son of Elizabeth and brother of Frank, ca. May 1971
  • Copy provided by Frank to his daughter [name withheld], unknown date
  • Photocopy provided by [name withheld] to this researcher, ca. 1998
The organization and structure of the manuscript
The family history is fairly well-organized.
The first seven pages (paginated in the margin as 1-7) are headed “The Smith family of Long Island called the Bull Smiths.”
The next eleven pages (paginated as 8-18) are headed “The Finlayson family.”
Three pages (19-21) are headed “The Hait family.” This section also notes “This is the story as Mother Hait told me. E. N. Hait.”
The next section of two pages (22-23) is headed “The other version of the Hait or Hoyt family.”
The final page (24) is headed “The Van Inwegen family” and notes “What I am writing I heard from Mother Hait who was Annie Van Inwegen.”
The entire manuscript is a family history narrative.

Was Elizabeth, the author, a reliable source for information?

Elizabeth was born ca. 1864 (see note [1]), so she was about seventy-four years old when she wrote this history. Yet the handwriting of the family history is steady, evidence that she probably still maintained her mental facilities at the time of this writing.

Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth (Finlayson) Smith Terry probably served as the source for some of the information Elizabeth reported in the family history. Elizabeth Hait and Elizabeth Terry lived together for over twenty years in adulthood, from at least 1910[2] until Elizabeth Terry’s death in 1932.[3] This afforded much time for the two women, in their elder years, to discuss the family history reported here.

Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, Annie (Van Inwegen) Hait, also likely served as the informant for much of the family history in the Hait and Van Inwegen sections. In fact, Elizabeth specifically cited Annie as the source, as noted already above, with the statements “”This is the story as Mother Hait told me,” and “What I am writing I heard from Mother Hait who was Annie Van Inwegen.”

The manuscript also clearly refers to family papers then in the possession of Elizabeth Hait. Though the citations are not up to Evidence Explained standards of format, the identification of these sources provides reference to original records.

As will be seen, however, much of the history written in this manuscript involved Elizabeth Hait herself, and, as a participant in the events, she was able to provide primary information in her own right.

The citation

What everyone is waiting for:

Elizabeth Nancy (Smith) Hait, untitled family history, dated May 1938; copy by Kenneth Blaisdell Hait, dated 24 May 1971; photocopy provided by [name withheld, address withheld], currently in the possession of Michael Hait, Harrington, Delaware.

One aspect of the citation that should be explained, as it often causes confusion: though various sections bear headings, the manuscript as a whole does not have a title. In the above citation I have not chosen to create a title for this manuscript. However, it is acceptable to create a title for unpublished works, so long as you do not italicize this created title, nor enclose it in quotation marks. Italics and quotation marks generally designate existent titles, so these should not be used where no title exists in the original.

SOURCES:

[1] 1900 U. S. Census, Suffolk County, New York, population schedule, Brookhaven Township, enumeration district (ED) 749, sheet 3B, dwelling 65, family 66, Elizebeth Hait household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 749, FHL microfilm no. 1,241,165.

[2] “Social Security Death Index,” online database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2012), entry for Kenneth Hait, SS no. 434-54-1670.

[3] “[Psychology] Department History,” University of Louisiana Lafayette (http://psychology.louisiana.edu/history/index.shtml : accessed 29 April 2012).

[4] 1910 U. S. Census, Suffolk County, New York, population schedule, Brookhaven Town, enumeration district (ED) 1354, page 224 (stamped), sheet 4A, dwelling 77, family 78, Elizabeth Hait household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1081, FHL microfilm no. 1,375,094.

[5] Find A Grave, online database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 April 2012), Elizabeth M. Smith, memorial no. 33496464, Brooksville Cemetery (Brooksville, Hernando County, Florida). It is unknown why Elizabeth M. (Finlayson) Smith Terry’s tombstone does not contain her surname from her second marriage; however, this gravestone lies next to that of her daughter Elizabeth N. (Smith) Hait, and the design is identical, one bearing the word “Mother” and the other the word “Daughter,” so the identification is certain.

 

 

Reconciling conflicting information–a case study

The fourth precept of the Genealogical Proof Standard is that we “resolve any conflicts caused by contradictory items of evidence or information contrary to your conclusion.” To read more, see “Reconciling conflicting information.”

Regardless of what fact it is you are trying to prove, it is necessary to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard. This includes not only collecting all relevant records, but also analyzing and correlating the information. This process will almost invariably reveal conflicts. For this reason, the Standard requires that researchers consider the contradictory evidence.

