Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I Found When I Organized My Files and Resourced My Data

Today I made it through resourcing and organizing my digital files on my maternal grandfather's ancestral line. It took me almost 2 months to complete. I started with this line because my grandfather's parents, William Francis Elvey SUCKLING and Anne Elizabeth STULL were both born in Canada. I needed to fill census data that I was missing because I didn't want to search all the microfilm at ACPL. I had previously just focused on my direct lines and skipped the collateral lines. With Ancestry's completion of the Canadian census collection, it was time to fill in the gaps.

Not only has this task made me more organized and taught me the "correct" way to cite my sources, it has also made me reevaluate my sources. When I started my research, I must admit, I was a collector of records. I tended to not analyze all of the data that they gave me. In the process of fixing my sources, I also added transcriptions of the records to my citations. I can't believe how many new things I found because I had overlooked them before.

Here is a list of some of my discoveries (I will put the new information in red):

James FARRELL married Elizabeth Jane HOLLINGER. (This was found on the death and marriage records of some of her children.) She was born in Pickering Township, Ontario county, Ontario (Upper Canada). In 1851, the family was living in Pickering township. (Which is extra good because Mornington township, Perth county, Ontario doesn't have 1851 census records and that's where I had assumed that they were living.)

Frederick Henry STULL was living in Arizona (Aryzona) and working as a silver miner at the time of his marriage to May Isabel OLIVER in Wellington county, Ontario. No wonder I could never find him before or after his marriage. I found his in the 1900 and 1910 US censuses and May was a widow in 1920. I didn't find his death certificate in the Arizona records though.

Abraham ROGERS was married to Margaret SINGER according to death records of one of her daughters. I also found more of their children by searching Ontario birth and death records for the ROGERS surname in Lincoln county along with witnesses to their sisters marriages and grandchildren living with Margaret. Besides Anabelle, Caroline, Edgar, Elizabeth, Euretta, Georgiana, John S, and Juliette, Abraham and Margaret were also the parents of Mary Ann and Ellen. I was most bothered by the fact that I had marriage announcements for Mary and Juliette that I had never added to my database.

I also found the 1920 and 1930 US censuses for Hazel SUCKLING and the 1930 US census for Grace SUCKLING. I apparently had never thought to look for them in the US even though they were married in Niagara Falls, New York.

The witness for Jemima (nee ELVEY) SUCKLING's death in England was her daughter Jemima HILL. I found the census records for Jemima and living in her home in 1851 was her grandfather John ELVEY. I then found John living with his wife Ann in the 1841 census.

This list does not include all the census records that I found to fill in the gaps and births, marriages and deaths from Ontario and England.

This exercise has shown me how far I have come as a researcher since I started in March of 2008. In just a year and a half, I have seen how important it is to evaluate all sources, cite everything and read every bit of information on a record. Although I wish that I had just done it right to begin with, I am glad that my database and research will be better after this undertaking.

Of course I still have to resource and organize my other three grandparent's family branches. I wonder what I will find that I missed in those...

1 comment:

  1. What you've said about citing correct sources is very important. Like you, I'm still learning new things from the documents I had examined when I first started my genealogy. It takes time, and it might slow us down a touch, but properly managing our research is more than worth it in the end and I only wish I had started earlier!