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Blog 2022 09 13 Family and DNA Thoughts

Every once in a while (maybe a bit too often) I open links that pop up on Facebook which typically brings about more spamming of “Suggested for you” links.  But one I read this past weekend dealt with DNA and the damages it brought to families, although a bunch of the stories had great outcomes.  So here are my thoughts.

Let me start by saying I believe the people who changed your diaper, wiped your mouth, fed, clothed, and housed you are your parents.  Regardless of biology!

That said, anyone planning on taking a DNA test needs to prepare themselves mentally for the possibility that their results are not going to be what they expect.  The two terms used in this community are Non-Paternal Event (NPE) and Misattributed Parentage.  Due to a lot of controversy over the form term they are now saying, Not the Parent Expected.

The fallacy with saying Non-Paternal Event is that there was a paternal event, just not the one expected.  The insult of the term is that too many offspring in this category do not want to be referred to as an event in that way.  That is why I prefer the Misattributed Parentage.  We may find that there was an adoption, a sperm donor, or invitro-fertilization using another woman’s egg.

While I personally believe that once a child reaches the age of about 17, they need to be told the truth but too many parents are afraid the child may decide they want a closer relationship with their biological parent than with the one who raised them.  While this does happen, I have yet to see a story written where that was the case except for where the parent who raised them was dealing with their own demons of substance abuse or violent behavior.  In most normal families, there is that curiosity and desire to search and try to find but the parents who raised them should not feel slighted in any way.

Several of the stories were done by people wanting to know their ethnicity and that is how they found out. I need to remind you to take the ethnicity portion with a grain of salt unless you are of a heritage that was not mixed with a lot of others for many generations.  For example, my late wife who lived her first four years in a Korean orphanage was always labeled a Korean-American.  Recently my oldest son did the DNA test and he came back 50% Korean which meant she was 100% and that is believable.  But for most of us, the results are XX% British, XX% French, or German, etc.  Who is to say that this is accurate since the French invaded Germany many times over the last 1,000 years and Germany invaded France, the British invaded other countries, and the Vikings invaded what is now the British Isles.  So these ethnicities are so mixed, I take my results with a grain of salt as I have watched them change many times over the past 7 years.

But back to the main topic.  Should you take a test and discover a deep dark secret, I would suggest you be very sensitive as to why a particular parent may have wanted to keep it a secret and could possibly be embarrassed and then angry that you discovered it.  I would strongly recommend not throwing it in their face.  I recently spoke to a medical Doctor in Michigan who knew his dad was not his biological father but never knew who was.  That is until a half-sister popped up on his testing site and shared the name and pictures. The pictures matched the man he saw in photographs his mother had of her with the man about the time he was conceived.  I know his biological father was dead already and I don’t recall if his mother was either but he had no animosity over the matter.

The Army taught me to put the bottom line up front and in a way I did that but to state it more bluntly.  No one should take a DNA test unless they are prepared to see information that does not match their expectations.

Blog 2022 09 06 Miscellaneous Cemetery Thoughts

We had the opportunity to get out of town this past weekend to Columbus, Georgia just to get away.  But we still found ourselves wandering some cemeteries looking at the unique grave markers and carvings.  Some headstones will give you clues about the person such as the Masonic Lodge symbol indicating he was an active member that the time of his death.  If it is a woman’s grave and has the Eastern Star symbol or one of the many women’s organizations related to freemasonry then it gives you more places to look.

We saw several where the headstone was carved to look like a tree and I immediately knew they were members of Woodmen of the World, another fraternal organization.  Headstones with lambs typically indicating a child is buried there.  Sometimes the headstone gives us additional information such as, “Wife of”, “Daughter of”, or “Son of.”  Look for indications of military service which can lead to more records.

If you are at an older cemetery where the family bought the plot with multiple graves, you want to research each and every person buried there.  In one of the cemeteries we were at, everyone in a particular family plot were Crawfords by birth or marriage.  But in one corner, was a grave marker and the engraving gave no indication this person was a Crawford.