1.         Gabriel Diggs, the son of George R. and Charlotte (Simmins) Diggs, was probably born on 10 September 1875, in Marlboro District, Prince George’s Co., Maryland,[1] and died on 2 December 1930, in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s Co., Maryland.[2] On 15 May 1894, in Prince George’s Co., Maryland, Gabriel married first, Christianna Tolson,[3] daughter of William and Roxana (West) Tolson.[4] She was born ca. 14 October 1873, in Prince George’s Co., Maryland, and died on 9 April 1912, in Prince George’s Co., Maryland.[5] After Christianna’s death, Gabriel married Susie Lee, daughter of Jupiter and Harriet Ann (Young)[6] Lee.[7] She was born ca. 1885-1886, in Prince George’s Co., Maryland.[8]

Gabriel’s date of birth

Though he was born after the abolition of slavery, Gabriel Diggs was still born before the advent of vital registration in the state of Maryland. The first vital registration laws in Maryland were passed in 1865, but the birth and death registration programs were abandoned just a few years later. The state would not again begin recording births (outside of Baltimore city) until 1898.[9]

In order to estimate the date of birth with optimum accuracy, it is therefore necessary to correlate the dates and ages of multiple sources. Gabriel’s age is provided in the federal census enumerations for the years from 1880 through 1930; two separate marriage records; a military draft registration card; and his death certificate. Each of these records must be weighed according to its individual reliability, allowing us to come to a reasonable conclusion. The following chart shows the ages, stated or estimated dates of birth, and dates of record, for each source for Gabriel’s age.

Source

Date of Record

Stated Age

Date of Birth

1880 U. S. Census[10]

1 Jun 1880

5 yrs

btw. 2 Jun 1874-1 Jun 1875
1894 Marriage[11]

15 May 1894

21 yrs

btw. 16 May 1872-15 May 1873
1900 U. S. Census[12]

1 Jun 1900

24 yrs

“Apr 1876”
1910 U. S. Census[13]

15 Apr 1910

34 yrs

btw. 16 Apr 1875-15 Apr 1876
1915 Marriage[14]

25 Jun 1915

39 yrs

btw. 26 Jun 1875-25 Jun 1876
World War I Draft Card[15]

12 Sep 1918

43 yrs

“Sept. 10th 1875”
1920 U. S. Census[16]

1 Jan 1920

44 yrs

btw. 2 Jan 1875-1 Jan 1876
1930 U. S. Census[17]

1 Apr 1930

54 yrs

btw. 2 Apr 1875-1 Apr 1876
Death Certificate[18]

2 Dec 1930

53 yrs, 3 mos, 22 dys

10 Sep 1877

The 1918 draft registration card contains both primary information and direct evidence of Gabriel’s date of birth, provided by Gabriel himself.[19] The ages reported in the 1915 marriage record and the census records from 1910 through 1930 support this date.

Of the remaining sources of information concerning Gabriel’s age or date of birth, the conflicting information can be generally explained. Federal census records do not record the informant, and cannot be judged as simply as other records might; their reliability as sources of genealogical information therefore varies from record to record, household to household.

The earliest record in which Gabriel appears is the 1880 federal census, as a young child. This record reports his age as five years old.[20] It is not rare among census records to find a small child’s age to be slightly inaccurate, especially since there is no way to know whether or not the child’s parents served as informant for the record.

The 1900 federal census provides the correct age, but reports the month and year of Gabriel’s birth as April 1876.[21] Again, the informant for this record is not known, so its reliability cannot be empirically evaluated. In light of the other evidence, however, it would appear that the record is simply mistaken.

The 1894 marriage record likely contains primary information provided by Gabriel himself, yet conflicts by the greatest variance with the birth date provided on the draft card. Whereas all other records examined place Gabriel’s date of birth at around 1875 or 1876, this record states Gabriel’s age as 21 years of age, placing his date of birth in 1873. In 1894, the age of majority in the state of Maryland was 21 years, so it seems probable that Gabriel deliberately misstated his age on this marriage record so that he could be married without parental permission.[22] This theory is corroborated by the 1930 federal census record. In the column where it asks “Age at first marriage,” the census reports that Gabriel was first married at age 19.[23] If he was indeed nineteen years of age at the time of his 1894 marriage, then Gabriel would have been born ca. 1875, as other evidence suggests.

Finally, Gabriel’s death certificate records his date of birth as 10 September 1877. This is two years later than all other estimates, but shares the same month and day as Gabriel himself reported twelve years earlier on his draft card. Most death certificates are signed by the informant, but this certificate does not name the informant.[24] In this case, it appears that the informant was someone who knew Gabriel’s birthdate, but not his exact age.

All evidence thus being considered, it seems certain that Gabriel was born in either late 1875 or early 1876, and most probable that he was born on 10 September 1875.

SOURCES:

[1] See discussion under heading “Gabriel’s date of birth.”

