Diary of a Beginning Genealogist part 5
If you are joining the posts on Diary of a Beginning Genealogist, here is what is happening. As I go through my diary from 2003, I am inserting comments that may help you learn from my mistakes before I had genealogy training. You will also get to see a little how technology has changed over the years. This diary starts seven years after Ancestry.com began. I don't recall hearing about Ancestry.com until I had been researching for several years. I don't remember when I first heard about DNA testing. This in itself shows how far genealogy research has come. A lot of people start researching today because of Ancestry.com advertising.
6 February 2003
I helped a man with the computer CDs. There were many people [at Iowa Genealogical Society] today. I looked at Virginia books seeing if they might help me get past Henry [King]. I'm still searching for his parents and when he died. If I knew about when he died, I'd be able to get a death certificate that might show is parents' name or birthdate and place of birth. Then I'd also be able to look for a birth certificate. I didn't find anything. Next, I looked at www.familysearch.org this is the Latter-day Saints website. They've cataloged the most family history including christening records, I feel. I've looked at the site many times over the last year and only found a connection once. And that was for the 1880 census, and I didn't know I had the information. I just printed it in case it was a relative. Well, today, I [found] christening records and marriage records, which give me valuable information. I'm not sure what I did to find this information cause I had first searched a person's name and got nothing. I put in the next person's name and found information, then I went back and found information on the original person. I found Christian records on 3 of Henry's kids and marriage records on Henry and 2 of his kids and their husbands.
· Christian records-Caroline [King], Louisa [King], Ann Eliza [King], and Abraham Lincoln King on 2/25/1886, Ralls [County], MO.
· Marriage-Ann 1884 in St. Louis, Mo no husband named. Ann was born about 1863 in St. Louis, MO.
· Marriage- Henry and Margaret King, Feb. 25, 1866, Ralls [County], MO.
· Marriage- Hezakiah "Hez" King, Nov. 28, 1889, Ralls [County], MO., Catherine Denny.
· Marriage-Harriett "Hattie" King, Jun. 21, 1887-Willis Campbell, Ralls [County], MO.
I lucked out on Ann because she isn't listed anywhere on the census as a daughter of Henry's. I did find a copy of a census page with her on it. Just as a possible relative.
On the christening info, it gives Henry as her father. On the census record, she is listed as Arthur's mother. So, I have found a connection.
1. Record search terms so you can search again if needed.
2. Make a research plan.
3. Ann is not part of the family. Mostly I confused her with Ann Eliza.
5. No clue what that last sentence means or references.
17 February 2003
This past week I spent my time searching the internet. I did find Henry, Jr. and Pilcher, the two youngest Kentucky children, on the 1880 census with their step-father Lafayette Stine. It now looks like Henry Sr. had two wives named Margaret. This is why Missouri Margaret, was married in 1866, and I was having problems locating any of the Kentucky children in Missouri.
The above comments are a prime example of what you do not do. I believed, as fact, Missouri Henry King and Indiana and Kentucky Henry King were the same person. It was actually a hypothesis for ten years. I was still trying to make a square peg fit a round hole even as I was being presented with the evidence I was wrong.
· Don't jump to conclusions.
· Just because the name is the same does not make it the same person.
· Your wanting something to be correct does not make it accurate.
· You must prove your hypothesis with several sources.
· Resolve conflicting information.
· Write up your conclusion. It does help you see holes or point you in a new direction.
· Writing down your thoughts helps you analyze your information and may show you have answered the question you have researched or not.
I knew something wasn't right, but I wanted to have found my family so bad. All the children's names didn't match, and it was a hint I may have the wrong person. I dismissed it by saying they were born during slavery. The master must have sold him away from his first wife. The new master gave him a new wife. I was using anything to make my opinion work.
I am sorry to say I went as far as contacting the Indiana family's descendants and told them we were related. I had planned over six months to meet them when I was in town doing research. I am now glad when I did get to town; they blew me off. At least I didn't give them incorrect family history.
When I was researching at the courthouse, a lady put me in contact with another lady who had investigated the town's first Black families. Of course, the King family I was research was one of them. I had mentioned that I lost the older children of the King family and couldn't find them. The lady said she would go home and get her information and meet me later at the library. She said I should check out a couple of books while I wait. One of the books had a segment from a daughter about the King family coming from Kentucky to Columbus, Indiana. [The informant Prentess King was 99 when she died.] I had to order the book my relative was in it.
When I met the courthouse lady said she had looked at her information and the two Henry King's were not the same person. She presented her facts, which I couldn't argue with, but I did try. I was so busy trying to prove something to my paternal family I didn't want to listen.
Although it turned out Prentess King nor her family was my relative, I still cherish the book. It is a reminder to slow down, check, recheck and write up my conclusions. Doing just that let me see I had combined and was researching two couples with similar names who lived in the same town at the same time.
Think goodness my Indiana research trip in 2013 was on my way to my first genealogy conference at The Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). At the end of the conference, I had excepted the unpleasant truth. I was wrong. I had also learned a tremendous amount on how to research. This trip was the beginning of my learning to be a genealogist and not a hobbyist.
You will read more about my research on Henry King from Missouri and Henry King from Kentucky/Indiana in future posts. I had to make my error comments here. Because I did not want to steer someone researching Henry King from Kentucky/Indiana to believe we were related or attach incorrect information to their tree.
17 February 2003 (continued)
Lulu's papers give obit and the church the family attended in Missouri. Also, some family connections- Who's Who's kid etc.
I have no clue what this note in the journal references. My Aunt Lulu gave me no information that I remember, and she died in 2009.
This note emphasizes the importance of recording citations of where you obtained a document, artifact, or oral information. It does not need to be a formal citation. Just make sure you include:
· Who created it and when?
· What is the item?
· Where did you find it?
· Where in? (Volume, page number)
To learn more about analyzing records and citing your sources, check out:
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Documentation (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017).
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd ed. rev. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017).
Previous diary post:
Names mentioned 6 February 2003:
Ann Eliza King
Abraham Lincoln King
Hezakiah "Hez" King
Harriett "Hattie" King
Names mentioned 17 February 2003:
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?
o Compare death certificates with newspaper stories about the boy scout camp.
o 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?
o When did she die?
· Kenney/Kinney family free people of color
o Read document saved as Kenney-Kinney Family, free people of color
o Dilse Kenney/Kinney is mentioned
o My Kinney family is from Louisa County, Virginia, and Albermarle County, Virginia area.
o I have not done much Kinney research, but family is from both counties.
· Could Aaron Simms be Ida's birth father?
o DNA matches might provide the answer to this one.
o The paper trail leads to a different man.
· Did Betty Gaskins have a son die in the war?
o Did she go overseas because of his death?
o Look for a passport.
· Is there a Tark Hulse living near Ralls County, Missouri of Edward and Ida King in 1915-1920?
· Contact Uncle Michael about a copy of Lulu's written family history.