Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Better Next Time...

Last week, I shared with you the approval of my application to the lineage society, First Families of Ohio (FFO).

In the interest showing you that even someone who has been researching their family for many years can learn something new, or can just plain make some mistakes, I want to share with you what I did not do completely, or could have done better.

Margaret Cheney was very kind in her review of my application. She wrote "This application was well presented. The applicant signed the application and put their name on each document. Source citations were used." This is expected of every application. Margaret was being kind.

She goes on to say "Kathy, this application is very good, but I think you can take it a step further."

And boy, was she right!!

First of all, I was using the 1818 Gallia County Ohio marriage record of John and Lucinda WILLIAMS to prove residency prior to 1820. But my application only submitted John WILLIAMS for FFO. I completely ignored Lucinda's claim for eligibility! I was so focused on proving John's claim, I was blind to his wife's contribution. It is mind boggling! NO EXCUSES! I messed up.

Now comes the really incredible part. Margaret researched Lucinda Tillman Sartain WILLIAMS and quickly came up with an online obituary, and the 1820 Census for Gallia County that reveals Elijah SERTIN, aged 26-45, living right next door to John WILLIAMS. This Elijah is a prime candidate to be Lucinda's father. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Courtesy of Margaret Cheney. 

Margaret did not have to do the extra research. She  goes on to suggest that early land records, tax records and estate records might prove the relationship. And gives me until 31 December to submit the additional papers to include Elijah.

I HAVE THESE DOCUMENTS ON LUCINDA IN MY FILES! I just failed to incorporate them.

Now comes my second genealogy fail.

I had water in my basement in September. Did you know that a basement is only considered to have "flooded" if it has at least 5-6 inches of water in it?

Of course, that is where all of my genealogy research is located. Luckily, none of it was damaged. But I had to pack everything up in boxes and remove it from the basement while the insurance company repaired the damage caused by the water. Also, did you know that insurance companies will pay to repair the damage caused by water in the basement, but will not pay to repair the problem that caused the water to enter the basement?

So my genealogy research is safe, but inaccessible BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SAVED IT TO THE CLOUD!! This is a basic tenent of genealogy research. Back it up and save it in multiple places. I have several CLOUD accounts, iCloud, Google Drive, Drop Box. But that doesn't help if you don't actually upload your documents & research! DUH!

The repairs on the basement are almost complete, and access to all the research & documentation will soon follow. Then I will submitt the additional information.

If you want to see how to do it right, Margaret just posted some guidelines for applications to a Lineage Society on the Ohio Genealogical Society Blog: OGS Blog  Also, I consulted with other genealogists from the Medina County Genealogical Society for assistance.

BTW, I have tried using  early land records, tax records, and estate records to establish who John WILLIAMS parents were, but haven't been able to narrow down the multiple possibilities.


Ohio Genealogical Society said...

Well written! You are not the only applicant to focus on a particular ancestor and overlook more. I am currently working on application that had 9 MALE ancestors submitted. Yup! They forgot to add in the spouses - and in many cases, parents of the spouses, or children! If you create a 5-generation chart (or extended to include all ancestors) it often becomes very obvious who will qualify for the lineage society you are applying to. On this current application, I have found no less than 16 additional ancestors for the applicant! Remember to look at all of your ancestors!

Lisa said...

Thank you for this blog. I think this will help all of us when we have to do this type of application!