One final thought on cemeteries, if you have a free account at FindaGrave.com (and I encourage you to if not), then consider looking on Findagrave whenever you visit a cemetery for requests for a photo of GPS.  Using the phone app, when you get to the actual grave, you drop a GPS pin that helps others find the grave when they visit.  Also, people are looking for pix of the headstone (if one exists).  You can also request someone to take a picture for you but please try to furnish them with all available information.  That might mean calling the cemetery office to get the exact location.  I also add a couple of photos showing the surround features.

While at Parkhill Cemetery in Columbus, where my Aunt and Uncle are buried and many of my Uncle’s family I did this.  My cousin was saying his parents were buried near the mausoleum but there are three at that cemetery.  I took a picture while standing by their graves of the nearest one and another picture of a statue nearby to help people find the place.  The GPS feature was not available when I attended their funerals back in 2008 and 2009.

Blog 2022 08 28 Some Ancestry Tips

Do you use Ancestry.com ©?  Whether you have a paid version or use it at a local library, let’s look at a few hints, tips, and tricks.

First off, if you have an account and a tree and are accepting the hints (green leaf), watch out that if the new information has something different that you do not write over what you have.  For example, you have the wife by her maiden name but are now accepting a document with her married name, if you are not careful, it will change her name when importing.  Once you say yes, a pop-up sidebar appears with the details from the record you are importing on the left under the blue header and what your tree has on the right under the green heading.  Here are two ways to not change your tree, you can click on the Was under the name or you can click on the Save as an alternate option or both.

Additionally, when a person has had more than one spouse and children by both, make sure you select the correct other parent when importing them.  By the same token, if you have accepted the wife by the married name and then find the marriage record to accept, be careful that you import the information as the same wife and correct the previously used surname and not as a new person.

How about adding new information and media which you did not get from an Ancestry.com-owned brand?  From the facts section, you can add a new fact and upload the media or you can add a weblink to the information.

Another hint that you might see is the Potential Father/Mother.  I suggest looking to see if there are any attached sources and what those sources are.  You cannot click on the source to look it up but you can capture that information look it up through regular search features.  If there are no sources, I take as suspect, if the location(s) being suggested do not line up quite right, you might want to hold off until you have done more research.  If the location information and dates look reasonable, then go ahead and accept it provisionally.  Then after accepting the information, you must research the person thoroughly to make sure it is correct.  It could be that your Georgia ancestor who was born, lived, and died, was fathered by a man born in South Carolina and died in Alabama.  However, you need to ensure that he stopped off in Georgia long enough for your ancestor to be born and reach an age where he could be on his own before the father continues west.  If you end up accepting a Potential Parent and it turns out to be incorrect, simply delete them.

What if you find a tree that is private and you want to contact the owner?  Click their name and see when they last logged in.  If within the past 30 days, you have a better chance of hearing back, if over a year, then they probably either died or let their membership lapse.  But do not be disheartened.  Get their username and any other information then Google their username.  Many, many people use the same username for multiple apps and you might find an actual email address.

Next, whether you have your own account or use the library edition at a research place.  When using the library edition, if you log in, you are actually using the home edition, if not, then strictly the library edition (LE).  The LE will not allow you to create a tree or make any changes to a tree.  You cannot send messages to people who own a tree.

However, you can and should do all the traditional researching and download documents, along with the source citation information, and save it to a USB drive or email it to yourself.  When finding a tree where you want to reach out to the tree owner, click their name and get their information and Google them for a possible email address.

Blog 2022 08 14 Tying the Right Person to the Documents

How do you know the document you are looking at belongs to your ancestor?  When there was more than one person in the area with the same name, how do know which John Doe to assign the information to?

