When was the last time you went back and looked at your Family Tree File or your documents/research? How often do you give it a ‘tune up’?
I’m considering taking a group of ancestors each month and evaluating what I have, what documents/information I still need to get, etc. Of course, I’ve been at this a while, so getting through all those ancestors will take some time. I will also need to prioritize the family lines to make it most effective.
Why am I going to start a more rigid regimen?
Well…I was recently looking at a collateral line – my great grandmother’s sister, Sara Ann (Lloyd) Price. John “Jacky”, Sara Ann, and their daughter Millicent “Millie” are three of my favorite ancestors. Jack and Sara Ann ran a hotel in Cardiff, Livingston, Illinois, from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. John dies some time between the 1910 and 1920 Census. Sara Ann dies in 1923 and Millie (as I like to call her) died in 1898, at the young age of 16. I have a previous post about her here.
I was going over some of the documents that I have accumulated and was actually looking to see if I had any further clues as to when John died. I was also looking to determine if John and Sara Ann ever owned property or just rented. Either way, I was considering going to Livingston County, Illinois (Round Grove Township), to see if I could research the houses they lived in. Looking at a copy of a section of a plat map, I find Sara Ann’s name in 1915, alone. Getting closer to John’s possible death date – 1910-1915.
Then I did something that I have not done in a long time. Shame on me (for not doing it sooner).
I decided to look at the census records again. 1900. Now, I haven’t checked them in a while because I must admit that I don’t give them a ton of credibility. They are very subjective and I have found many errors. HOWEVER, I do not discount them completely – it’s something to review and investigate.
The 1900 census record isn’t all that interesting to me. Information is ‘fairly’ correct along the columns. They had 1 child (Millie) and 0 living at the time. Check.
Now, I decide to take a look at the 1910 census, the last time that I see Jack alive in a census record.
Ages are 10 years older. Both first marriage. Check. 19 years married vs. 20 – OK, whatever. Check. Hmmm. Interesting. 3 Children born to the couple, 0 alive. The family liked to tell stories, yet this was never discussed. Only Millie.
Now I get to drive myself crazy trying to prove or disprove this. I may never know as I have not been able to find a death record for Millie or Jack. The births/deaths are at a time when they didn’t have to report them. Also – what if they were miscarriages? She could have thought those counted OR that she did indeed have 2 other children that didn’t make it.
It makes for yet one more mystery for this family. I may never find out, but I’ll be off to take a look at the local newspapers between 1900 and 1910 for children and from 1910 and 1915 for the death of Jack. He was quite a well-known man, being the proprietor of the only hotel in town, so hopefully there is a story about him and the family.