Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Conflict Resolution

One of the steps in this process is dealing with Conflicts within your genealogy database.

Today was one of those days to deal with a couple of conflicts. The first was to review and adjust information on two people. James McHenry Howard and McHenry Howard. Both lived in close proximity to the other but there were two separate households. The good news is that the households stayed together, if they moved at all. Both were born about 1838 or 1839, but that might have been a census record issue.

The key difference was McHenry Howard occupation was a Lawyer while James McHenry Howard was a physician. Their fathers were of similar ages, and I could connect McHenry’s father back to a long Howard Line. Couldn’t connect James McHenry Howards father back nor could I connect him to McHenry’s father.

Another “conflict” was a brother of McHenry Howard’s father Charles. It has been listed as James. James was also James McHenry Howard’s father.

It was not clear that these two James were the same person, but could not make any connection.

I took a side step a minute to see what I may have missed. Certainly a City Directory would have shown the Doctor and the Lawyer somewhere. However, I didn’t find a good directory for the timeframe. I happened to do that search on Genealogy Bank. That’s when I found an obituary. The Obituary was for a Elizabeth Phoebe Key Howard. Key, as in Francis Scott Key. Elizabeth Phoebe Key Howard was the oldest daughter of Frances Scott Key. It listed the pallbearers, which included Messers, William R. Howard, Dr. James McHenry Howard, Edward Lloyd Key, Dr. Henry J Key, W. George Weld, Wilson Cary McHenry, Richard H. Pose, and G.T. Beaureguard Howard, all of whom are family connections of Mrs. Howard.

Dr. James McHenry was not a son of Mrs. Howard, William R. Howard WAS a brother of McHenry Howard.

Reviewing the Census Records and how I had recorded the relationships I had found, I resolved the two James Howards, as the same person, making James McHenry Howard’s Father, the Brother of McHenry Howard’s Father.

Lesson Learned: The Obituary pointed the way “all whom are family connections of Mrs. Howard to a review of the relationships established in the Census Records. The two families were buried in separate cemeteries but they lived in the same neighborhood. The headstones firmed but the relationships.

A bonus: This puts David Ridgely Howard into my Family Tree.

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