This is where knowing more about our specific person of interest helps us determine whether it belongs to our person or someone else.  We must get past the simple facts and get to know the person as a person and their family.  I’ll start with my paternal grandfather, Joseph Henry Thomas who often filed papers as J.H. Thomas, and his wife, Viola.  I grew up knowing my grandfather and always remember him not being very tall and walking with a distinct limp.  In researching WWI Draft Cards from Appling County, Georgia where he lived, there were several, J.H. Thomas, Joseph H. Thomas, and Joseph Thomas filers.  Which one belongs to my grandfather?  Only one of the cards said not qualified for service due to being deaf in one ear and having a club foot AND being short.  Bingo!

In another case doing random research on him, I saw the name show up in a couple of city directories.  Since he was a farmer all his life, or so I thought, I decided to take a look.  I found a Joseph and Viola living in Columbus, Georgia, and at the same time, a Joseph and Viola living in Brunswick.  Since these had to be two different men I looked more closely at the one in Brunswick since that is where his oldest brother (half-brother), James M. Thomas lived and worked for the shipyards.  It turned out that it was my grandfather and his sister who were living there and so was his father, General Jackson (GJ) Thomas.  GJ was the principal resident and the rest were ‘boarding’ there.  His eldest brother was living down the street and another brother also lived on the same street.  Apparently, they all took jobs as carpenters at the shipyard for a while.  Meanwhile, GJ still had a farm in Appling County.

In another case, I was looking for what happened to one of the sons of a particular immigrant ancestor as the immigrant and younger kids were in St Louis, MO in 1860 and the eldest was still in Jefferson County, IN.  Many trees on Ancestry.com have him serving in the Union Army and going to Kentucky, others to Iowa, some to Missouri, and others to Chicago.  I found a pension card for a widow whose husband had the same name as the person I am researching and he joined in Louisville, KY which is across the river from Jefferson County, IN.  Something in the information indicated his profession before joining was a butcher.  That was the profession of the immigrant and several sons and grandchildren.  Once I received the packet, it turned out to be the one I wanted.

While I could have ordered the wrong one, I took the chance and spent the money because of my knowledge of the family being butchers.  It is incumbent on all of us to learn as much as we can about the entire family so that we can use those clues to narrow down the information as to whether it belongs to our person or not.  I have previously written about how I was able to prove a father-son relationship through the son’s brother who had documented proof.

If we cannot prove the information either way when we find it, we must set it aside until we gather additional information.  That way, we can either add it to the profile of our ancestor or dismiss it as belonging to someone else.

Blog 2022 07 30  Interested in DNA?

Many folks are part of a genealogical society and many of them have Special Interest Groups (SIGs).  One might be on DNA and you should consider joining it to learn more.

I recently received emails from two different people with two different approaches.  The first one said they match me on GEDMatch and do I know how we connect?  Simply answer, No.  The other said he lived in New South Wales and we matched, without naming the testing site, but went on to say they also match Tom, JC, Mary, and Lana F.  That is the right way to approach someone.

Because that match Tom, my uncle, then they are definitely on my mother’s side.  My mother’s father was Andrew Amos Akers and her mother was Dorothy Ella Wales.  The fact that this person also matched JC and Lana F means the connection is on Dorothy’s side of the family.  JC is the son of Dorothy’s oldest sister and Lana the granddaughter of Dorothy’s youngest sister, Florence.  Now I can pinpoint the connection.  Dorothy’s grandmother was Charlotte Phoebe Roberts who was born in England and immigrated first to Toronto, Canada, and then to Chicago is the most natural connection.  And it was.

As to the first connection, she agreed to join me at my next DNA SIG and I will attempt, using GEDMatch to find the connection.  I may not be able to get to the very specific but using information I described above, we can get pretty close to the correct family.  If you are interested in joining us, we meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7 PM Eastern and you are welcome.  Just email me a request to join at least 2 hours before the meeting.

Blog 2022 07 25   Finding Records in the Strangest of Places 

I am currently attending the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) so this week’s blog is short.

