Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week 13 of the Genealogy Do-Over - Recap

Thomas MacEntee started this 13 weeks ago and I'm probably still on week 2 or 3. citing sources. In doing so, I found small details I overlooked but it's interesting how much more I know about my family from the little pieces.

My grandparents lived in Billings, Montana at 123 N 24th St. That's where we always went to visit and all the documents say they lived in Billings. Until they moved to that house, they farmed while my grandfather worked for the railroad. In my head, I see them living out by the Yellowstone River on a large farm.

From actually writing out each census report and city directory, I now know they moved four times before getting to their final residence. My dad talks about learning to swim in the Yellowstone River but the family only lived on that farm until he was 10. I discounted one residence because it was outside of Billings. In doing so, I discovered another man with the same name as my grandfather also living in the Billings area.

These are the details I missed in my first go around with the family tree. I am finding the same thing with Polly, my great, great grandmother. The family records (not documented) says the mother of Polly was Susannah. On a census, it says her father married Susannah when Polly was already married with children. Most trees show Susannah as her mother and I know that's incorrect.

There is some family lore the mother of Polly was Sally. Again, most trees show Sally as a nickname for Susannah. I actually believe that Sally is the real mother of Polly and have to find documents to prove it. There is a marriage record for John and Sally but it would have made John about 7 or 8. These are the small things that makes this Do-Over rewarding.

My original tree has about 3500 people, my new tree is at 89. I haven't even looked at my mother's side of the family because (although it's going to take forever), I want this to be as accurate as possible. This time, I have ordered the actual records and am taking the time to transcribe them all.

I bought Evidentia. What a blessing and a curse that has been. I have so much to evaluate but each time I tackle one item, like the birth date of my father, it forces me to look at all the documents. There has always been a debate over his birth year. After loading all the items I finally got irritated and ordered his actual birth certificate. It seems he lied and now I know for sure. Without Evidentia, I would have continued with the wrong year.

It has been an interesting journey. I am so glad I decided to start over. Thanks Thomas!