[2] Maryland Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate no. 16201 (1930), Gabriel Diggs; Maryland State Archives microfilm no. SR 3111.

[3] Prince George’s Co., Maryland, Marriage Record, Liber JWB 1, ff. 76-77, Gabriel Diggs and Christianna Tolson, 15 May 1894; Maryland State Archives microfilm no. CR 7537-1.

[4] Maryland Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate not numbered, Christiana Diggs, 9 Apr 1912; Maryland State Archives microfilm no. SR 3025. 1880 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Third District, ED 123, SD 3, pg. 40, dwelling 316, family 326, William Tolson household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Jan 2010); citing NARA microfilm T9, roll 513, FHL microfilm 1,254,513.

[5] Maryland death certificate, not numbered, Christiana Diggs, 9 Apr 1912.

[6] Prince George’s County Marriage Licenses, 1879-1886, f. 32, Jubiter Lee and Harriet Ann Young, 9 Jun 1883; Maryland State Archives microfilm no. CR 50,230-7.

[7] 1910 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Third Election District, Upper Marlboro Town, ED 62, SD 4, sheet 16B, dwelling 51, family 51, Jupiter Lee household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm T624, roll 567.

[8] 1910 U. S. Census, Prince George’s Co., Md., pop. sch., 3rd Election Dist., Upper Marlboro Town, ED 62, SD 4, sheet 16B, dwg 51, fam 51, Susie Lee.

[9] For a general overview of Maryland vital registration laws, see Maryland State Archives, “Death Records,” online article, Guide to Government Records (http://guide.mdsa.net/viewer.cfm?page=death : accessed 23 Nov 2010).

[10] 1880 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Third District, ED 123, SD 3, stamped page 66, page 11, dwelling not numbered, family 84, George Diggs household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 513, FHL microfilm 1,254,513.

[11] Prince George’s Co. Marriage Record, JWB 1: 75, Diggs to Tolson.

[12] 1900 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Melwood, 15th Election District, ED 107, SD 3, pg. 19B, dwelling 259, family 260, George R. Diggs household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm T623, roll 626.

[13] 1910 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Third Election District, ED 62, SD 4, pg. 2B, dwelling 35, family 36, Gabriel Diggs household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 567.

[14] Prince George’s County Marriage Record, Liber BDS, ff. 76-77, Gabriel Diggs and Susie Lee, 25 Jun 1915; Maryland State Archives microfilm no. CR 7538.

[15] “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital images, Ancestry.com, Gabriel Diggs, serial no. 610, order no. 248, Draft Board 0, Prince George’s County, Maryland; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll not cited, FHL microfilm roll no. 1,684,364.

[16] 1920 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Mellwood District, ED 90, SD 4, stamped page 123, sheet 11A, dwelling 195, family 206, Gabriel Diggs household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 674.

[17] 1930 U. S. Census, Prince George’s County, Maryland, population schedule, Marlboro District No. 3, ED 17-9, SD 5, stamped page 83, sheet 14A, dwelling 214, family 228, Gabriel Diggs household; digital images, Ancestry.com; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 877.

[18] Maryland death certificate no. 16201 (1930), Gabriel Diggs.

[19] World War I draft registration card for Gabriel Diggs, serial no. 610, order no. 248, Prince George’s Co., Maryland.

[20] 1880 U. S. Census, Prince George’s Co., Md., pop. sch., Third Dist., ED 123, SD 3, pg. 11, dwg not numd., fam 84, George Diggs h/h.

[21] 1900 U. S. Census, Prince George’s Co., Md., pop. sch., Melwood, 15th Election District, ED 107, SD 3, pg. 19B, dwg 259, fam 260, Gabriel Diggs.

[22] Prince George’s Co. Marriage Record, Liber JWB 1, fol. 75, Diggs to Tolson, 15 May 1894.

[23] 1930 U. S. Census, Prince George’s Co., Md., pop. sch., Marlboro Dist. No. 3, ED 17-9, SD 5, sheet 14A, dwg 214, fam 228, Gabriel Diggs.

[24] Maryland death certificate no. 16201 (1930), Gabriel Diggs.

If you would like to cite this post: Michael Hait, “Reconciling conflicting information–a case study,”Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog, posted 4 February 2012 (http://michaelhait.wordpress.com : accessed [access date]). [Please also feel free to include a hyperlink to the specific article if you are citing this post in an online forum.]

Another Brick in the Wall? or Brickwall in the Tree?

This week – by sheer coincidence I am sure – the Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt (#12) from Thomas MacEntee’s Genea-Bloggers group and the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog both have the same theme:  use your blog to work on a brickwall.