One of the tenets of a presentation given by Claire Bettag, CG, FUGA, in a 2012 lecture at the National Genealogical Society forum dealt with assuming that records of the same type are similar in content.  That is not always the case and you might be surprised to find records that otherwise might seem out of place.

I have written about my hooligan ancestor who was medically discharged from the Army during the Civil War, reenlisted, and then deserted.  However, his second wife was not aware of this and filed a widow’s pension in 1907 wanting him declared dead.  One of the documents she had to provide was a copy of their marriage in Toronto, Canada in 1882.  When I received the inch-thick packet from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), in it was a copy of a Canadian marriage license.  Not a normal place to look for one.  I already had two copies of it, one I got off a website and the other when I was at the Canadian Archives of Ontario in Toronto.

I knew my great grandfather, General Jackson Thomas, and his third wife, Mrs. Unity Medders Dean had split.  What I was not sure about was whether they divorced, although she is listed as a widow in his obituary of 1926, legally separate, or simply split.  One day while copying all land and deed records that I could find one with his name on them, I came across a unique one.  On 5 February 1924, they agreed to live in a state of separation and he was giving her land and livestock for her care and their daughter.  Who would think to look in a land deed for a Legal Separation Document?

I have also seen a complete copy of a will in the land and deed records of a different county.  Why?  Because the deceased owned property in that county when she died and the property had to be probated.  The judge in that county required a copy (certified transcription) from the original probate court.  That had to be provided.

I have found copies of marriage records in probate records and in land records.  I have heard of all sorts of records being found in military and railroad pension files.

So back to the original false assumptions, do not assume that records filed by type ONLY contain those types.

Blog 2022 07 17   When Census Records Don’t Exist 

We often wonder how we can track our ancestors between the census or when, for whatever reason, they do not appear in the census.  What other records might be available?

Taxes are my favorite go-to records.  Property Taxes and Poll Taxes have been around since before the Revolution.  Sometimes called Quitrents under the Colonial system, it was a tax.  While the Poll Tax took on new meaning post-Civil War, it also was a tax, typically on free men of militia age, and goes back before the US Revolution.

Wherever you are researching, you should look for tax records.

In many of the colonies, the landowners paid a Quitrent which was nothing more than a property tax based on acreage or cleared acreage.  One thing to keep in mind is to compare the date the land was granted by the King vs when the Royal Governor granted the land.  In one example, the King’s grant did not come until many years after the Governor and Royal Council granted the land.

The first federal tax levied against the population was in 1798 when America thought they might be going to war against France [i]and needed to raise $2 Million quickly.  The tax known as the Glass Tax or Window Pane Tax, taxed buildings based on square footage and heavily on windows. [ii] One example where this tax could be helpful is distinguishing men with the same name.  The information includes the person’s name, dimensions, and material of the main house and all other buildings such as kitchen, stables, and barns.

You may not know that the first Income Tax was between 1862 and 1872 for the northern states and 1865 – 1872 for the states who joined the Confederacy.  Congress needed to raise money for the war effort and instituted a tax on all income over $600 per year.  It was a progressive tax in that, all income between $600 and $10,000 was taxed at 3% and all income over $10,000 was taxed at 5%.  Then in 1864, it was raised to 5% for income over $600 and now less than $5,000 and 10% for all income over $5,000.

What we can glean from the Civil War Income Tax might continue to distinguish people with the same or similar names and can put them in a specific location.  This is because the source of the income, in detail, is listed.  Information such as, operating a distillery and paying for 3,755 barrels of Brandy made from grape, 2,901 barrels of Brandy NOT made from grape, and other types of liquor.  While another person nearby with the same name might have been a rancher with 126 head of cattle, 5 calves, 10 hogs, 75 head of sheep, etc.  If you knew the line of business your ancestor was in, you can determine exactly which tax record belongs to whom.

