Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Putting Order to a Genealogical Collection

The past week my energy was focused on a client project that had been sitting in my office for six months. While it waited there was another large client project that needed to be completed. Both clients have been very patient and the projects required intense focus on locating documentation for the material provided. It is interesting that every project is so unique. People may collect information over a long period of time and come to a point where they are not sure how to put it all together.

The current project began when the client handed me eight scrolls of paper, one for each family line, on which her mother had painstakingly hand written the known family genealogy. It took over fourteen hours to carefully enter the information into a personal database. This database will become the tool for preserving the recorded information, which will later be documented. The rolls varied in size and presentation. Great care was needed to ensure that the information transferred was correct. Twice the wrong children were placed in the wrong family. Once the error was noted it was easy to unlink them and then link them with the correct parents.

The lists included the following families:

Hart Family, scroll 8"x26"
Stoughton Family, scroll 9"x36"
Patterson Family, scroll 24"x17"
Love Family, scroll 6"x60"
Schulte Family, scroll 8 1/2"x 17"
Timberlake Family, scroll 81/2"x 36"
Kahn Family, scroll 8 1/2"x14"
Bergman Family, scroll 8 1/2"x17"

Once the information was entered the list included 1,067 individuals and 362 marriages. After printing pedigree charts research was done for census and vital records.  There are seven death records which can be ordered from the local state archives. The census records are accounted for on three of the maternal lines, but there are a few gaps that hopefully can be filled in. The first three generations on each pedigree chart are pretty much filled in, but again there are some gaps.

Before we parted, after handing her back the scrolls, she handed me four books with further information. These books are for the Hart, Hart, Timberlake and Stoughton families. The first book of interest is for the Stoughton family, maybe because it is the smallest, but also because it is an early New England family. At first the connection with the family was difficult to establish, but there was a missing generation. Now that the missing link is established it would appear that the line goes back to very early England. Some of this information is found on and was probably taken from the book, "English Ancestry of Thomas Stoughton of Windsor, Conn." published in 1958, 159 pages. The family obviously worked very hard to establish their research, but few sources are shown. With the help of online records collections and family trees for help in finding the records this is more doable today than ever before.

In two days my flight leaves for SLIG and it is hopeful that with information from the book there will be records to search for at the Family History Library. People ask if there is work planned for while I am there and the answer is not really. My priority is to enjoy the classes and get in some R&R. We will see what happens in the process of allowing serendipity to guide my course while there.

1 comment:

  1. This was so soothing after being bombarded with posts on the Genealogy Do-Over. Bombarded might be a bit exaggerated. It is my own fault since I joined Thomas MacEntee's group to find out if there are any tools or habits that could help me in my personal research. Why do I say soothing? Because it sounds so much like how I research and makes me think I must be doing something right. Happy New Year Susan. ~ Cathy