Tuesday, November 27, 2018

AmericaGen: Chapters 14 and 15, Census Records

Reference: Greenwood, Val, The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2017.

It seems like every census year I have at least one family that I can't locate where I think they should be. Every now and then the family has moved, but sometimes the census enumerator or modern-day indexer have badly mangled the names. Searching for other family members, especially if one has an unusual first name, has helped me find more than one "missing" family.

My direct ancestor, William Beem, died in 1850. I easily found his widow and children living with her parents in the 1850 census, but could not find them anywhere in 1860. The child I descend from has an unsual first name, Elbridge, so I decided to search for him. From prior research, I knew Elbridge was born in Ohio about 1840, so those are the parameters I entered into the search form. I did not include a last name.  I also knew Elbridge had enlisted in an Ohio unit at the start of the Civil War, so I expected to find him in Ohio.

Once I narrowed the search results down to the 1860 Federal Census, one possibility jumped out at me: Elbridge Ball of Jersey, Licking County, Ohio. 

This is exactly where the Beems lived. Clicking on the link, the head of household is Samuel Ball and his (presumed) wife, Christina Ball. 

Listing of Samuel Ball Household in the 1860 U.S. Census, Licking County, Ohio, Jersey Township.

Bingo! Elbridge's mother was Christiana, and included in this blended family are his brothers, Lewis and William. Evidently Christiana had remarried, and the enumerator listed all of the Beem children with the Ball surname. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

AmericaGen Chapter 13: Vital Records

Reference: Greenwood, Val D. “Vital Records.” In The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th ed.,279-. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2017.

Delayed birth certificates, although mostly considered secondary evidence, in addition to establishing a person's birth date and location, can provide clues that help establish relationships as well. In Tennessee, the applicant needed to provide documentation of their age as well as two witnesses who could verify the applicant's parents. I was able to finally crack a brick wall when I found a delayed birth certificate for an ancestor's sibling who had moved out of state. I had lost track of this sibling after the 1870 census, when she was last enumerated with her parents. The delayed birth certificate gave me her husband's name and showed me that they had moved to Illinois sometime after the births of at least two children. No wonder I couldn't find her in Tennessee! The information from the delayed birth record gave me enough clues to start researching again, and with information now available online, I was able to piece together what happened to the other sister that I hadn't been able to track as an adult.

Source: "Tennessee, Delayed Birth Records, 1869-1909," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed November 11, 2018), entry for Condy Huston Dabney, 1890; citing Tennessee Delayed Birth Records, 1869–1909. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Condy Huston Dabney, Delayed Birth Certificate, Front

Condy Huston Baker was born in Coal Creek, Tennessee on May 2, 1890, the son of German Dabney and Sara Adkins. The certificate was applied for in Harrisburg, Illinois, where Condy was living at the time of application. Notice the supporting evidence at the bottom of the first image. The first table lists what was used for evidence, and the second table shows what evidence those documents provided.

Condy Huston Dabney, Delayed Birth Certificate, Back

The back of the application contains statements from the two witnesses. Samuel Disney and Martha Jane Disney claimed to have known German and Sarah their entire lives, and had lived in the same neighborhood when Condy was born.

Samuel also stated he was Condy's cousin. This was a key piece of evidence, as Sarah's mother was a Disney, but I had been unable to find evidence to support that claim. With the clues provided in this delayed birth record, I was able to find other evidence that the maiden name of Sarah's mother was, indeed, Disney.