Property Tax records are among my favorites when they can be found.  These also asked about income but depending on what the Federal or State opted to tax, certain personal property was also taxed.  In California, they taxed items such as pianos, furs, horses, wagons, and watches.  Depending on the quantity the owner paid the tax.  In Georgia, the property tax was conducted in conjunction with the Poll Tax, so men between 18 and 60 paid the poll tax, if they owned real property (land) they had to list ALL property then owned in Georgia and which county it was in and the number of acres based on that it was used for such as pine for timber, grazing for livestock, or farming.  Here we often see where someone else is acting as an agent because the owner did not actually live there but was out of state, or was away for some reason and worth delving into.  Also, I could see where some of my family members were acting as administrators on the estate of their children who died and the probate case was still open.

Based on age, we can see where a male property owner is not yet 21 and pays on the property but not the toll, and once turning 21 we can determine the approximate age.  Same on the other end where they crossed the age limit whereby they stop paying taxes.  This is still true today in many places.  Property Tax records are public records and anyone can look up someone else’s property tax records.  If your state, county, or city has age benefits, you can tell when someone ages out of paying things like education tax or gets a reduced property tax.

If your ancestor ran certain businesses which required a special license such as an inn or tavern they were most likely required to pay a tax and obtain a license.  Additionally, if they ran a business, check with archives, historical societies, nearby universities, and libraries to see if perhaps they have copies of the company’s ledger listing customers, employees, and taxes collected.

I have probably said this before but in all records, taxes included, always check the last couple of pages to see if your missing ancestor was added as an addendum.

[i] https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/major-events/the-quasi-war-with-france/

[ii] http://www.westonhistory.org/topics/federal-direct-tax-of-1798/

Blog 2022 07 10  Plan Your Genealogy Trip

I am finishing up a fairly successful research trip to the South Carolina State Archives which was in conjunction with the South Carolina Genealogical Society’s Annual Workshop.  I have some tips for your next trip.

The first thing you will want to do is have a plan of who or what line you plan to research.  If you try and do everything, you will only get frustrated and accomplish very little.  I planned for four days of research; two days for researching a single line for a client.  Plus two days to research for my own paternal line.  This gave me a clear vision of what records I would need to determine are needed.

For my client, it was to determine the parents of a couple who married in Marlboro County, South Carolina.  Then to determine whether there were Revolutionary War Patriots amongst them.  Therefore I would concentrate on Marlboro County records with records that are not currently online or are not readable online.

From there, once at the archives, I got reacquainted with their layout and their records available.  Like any archives, they have books with indexes, maps, microfiche, and microfilm, as well as their one internal computer records.  This particular couple shared the same last name before they married and may very well have been first or second cousins which was not totally uncommon.

This was accomplished by finding a will from James’ mother, Alice, where he is named.  That meant James’ father was most likely dead.  I then found a document from William naming his wife, Alice.  I then found a listing of William as serving in the South Carolina Line.  The source was an 1899 newspaper.  That reference is not a reliable source.  The archives did not have the newspaper but the University in Columbia did and I contacted them about coming on Sunday to review it.  They replied that they are closed on Sundays but they sent me a PDF of the 17-page newspaper.  On page 16 was the original article.  It was a transcript of a letter to the Council of Safety listing the various volunteer units and the officers and soldiers under their command.  The archives then knew exactly where their copy from the 1900 South Carolina Historica Society edition which also ran a transcript of those records.

The archives only had one microfilm which covered the wrong dates.  However, they also had a book that stated that the originals are in the Henry Laurens records at the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston, South Carolina.  I can then contact them for copies of the originals.  As to his wife, I was able to determine her most likely father.  All in all, not bad for the two days.

I then concentrated not on lineage since I know the lineage but to try and determine just when my known and proven ancestor moved from Georgia to Beaufort District, South Carolina, where exactly he lived, and when he sold the land to move back to Georgia since he is on the militia rolls of Liberty County in 1800.  Based on the archives’ internally available copies of the land plats I was able to determine the first date of a land survey being conducted for him.  Then, using the descriptors in the survey and the knowledge of one of the archivists, I was able to determine the approximate location.  As to when he sold the land, one of the workshop presenters who is an expert on such records told me simply, that they do exist.  Therefore I won’t be able to determine how or when he disposed of the land.

