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  • Writer's pictureRicki King

Diary of a Beginning Genealogist part 3

20 January 2003

Today wasn't a good day. I looked through about 13 books on Missouri and slave history. I found nothing that might lead me to the slave master. I didn't feel I learned anything. Today, the other volunteers kept bringing me different books with addresses and things while I was looking at another book. I think they were excited to do some tracing they hadn't done before. I did find 10-year-old Art again and was able to enlarge on the printer. His mother's name is Annie. So I did learn how to [ended the entry of the day mid-sentence.]

The day's entry makes no sense to me, either. The journal of my genealogy process is the first time I had ever tried to keep a diary. I wish I had sometimes included a bit more detail in some places.

23 January 2003

The night was slow. There was one researcher and two volunteer helpers. We both looked up our own family. I started by finishing looking at the Missouri books. I didn't find my Henry King or any names I recognized. While looking at the books, I remembered I was going to check the Kentucky 1860 census records. Somewhere I read that you shouldn't assume your relative was a slave.

I checked the index to the census listing to find all the Henry King's on the census. [There is a book of transcriptions listing everyone in a household. The books cover several states and census years.] I found eleven in Kentucky. [I am searching Kentucky because one of the censuses lists Henry was born there.] [Looking at the microfilm record] on the ninth one, I found a Black Henry King married to Margaret a mulatto and their kids. This [find] means Henry was free in 1860. I quickly looked at the 1850 Kentucky census, and there were several Henry's but none from the same county [as the 1860 Henry]. We were closing, so I'll have to follow-up Saturday.

I will give you a heads up now. Making this discovery leads me down the wrong path for years. It also will show you the importance of researching everyone in a generation before moving to the next generation. By continuing to follow Henry straight back through the years was a colossal failure. It also made me put blinders on concerning researching outside of a straight line from child to parent to parent. Years later, when I took off the blinders is when I had research success.

25 January 2003

Today was better. I haven't helped anyone, but I did do a lot more filing. Tomorrow I expect I will be busy helping out with the African-American group. I also learned more about the periodicals in the back of IGS]. There are more if you have a lot of time and want to look through them. None are indexed except for the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).

I went from 1850 to 1810 on the census. In the 1840 census, only the head of the household was listed with numbers indicating the age range for other family members. In 1850 Henry was listed alone. In 1830 and 1840, Henry is listed above a Luke King who is also Black and free. In 1840 Henry's name changed to Harry, and there wasn't a Luke or a Black Henry listed. There are three Henry's, but all are white and own no slaves. So next time I start looking in Virginia books starting in Fredrick county, maybe I'll find something. I still haven't found anything listing Henry's parents. [I do not remember why I moved on to Virginia.]

Indexes are a starting point, but you should always read the complete material also. Your ancestor's' name may not have been mentioned in the source you are consulting. By reading the entire document, you may find out essential information about the town and the history of the area to use in the story of your ancestor. Or the story could talk about a group of citizens relocating to a new location, giving you a new place to check.

26 January 2003

Today the African-American group met. They meet to help each other and to learn different ways to get over or through slavery. Mainly they meet to encourage each other. As the meeting started, I was looking through the index for the 1810 census, where again, I lost Henry King. I decided overnight that may be in this year. Free Blacks were listed in a separate schedule, which I heard sometimes happened.

I also wanted to see if maybe the numbers listing how many white males, women, and slaves might list free blacks under slaves with no whites marked. Peggy Halloway, one of the women who started the group, mentioned there was a free Blacks list on the Afrigeneas website. We couldn't find the list there but did a website called Free African Americans of Color. I was able to find a story of a Mary King and her kids and a list of other free King's of Virginia.

No one on the list was from Fredrick county, where I last found a 22-year-old Henry in 1820. Henry would be a boy in 1810 and no longer listed as the head of household. But at least I have some names to check that might lead to his parents. I will continue looking through books and indexes of Virginia. I'm assuming he died in New London, Missouri. I'll try to get his death certificate since it might list his parents.

To clarify for anyone not reading all of the Diary of a Beginning Genealogist post. None of the people mentioned and found in the 1810-1850 census records to date are related to me. The three days spent researching all the Henry King's are good examples of what not to do following and researching a name. Before moving to a new research location, analyze why you are jumping to that new location. Have you reasonably exhausted the current location records to see the person is no longer living there?

Names mentioned 20-26 January 2003:

Henry King

Harry King

Margaret King

Luke King

Peggy Halloway

Mary King

Running to-do list from the journal still needing to be completed:

  • Need Minnie's birth certificate.

  • Did Henry King die soon after returning from the boy scout camp?

Compare death certificate with newspaper stories about the boy scout camp.

Will add to the story of his life if correct.

  • Who is E?na in the household of Edward King on the 1900 Missouri census?

When did she die?

  • Kenney/Kinney family free people of color.

Read document saved as Kenney-Kinney Family, free people of color.

Dilse Kenney/Kinney is listed in a will.

My Kinney family our from Louisa County, Virginia, and Albermarle

County, Virginia area.

I have not done much Kinney research, but family is from both counties.

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