Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Step 3

September 29, 2011

With all of the research, I have forgotten to talk about the Steps involved with Inferential Genealogy.

Dr. Jones puts step 3 this way.

Step 3: Understand the Records
If we don’t understand the records, we won’t get all the information from them that we need to answer our research goal.
• Know why a document was created.
• Follow document creation processes from beginning to end.
• Note differences in records. Is there something that appears in your ancestor’s record that is different than the records of others?

I really focused on this step early on, and will cycle back through this with other records.

The first example is the understanding Civil War records. This study took me to look at these records. I really hadn’t looked at them, as my earlier research just hadn’t taken me there.

The two lessons learned with looking at these records is: 1) Where to look, and 2) the details that you might find.

Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com) has a great collection (for me) of Civil War records. What I didn’t know is that the Union Records are Federal Records, while a CSA veteran records are archived by state. This is interesting for me, in that Maryland was on which side. This would be an issue if you didn’t know which side your person fought for. Do you look at Union Records or Confederate Records. I didn’t have a problem locating the records in Fold3. This was one place where I found that David Ridgely Howard had brothers in the Civil War.

The information included in the records I looked at were incredible. In these records I found that he was wounded in Gettysburg and about a year later lost his leg in another battle. What hospital he went to, when he “didn’t show up” for a muster, due to he being in the hospital. 18 pages in information. One of his brothers had 30 pages. Some can be read, some couldn’t.

The second area was understanding the Census Records. What information is important, which pieces in a specific census year should be recorded in my genealogy software, and how to record what was found.

Understanding the Census Records prior to 1850 may not have a lot of detail, I took a blank census record year, on a blank form, and marked up which columns I was going to record for each person listed.

Back in an earlier step, we were asked to check to see what relationships were recorded. Looking at the Census Records, 1850 – 1930, this information improves.

What I decided to do is to record the Household, with the Age of each member of the household, the name of the Head of Household, and put that information in the Name Notes field in my program.

This gave me the make up of the household and the age of the members of the household over time. When the 1870 Census Records started to show relationships, I could look at the specific person to see if the other information was consistent, or not consistent. So, looking at the data within the records, in this case Census Records, helped put the families together, then establishing the relationships.

As other records were reviewed, the relationships were recorded in the same place.


Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Naming Conventions

September 28, 2011

One thing that has always interested me, is “Where did THAT name come from?

As one of those who has always been known by my middle name, I try to find out the answer to that question.

It took me a while to find my grandfather in the 1900 Census, as I knew where he was, but couldn’t find him. I knew he was living with his grandparents, and I knew where. Not there.

BUT, then I remembered that his grandmother remarried. As soon as I did a search for her 2nd marriage surname, I found her and my grandfather AND where my middle name came from, as it hadn’t been used up until this point.

The same thing happened when I started to look for Ridgely Howard, as that is the only name I knew. But, both Ridgely and Howard were “my” surnames.

The piece that I learned in the past several days was a little about Southern Traditions of the use of First and Middle Names. Apparently, those in the ‘south’ interchanged First and Middle Names at will. Sometimes call by their middle name and sometimes called by their first name.

In this study, I have also found this to be true, or at least I thought so. In my my review of some of the mid 1800 census records, I saw a James McHenry Howard and a McHenry Howard. Both with the same birth year, which for census records, that may be a 3 year time span, and in the same town (Baltimore, Maryland).

The good news, in my genealogy database, I recorded them separately, but kept in the back of my mind, and made note about this that they may be the same person.

For a while, I thought that James McHenry just reported McHenry, as he might have been going by his middle name, like I do.

Early on, Dr. Jones reminded us (in my words) “don’t jump to conclusions”.

Understanding, or being aware of Naming “conventions” for a specific area or tradition, is something to keep in mind when trying to break down a brick wall.

When I come to a new “name”, one that is appearing for the first time, I ask myself that question: “Where did THAT name come from?”


Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Why Read Wills

September 28, 2011

Here is another example of Expanding your research. I have, sort-a, read Wills in the past. They were interesting, but don’t normally read and record what I find in them.

This project reminded me of why I should read wills.

Doing a generic Google search for Charles Ridgely, believed to be a brother of David Ridgely OR the father of another Ridgely, I came across a link to the Maryland State Archives for “a” Charles Ridgely. The search results were “in the ball park” for what I was looking for. But, check the wording in the Will:

Quote:

Charles Ridgely of Hampton (1760-1829)
MSA SC 3520-1446

Governor of Maryland, 1816-1819 (Federalist)

December 6, 1760 in Baltimore as Charles Ridgely Carnan.  His uncle, Captain Charles Ridgely, willed his estate to him on the condition that he assume the name Charles Ridgely; he did so legally in 1790.  He was also known as Charles Ridgely of Hampton.

End Quote:

[ This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user. ]

© Copyright March 31, 2011Maryland State Archives

It turned out that Carnan surname shows up in this line, so now I know “where that name came from”.

Learning: Read Wills


Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–Attend Webinars

September 27, 2011

Expanding our research is one of the ways we can find information to help us ready our goal in the process.

I attend Webinars frequently especially those that are presented or have Genea-Bloggers presenting about the topic of Genealogy. You never know what you might find while attending a webinar.

This evening I attended “DearMYRTLE’s A FEW GOOD SITES Workshop Webinar”. She was showing the participants various websites where we can do research.

She showed about 70 listeners a number of websites that she uses to pint out what you might find on each.

When Ancestry.com was brought up, she shared no only what you might find on this website, but then she opened up her Ancestry Member Tree. Please understand that she and I already have hints that we are related but haven’t spent a lot of time talking about it. We have done shared Webinars and other presentations, online, but her example, right there online, in the Webinar, the exact family line that I had been working on, figuring out relationships, the previous night. Just on her screen, in the webinar, were probably 10 of the same names that I was working on.

As she was presenting, I emailed her several pictures of the Church where that group of people attended.

We will continue to put the pieces together and it may be that in her records, SHE holds the key to help me reach the secondary goal of finding out who David Ridgely Howards grandfather was. I think his name was on that screen that she shared.

Here is a link to her Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com

Thanks DearMYRTLE and don’t forget to check into see what are up coming Webinars on this website: http://blog.geneawebinars.com/

 

GeneaWebinars1


Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life–A New Resource

September 26, 2011

It has been apparent that there were Two Howard families in Baltimore. Better stated, I thought there were two, but hadn’t found anything to prove or disprove this. Some might call this Conflict Resolution. There may be a third, but I am not ready to go there yet.

I heard Thomas Jay Kemp say in a Webinar, “Don’t forget the Newspapers”. Oh yeah, I have said that here as well, but after listing to what GenealogyBank.com can provide us. Besides, I needed to look at some new records.

I was reminded that one of the Howards was in the Garrison Forrest section of Baltimore County, when I found a newspaper article about General John Eager Howard. He is one of the Revolutionary War people that I have found using the Revolutionary War records.

I have visited St. Thomas Episcopal Church Garrison Forrest a couple of years ago while doing some Worthington research. Later I have a talk for the Maryland Historical Society about a house “just down the road” in Worthington Valley. I have also Blogged about that house here, Montmorenci.

When I visited St. Thomas, I picked up the history of that Church, and low and behold  General Howard was listed in that book, as was the Worthington’s I had been researching.

The “conflict” was this Howard family from England in the mid to late 1600’s, being Anglican, or the Quaker Howards that came to the colonies much earlier.

From the information that I have on hand, and the information I have from this History book, I can but This Howard line aside for a while, because if may not be the same Howard Line that David Ridgely Howard is in.

Many of the names that I added to my database today are also mentioned in this book from St. Thomas Garrison Forrest. But that’s another story (for now)

If only I could find David R. Howard’s grandparents.

Maybe I need to look at some of my other Maryland books that are on my bookshelf.


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