Saturday, September 9, 2017

Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group: Week 1


Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group
Chapter One: The Purpose and Nature of Genealogical Documentation

Marceline Beem



Reference:

Jones, Thomas W. "The Purpose and Nature of Genealogical Documentation." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 1-10. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.


I can't remember a time in my research where documenting my sources wasn't important to me. Some of my earliest readings in compiled genealogies had me scratching my head and asking "How did he know that?" These books were, of course, older books that had no bibliography or works cited sections.


Although I understood the importance of citing my sources, I wasn't always consistent with that part of the research process, probably because I didn't understand the importance of writing my conclusions - outside of putting them into my Legacy file, that is. Now that I'm writing up my research notes and conclusions as I go, having a better understanding of how to craft a citation without relying exclusively on software templates or having to pick up Evidence Explained is one of the areas I'd like to grow in, and one reason I'm excited about being part of this study group.


One of the points that Dr. Jones makes in the first chapter is that citations formats found in guides such as Evidence Explained are great starting places, but sometimes adjustments need to be made, and that's okay.1 One example of this from my own research came in crafting a citation for the 1850 census listing of my 3rd great-grandfather, James Baldwin, who was living in Duval County, Florida. Here is an image of the census:

James Baldwin family, 1850, Duval County, Florida


Usually a census citation would include the dwelling number and family number, but on this page, those columns are hard to read. Using enhancement tools at both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch did not help. To overcome that, I use the line number and include a notation for the reason for that when I cite this census record.2 Making this substitution, the basic citation now looks like this:

1850 U.S. census, Duval County, Florida, population schedule, Thomasville District, page 118 (stamped), line 6, James Baldwin; digital image, FamilySearch.org (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 Sep 2016); citing NARA microfilm publication M432. (The page is hard to read because of faded ink, even when using viewing aids at Ancestry and FamilySearch. In the citation, the line item is used because the dwelling and family numbers are partially illegible.)


This is a simple example of having flexibility in creating citations, but hopefully it helps us start to think through what we are citing,  and go beyond using the style guides as "models and templates to slavishly copy."3
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1. Jones, Thomas W.  Mastering Genealogical Documentation (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017), 5.

2. See the first footnote on my blog post "GPS Study Group Week 2: Where was James Baldwin born?," 40th & Plum (https://40th-and-plum.blogspot.com/2017/01/gps-study-group-week-2-where-was-james.html), published January 22, 2017.

3. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 6.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Martha Golden Mashburn: Who is her Father? Eliminating the Possibilities

Note: This is the second article in a series about Martha Golden Mashburn. Since last week's post, my aunt Sherry has sent me a copy of Griffin Golden's death certificate. His parents are listed as "unknown," so the search continues to identify their parents.

Last week I reconstructed the birth family of Martha Golden and her brother, Griffin.1 I believe they had at least five other siblings:
  1.      Nancy, b 1828-29 in SC (m. Elijah Alverson, 1852)
  2.      Jane, b 1832 in Alabama (m. Marshall Savage, 1854)
  3.      Martha, b 1834 in Alabama (m. Lawson Mashbburn, 1852)
  4.      Caroline (Eliza), b 1836 in Alabama
  5.      Griffin, b 1839 in Alabama (m. Peggy Alverson, 1863)
  6.      Robert, b 1842 in Alabama
  7.      William, b 1843 in Alabama
In 1911, Griffin Golden stated that he was born "near Jemison's Mill" in Talladega County, Alabama.2 Jemison's Mill, operated by Robert Jemison, was located on Choccoloocco and Cheaha Creeks.3 Two Golden men purchased land near Robert Jemison before 1840: John N. Golding (1837) and William F. Golding (1839).4

In 1840, there were three Golding families in Talladega County: two headed by a William Goulding and one headed by John N. Goulding.5 John and one of the William's is on the same page, just several houses apart. Assuming that all of the children are in the same household - a reasonable assumption given that Robert and William were born after the 1840 census - William's family is too small, with just three people in the household: one male age 50-59, one male ages 5-9, and one female age 15-19. The other William Goulding in Talladega County has young children in the household, but they are all boys - three under the age of 5, and one aged 5-9; there are no young girls in the household. That leaves John as the only candidate, and his household composition does fit the identified sibling group:
  • Males under 5: 2 [Griffin, one unidentified]
  • Males 30-39: 1 [John N.]
  • Females under 5: 2 [Caroline (Eliza), one unidentified]
  • Females 5-9: 2 [Jane, Martha]
  • Female 10-14: 1 [Nancy]
  • Female 30-39: 1 [John's wife, unidentified at this time]
The only Golden family in Talladega County in 1850 is headed by William Golden, age 38, who was born in South Carolina. John N. is not enumerated in St. Clair or Talladega Counties.6 The youngest of Martha's brothers, William (b. 1843), is living with Jackson Stewart, two doors away from William Golden's family.7 As previously discussed, Nancy and Jane are living in Saint Clair County with John Alverson and Zachariah Warren, respectively.8-9 It appears that John died between 1840 and 1850, and the children were scattered with relatives across two counties.

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  1. Marceline R. Beem, "Martha 'Blind Granny' Mashburn: Identifying Siblings," 40th & Plum (http://40th-and-plum.blogspot.com/2017/07/martha-blind-granny-mashburn.html : published July 17, 2017).
  2. Local Items and Comments,” Pell City Progress, Pell City (Alabama), February 2, 1911, p. 1, from the vertical files of the St. Clair County Archives (Griffin Golden file). The copy obtained from the archives does not contain the full page, so the column number cannot be identified.
  3. The Jemison-Turner House, Turner, Talladega County c. 1840,” Alabama Heritage (http://www.alabamaheritage.com/places-in-peril/the-jemison-turner-house-turner-talladega-county-c1840-places-in-peril-2011 : accessed July 5, 2017).
  4. “First Landowners Project”, HistoryGeo.com (http://www.historygeo.com : accessed June 30, 2017), search for Golding in Talladega County, Alabama.
  5. 1840 U.S census, Talladega County, Alabama, population schedule, pages 257 and 260; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing FHL microfilm 0,002,335.
  6. 1850 U.S census, Talladega County, Alabama, population schedule, Talladega, p. 472B (stamped), dwelling 1695, family 1721, Jackson D. Stewart; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 15.
  7. 1850 U.S census, Talladega County, Alabama, population schedule, Talladega, p. 472B (stamped), dwelling 1697, family 1723, William Golden; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 15.
  8. 1850 U.S census, Saint Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, District 40, p. 233 (penned), p. 116 (stamped), dwelling 202, family 202, John Alberson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 14. 
  9. 1850 U.S census, Saint Clair County, Alabama, population schedule, District 40, p. 233 (penned), p. 116 (stamped), dwelling 203, family 203, Zacariah Warren; digital images,Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 June 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 14.