Though I have many, I will focus on one that has bothered me for years:  George L. Obaugh/Orebaugh of Augusta Co., Virginia.

To give some information on this line:  my grandmother’s grandfather was Owen B. Obaugh, born 4 May 1884 in Rockingham Co., Virginia, to James A. and Mary Jane (Propes) Obaugh.  James A. Obaugh was born 27 March 1854 in Augusta Co., Virginia, according to the minister’s return on his marriage to Mary Jane on 9 Sep 1880 in the same county.  Mary Jane was the daughter of David and Rebecca Virginia (Rusmisel) Propes.

James A. Obaugh was the third child of George L. and Mary (Breneman) Obaugh.  George L. Obaugh (also called Orebaugh in some records) married Mary Breneman by 1850, when they appear together in the 1850 federal census of Augusta County (as George S. Orebough).  George L. and Mary Obaugh are also named in Mary’s father Abraham Breneman’s will in Augusta County in 1847.

Also in Augusta County in 1850 was a George A. Orebaugh of roughly the same age, indicating the presence of at least two lines, my own and that of George A.  There was an older man named Adam Orebaugh, living with his (presumed) son Adam’s family.  It is unknown whether this Adam was of the George A. or George L. Orebaugh/Obaugh line.

I have also checked the Augusta County deed indexes, and have found several involving George L., but none involving him and another Orebaugh/Obaugh.  George L. and Mary both apparently died between 1900 and 1910, though their death certificates have not yet been located.

George L. Obaugh (also called Orebaugh) was born ca. 1822 (acc. to 1850 census), 1823 (acc. to 1870 census), 1824 (acc. to 1880 census), or 1828 (acc. to 1900 census) in Virginia.  Before 1847, he married Mary Breneman, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Breneman.  He died after 1900, probably in Augusta Co., Virginia.

George L. and Mary (Breneman) Obaugh had the following children:

1.  Samuel Obaugh, b. ca. 1848.

2.  Sarah Obaugh, b. ca. 1851

3.  James A. Obaugh, b. 27 Mar 1854

4.  William Obaugh, b. ca. 1857

Anyone who has this family in their ancestry, please contact me!

Now, the second part of this blog is to locate records groups that may help me break down this brickwall, in the Family History Library Catalog.  A few that I see that might help are listed below:


File index to loose papers, 1745-1952

Authors
Augusta County (Virginia). County Clerk (Main Author)

Notes:  Microfilm of originals at the Augusta County courthouse, Staunton, Virginia.

Publication
Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1953

Physical
1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.


Personal property tax lists of Augusta County, 1782-1851

Authors
Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Augusta County) (Main Author)

Notes
Microfilm of original records at Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia.

Augusta County had two tax lists per year. There was not tax collected for the year of 1808, the General Assembly did not pass tax collecting legislation for that year. Tax lists give the name of the person being taxed or tithed, type and amount of taxable property, amount of tax, and the county statistics.

Publication
Richmond [Virginia] : Virginia State Library, 1986

Physical
7 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.


Now, I’ll be honest – I will probably not order these microfilms from the Family History Library.  Instead, since I live in Maryland, I will likely take the trip (2+ hours driving) down to the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Va., which serves as the state archives.  There are sure to be additional records available there that the FHL does not have listed.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Paternal Grandmother’s Patrilinear Line

The theme of this blog comes from Randy Seaver’s blog Genea-Musings.  He challenges us to list our paternal grandmother’s (father’s mother) patrilineal line, that is her father’s father’s father’s etc., in the hopes of identifying Y-DNA candidates for this line.  Since I had already decided to try to include more personal genealogy in my blog, I will start with this one.

My grandmother was Marjorie Katherine Posson (1926-2002), daughter of Clarence Posson.  She was very special to me, and I will always regret that I was out of town when she passed.  I was supposed to visit with her the night before I left, but got tied up with other things, and told her I would come see her as soon as I got back.  It was the last time I spoke with her.  My grandma was the one who first got me into genealogy back when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and (as you may know) it has since become a passion.

I have used the Ahnentafel numbers for this line.

5.  Marjorie Katherine Posson (1926-2002)

10.  Clarence Posson (1898-1973)

20.  Fred Posson (1871-1954)

40.  William Henry Harrison Posson (1840-1906)  Civil War veteran – went to Rockford, Illinois with cousin Henry Posson – enlisted in Co. G, 45th Illinois Volunteers – moved to West Berne

80.  William Posson (1800-?)

160.  Peter Posson  (1771-?)

320.  Peter Posson  (1739-?)

640.  Conrad Posson

As for a Y-DNA line, my grandmother does have a brother, and he is still living, so I will not put his name here, but maybe I can talk him into a Y-DNA test?  Who knows?

Michael

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