I have blogged about this non-genealogy database management software program before. Evidentia.
Unlike those programs, it’s not about names, dates, and places, but about Sources or containers of Information.
A friend of mine gave me two pieces of paper and asked me to look up her “peeps” on Fold3.com. The print outs were from a Civil War Registration book. She wanted to know more about these to people and the Civil War. I can do this, Fold3.com here I come.
I had the Name, residence, age as of 1 July 1863, born in New York. I wanted to start with me finding the same document that she gave me. Found it, using Ancestry.com’s new search, very quickly, and there he was on line 6.
Name: James A Wake
Residence: New York
Congressional District: 6th
Age on 1 July 1863: 36
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1827
Place of Birth: New York
It said the he was a Foreman.
The other person was similar, but 2 years younger and in different Congressional District.
I hadn’t seen this type of ledger book before, and didn’t even realize there was such a book. Very nice find. This should be easy.
Fold3.com, next stop. I tried searching for both James Wake and George Hendrickson. No luck in the Civil War Service Records, so I then used the Browse feature, working my way down the various options. Nothing. How can this be.
As an aside, I am struggling with Chapter 3 of Mastering Genealogical Proof book by Dr Thomas Jones and “Reasonably Exhaustive” Research.
Then I remembered a lesson that I heard a number of times, to understand the records you are looking for or seeing, to discover what they were created for and what might you find on that record collection. Back to Ancestry, found the record, then scrolled down to the page to the “About” collection name. Here is the link to this specific collection:
So, putting this collection into history, the page says in part.
About U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865
This is a collection of lists of Civil War Draft Registrations. There were four drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3.175 million records. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863.
Note the date just before the AGE, 1863. Yeah, OK, but that doesn’t tell me why I didn’t find these two gentlemen in the Civil War Service collection on Fold3.com. Since I was on Ancestry.com, I looked there too. Nothing.
I did my collecting of ‘normal’ information, all sounded straight forward, BUT, there is a CLASS column. The younger one had Class 1, the older, by 2 years, had Class 2.
Back to the information about the collection.
The records are split into two different classes, Class I are those aged 20-35 as well as those 36-45 and unmarried. Class II is everyone else that registered.
The younger one was 34 as of 1 July 1863 and married, the older was 36, also married. So, the classification was correct.
Maybe the reason they didn’t show up in the Service Records is that they didn’t sign up. This was only a Registration.
It appears that one was over the age limit, with the second approaching 35, and both married.
What was the question that was posed to me? Would you find the Civil War Records for these two people? We have to have a question to answer, or why would we be searching.
My current hypothesis is that they did NOT serve in the Civil War.
Did I do an “exhaustive research”, probably NO, but there are clues, for me, that they did not serve. The full step in the Genealogical Proof Standard has the word “reasonably” in front of it.
That doesn’t mean that I am not going to stop searching, but only putting that question aside for now. I don’t consider it a brick wall, but there must be a story here somewhere. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t re-ask that question as new information is found.
Why these two names, don’t appear to be related, both from New York, but that is about it. Oh, yes, my friend. There must be a connection there somewhere.
That may be a story for another blog post.
Guessing there is more, I am entering this data, from the Source Document, into Evidentia.
Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010., accessed 12 July 2014.
Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. ARC ID: 4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives, Washington D.C.