The next thing on my to-do list was to try and find records concerning my family who crossed the Savannah River periodically to transact business.  All the archives had was the same thing I already have, but once again, the records expert told me to go to the Barnwell County Courthouse for the records.  That will be my next planned trip.

In addition, I attended several sessions to continue my education in this study.

What I failed to do was to properly plan a little fun time while I am here.  I had planned to play 9-holes but the weather did not cooperate.

Blog 2022 07 04  Do you have Patriot Ancestors?

Whether you have or are interested in joining a lineage society or not, it is often quite exciting to learn that one or more of your ancestors either served in the military or supported the cause.  To join either Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), or Sons of the American Revolution you must prove your lineage to someone who meets the above definition.

Supporting the cause could be as simple as taking an Oath of Allegiance which every state had a version but not every copy still exists.  One way to prove allegiance even without the oath or proof of military service is through the state financial records where our ancestors may have sold beef or other items from a farm to support the troops.  They may have loaned money, given refuge, or supported through many other means and many of these records do exist if done at the state level.

I know that some of you, like my girlfriend, where it looks like ALL branches immigrated after the Revolution and that is great.  Their ancestor knew that things would be better in America than in their homeland.

This process will take time and cause us to use all of our skills to locate.  However, for some, it may mean only proving back to a specific descendant of the patriot.  For example, my 3rd great-grandfather was Lewis Thomas (1789 – 1860) [i] who married Elizabeth Mixon (1794 – 1863) [ii]in 1810. [iii]  We know her father was Redden Mixon because her sister, Mary Mixon, married Lewis’ brother, Banner Thomas.  Both Banner and Redden co-signed the marriage bond with Banner on the 4th of July 1808. [iv]

Redden Mixon is already an accepted descendant of Redden’s father, Jesse Mixon (circa 1744 – 1832) within the DAR list of accepted patriots. [v] If you click the link, you will see a red note saying that problems have been found with at least one previous paper.  After checking with a DAR registrar, there is a question of lineage but not concerning Redden.  So all I, or any of my Thomas cousins who descend from either the Lewis and Banner listed above, need to prove is our lineage to Redden.

Do you see how easy that is?  However, if you are dealing with a person with a common name or where there were multiple people in the same area or state with the same name, that could require a bit more work.  Additionally, some names in the DAR and SAR databases are red-lined for future applicants and may require more genealogical research to prove the lineage.

For me, I find it exciting that I have numerous ancestors who either we know, or are still trying to prove, served on the side of Liberty for all Americans.  While that freedom did not come for many people for another 80+ years, the pathway was laid out by our ancestors.  You might want to research to see if you can trace any of your lineages to Patriots.

[i] 1860 U. S. Census, Pierce County, Georgia, Mortality Schedule, p. 1, line 16, Lewis Thomas, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 3 July 2022), citing NARA Publication T 655, roll 8.

[ii] Find a grave, database and images (www.Findagrave.com: accessed 3 July 2022), memorial # 14914364, Elizabeth (Mixon) Thomas, birth 1795, death 1860.

[iii] Liberty County, Georgia, Marriage Bond, Lewis Thomas and Elizabeth Mixon (18 July 1808), Libery County Probate Court, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia, image, FamilySearch.org, (www.FamilySearch.org: accessed 3 July 2022).

[iv] Liberty County, Georgia, Marriage Bond, Banner Thomas and Mary Mixon (4 June 1809), Libery County Probate Court, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia, image, FamilySearch.org, (www.FamilySearch.org: accessed 3 July 2022).

[v] https://services.dar.org/Public/DAR_Research/search_adb/default.cfm

Blog 2022 06 26 Searching for Proof of Parentage

Who were the parents of ______?  We have all been there and will be there again.  Here are some hints on how I go about trying to resolve that question.

