I was preparing a presentation for a recent Genealogy Conference and wanted to demonstrate how to “begin with what you know” entry into a new Genealogy database. I talked about entering myself and my parents into that database and my next slide, in the presentation was STOP. Why stop? To talk about Citing your Source and to create a Research Log on what I had just done.
I added that I wanted to add a new Fact / Event for my father and described my dad’s baptism, on a specific date, in a specific church. The kicker was that I had First Hand Knowledge of that event. My dad, brother, and I were all Baptized on the same day. My purpose was to expand the information for the three people in this new database, while crafting a First Hand Knowledge Citation.
Because my genealogy program has a Fact, Citation, Rating system, as described in the book, Evidence Explained, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I demonstrated that as well.
I walked through the 4 Quality measures for Rating a Source and the Justification for the rating I chose. The Justification being “Was present at the event, age 6, but will need other documents to prove this fact”.
I then proceeded to upload and sync this small database (52 people) to Ancestry to start to receive hints from their records. This is where the fun began.
The first Hint I followed, keeping in mind I am trying to prepare for a presentation and not doing research, I found this record.
It was a Quaker Record where my Grandfather is listed, along with my Dad and his siblings. The date was 30 June 1927. Rotating the image to see what was written on this “blue line” page in a record book, it read Certified from the Chester Monthly Meeting. The 3rd column was labeled “Gains”.
I had not seen this record before, I knew that my Grandfather should have been a member of the Chester Monthly Meeting (in New Jersey), but had figured that his membership would have been moved much earlier. He and my Grandmother were married in the Birmingham-Lafayette Monthly Meeting in 1915, so was surprised to see the official transfer in 1927.
What I hadn’t realized was the my Dad and is siblings were also part of the Chester Monthly Meeting, I guess by default, with their father. Just never thought about that. For a time line, for my Dad, this was where the Church Records start.
The very next hint was:
A typed document, same date as the earlier one, but a document from Quaker Records, showing who was part of the committee that visited my grandfather, my dad and his siblings. Of interest were two surnames that I recognize, and will look at later (FAN Club).
The next Hint, was a record from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, receiving my Dad into that church. It was dated well after his Baptism. Timeline is not out of line, consistent with what I knew.
Seeing that this page was really two pages, the next image was this.
That was the indication what my Dad was transferred, in church records from the church in Pennsylvania, to the church in New Jersey. Again, the timeline is correct in sequence, but the timeliness of the event is delayed a lot (couple of years). I guess it takes time for the Church Paperwork to catch up with the reality of the surrounding events.
I should note, that these images do not have citations on them, because I have not entered this information into my genealogy database program yet. These records are from hints, so I can keep track of these hints.
I do not know that last time that my grandfather went to the Quaker Meeting in Moorestown, NJ, nor to I know if my dad and his siblings ever attended there. I do know that my Dad has been to that Quaker Meeting, because I took him there.
And, he died in an Adult Care Center within 5 miles of this Quaker Meeting.
Lesson Learned: Be a little loose at Dates when looking at Church Records, as the dates when the records were created may be several years off from the dates you may search for. I had enough information in my database, so that the Ancestry Shaky Leaf Hints found these church records. I was NOT looking for these records, but these were the first four Hints that I saw and followed.