On 14 May 1848, a young couple, Richard Foster and Winny Meeks were married. [i] They then appear on the 1850 U. S. Census with a 10-month-old son, Henry. [ii] And that is the last time we see anything definite on this couple.  I know they had another son, Albert Martin Foster (1855-1921) from Albert’s Death Certificate from Florida. [iii] That document lists his parents.  In 1860, 7-year-old, Albert is living with a Davis family in nearby Montgomery County, Georgia. [iv] There is no indication as to a relationship since that did not start until 1880.  I have yet to find where Henry was living but in 1870, a 20-year-old Henry is living in Emanuel County with a Thomas Gillis family. [v]  Incidentally, Albert’s son married a Gillis but was not a descendant of Thomas.

 I have not yet discovered who Richard’s parents are but I am confident I discovered who Winny’s parents were.  Here is the approach I took.  Winny reports being 19 on the above 1850 census which puts her birth at about 1831.  Since she was 19 in Emanuel County, I start with the supposition that her parents were also living in that county.  Listing ever Meeks head of household and ages, I looked for any records where the man was old enough to have fathered her.  While there were two who were quite a bit older, since there was also a female about their age living there, I again made the assumption, for now, that she was the wife and beyond childbearing age.

This narrowed it down to 4 men who were old enough.  I then looked to see if any were living in District 28 but they were all in district 55.  Next, I looked at the size of their household and the ages of their daughters and only Allen Meeks had a daughter aged 5-9, he had one. [vi] While this is not as accurate as we would like, there is but little evidence to the contrary.  Allen’s wife was Mary Summer and together they had a son, Richard A. Meeks who died in 1929 in Emanuel County, listing his parents. [vii] We can then look at the U. S. Censuses and other records pertaining to this couple and we see they are the same couple in the above 1840 census.

I wrote in my blog of 25 April about sometimes having to find the parents through documents pertaining to the siblings.  We must use whatever documentation we can find.

Sometimes we have to use timelines to try and see what fits.  I am researching a man where the 3 eldest boys always reported being born in South Carolina but later living the remainder of their life in Georgia.  The youngest son was clearly born after the parents moved from South Carolina.  The fourth child, a girl, sometimes had South Carolina and sometimes Georgia on the census.  Until I can find something clearly showing her father in Georgia, I must assume the family is still in South Carolina.  So far, the earliest record is his service in the Liberty County, Georgia militia in the summer of 1800.

[i] Emanuel County, Georgia, Marriage Book A (1817 – 1860), p. 23 (top half), Foster-Meeks, 14 May 1848, Emanuel County Probate Court, Swainsboro, Emanuel County, Georgia, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 26 June 2022).

[ii] 1850 U. S. Census, Emanuel County, Georgia, population schedule, District 28, p 480 (stamped), dwelling and family 512, household of Richard Foster, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 26 June 2022), citing NARA Publication M 432, roll 68.

[iii] Alber Death Cert

[iv] 1860 U. S. Census, Montgomery County, Georgia, Seward Post Office, p. 871 (inked), dwelling and family 93, hhld of David Smith, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 26 June 2022), citing NARA Publication M 653, roll 131.

[v] 1870 U. S. Census, Emanuel County, Subdivision 46, p. 357 (stamped), dwelling and family 383, hhld of Thomas Gillis, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 26 June 2022), citing NARA Publication M 593, roll 148.

[vi] 1840 U. S. Census, Emauel County, District 55, p. 192 (stamped), line 11, hhld of Allen Meeks, image, Ancestry.com, (www.Ancestry.com: accessed 26 June 2022), citing NARA Publication M 704, roll 41.

[vii] Emanuel County, Georgia, Georgie State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Standard Certificate of Death, State Registrar File No. 7749, Mil Dist. 1452, Richard A. Meeks (1852 – 1929), image, Georgia State Archives (https://vault.georgiaarchives.org/digital/collection/gadeaths : accessed 26 June 2022).