I had started another blog several years ago at http://myfamilyresearchadventures.blogspot.com/, but when google plus ended some how I messed things up and now it is very difficult for me to get into that blog to post. So I decided to start a new blog that I can get to easier.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 7

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/r/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 7
GPS Element 5
The Written Conclusion

The Written Conclusion, the meat of proof, is what this book has been leading to. It also is scary. Scary, to me, because it requires clear and logical language. I have never been good about writing essays or papers. So here we go. I will be working on the question "Did Dillaplain Ridgway who married Hannah Coulton in 1797 die in 1803". I have found many published and unpublished genealogies on this family and the majority have Dillaplain Ridgway dieing in 1803. The rest have no death date for him. As Russ Worthington has said many times "I try to prove the printed work wrong as a way of determining if it is correct".

Dr Jones talks about 3 types of proofs. They range from the simplest to the most complex. They are:
  1. Proof Statement - This is the simplest form of a proof. It deals with simple facts that can be gleaned from a source.
  2. Proof Summary - This contains several Proof Statements to come to a conclusion. Most Proof Summaries do not resolve any conflicts. If there is a conflict then it must be easily explained, such as name variants.
  3. Proof Argument - It is the most complex form of proof. A Proof Argument is used to solve conflicting information,and to prove things that have no direct evidence such as who are the parents when there is no record that states it directly.
Proof Statements used in my proof:
  1. Dillaplain Ridgway is the son of John Ridgway and his wife Postrema.
  2. John Ridgway is living in Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey in 1797.
  3. Dillaplain Ridgway married Hannah Colton in 1797 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Quaker Marriage Records, Northern District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Section A, page 110-111 Dillaplain Ridgway and Hannah Colton, 31day 1mo 1797 (31 Jan 1797), Microfilm # 20473 (A copy of this record can also be found on Ancestry.com in their Quaker Collection)


Proof Summary: Is the Dillaplain Ridgway who married Hannah Colton the same Dillaplain Ridgway that was executor for John Ridgway's Will proved in 1809?
  • Using the proof statements from above, we know who the parents are of Dillaplain Ridgway. They are John Ridgway and Postrema.
  • The children of John Ridgway and Postrema are: Thomas, John, William, Aquila, Anna, Dillaplain, Mary, Martha, Thomas Shinn Jr, Elizabeth, and Edward.
  • Thomas died in 1761, Aquila died about 1799. Edward died in 1805.
The Society of Friends, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey; Salt Lake Family History Library; Microfilm No. 20464, 1-2, page 8 (The family of John Ridgway and Postreme) (A copy of this record can also be found on Ancestry.com in their Quaker Collection)

  • John Ridgway's Will written in 1801 lists the following children: John Ridgway, William Ridgway, Dillaplain Ridgway, Anne Burr, Mary Night, Martha Ridgway, Thomas Shinn Ridgway, Elizabeth Ridgway, and Edward Ridgway. It also mentions grandson Aquila Shinn Ridgway the son of Aquila Ridgway.
"New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980." images, FamilySearch.org: (accessed 23 June 2015) Burlington Wills 1804-1820 vol A-B, images 281 of 1220; county courthouses, New Jersey.


  • John Ridgway's will, written in 1801, and codicil, written in 1803 was proved in 1809. The full will and codicil can be found on FamilySearch.org. The will names his sons Dillaplain and Thomas S as executors with William Burr. All three men affirmed they were willing to be the executors for John Ridgway's estate. The affirmation happened in 1809 when the will was proved.
 
"New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980." images, FamilySearch.org: (accessed 23 June 2015) Burlington Wills 1804-1820 vol A-B, images 284 of 1220; county courthouses, New Jersey.
*The complete Will can be found on images 280-284, in Will Book A

Comparing the names found in Little Egg Harbor's records and the names listed in the will, we can tell both records pertain to the same family. Also the marriage record not only lists his parents, but if you look at the names of those attending the ceremony you will find the names of some of the siblings of Dillaplain listed. Thus proving that the Dillaplain Ridgway that married Hannah Colton was still alive in 1809.

Now finally my Proof Argument: Did Dillaplain Ridgway who married Hannah Colton die in 1803?
This may seem like a ridiculous question since it was already established in my Proof Summary that Dillaplain Ridgway was alive in 1809. However, I have found several published and unpublished genealogies that list his death date as 1803. The Genealogy Proof Standard requires you to resolve conflicting evidence and a Proof Summary only handles minor conflicting evidence. I have some ideas as to where this death date came from and why it was used:

  • This family has been researched since the early 1900's and if an earlier researcher made a mistake then it may have been passed along to others and just kept spreading.
  • There is a Dillaplain Ridgway who was the son of John Ridgway that died in 1803. This Dillaplain was 9 months old.
Ancestry.com. U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Northern District; Births and Deaths, 1754-1806 
  • Earlier researchers may have thought that there was only one Dillaplain Ridgway who was the son of John Ridgway. However the Ridgway family had lived in the area of Philadelphia and Mount Holly for several generations and had large families. They also used the name John several times. Thus not realizing that this Dillaplain Ridgway was an infant and could not have been the one that married Hannah Colton in 1797.
  • It is clear from these records that the assumption that there was only one Dillaplain Ridgway is wrong. In fact I have seen the name Dillaplain, Delaplaine or any number of different spelling for some one who served in the Civil War.
So my conclusion is that Dillaplain Ridgway, who was the husband of Hannah Colton, did not die in 1803 but at some point after 1809.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 6

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/r/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 6
GPS Element 4
Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence

What is conflicting evidence in genealogy? It is when 2 or more pieces of evidence (usually in different sources, but not always) do not agree. For example the death certificate lists a different birth date than the birth certificate.

Why does a genealogical proof require us to resolve conflicts with a conclusion?
If we want an accurate record for our families, than we have to resolve the conflicts. If we want to share our work with others and have it stand the test of peer review, then we need to write down our thought process when resolving the conflicts. This written down thought process is called a genealogical proof.

The rest of the homework is using the proof summaries in the back of the book. Instead I will try to provide examples from my own research, as I learn what to do with what I have gathered.

Dr Jones mentions 5 ways that evidence can be assembled or grouped.

1) All records provide direct, primary evidence and nothing conflicts. The simplest way to assemble the evidence. In my research that would be for my birth, using my birth certificate.

2) Resolving conflicting direct evidence. First you would have to decide if any of the evidence is primary or secondary. An example of this would be my grandfather's birth. His Birth record states he was born in 1905, but his christening certificate states he was born in 1904. Upon reviewing the 2 records you realize the birth record itself had conflicting information. The birth record stated he was born in Oct of1905, but it was registered in May of 1905. This is easy to resolve by stating that it was so far into 1905 the clerk just made a mistake and wrote the current year and not the previous year.

3) Resolving conflict between direct, and/or indirect, and/or negative evidence. Again you would have to identify which sources are primary, secondary or derivative. For example: A published book containing Will abstracts list Phebey Coulton as a grandchild of William Coulton. However, the will itself lists her as a daughter. In the Will she is treated the same way as the other daughters that were listed in the abstract as daughters. Further research found a church record (made about the time of Phebey's marriage) also states she is the daughter of William Coulton. The conflicting evidence here is the abstract which is an authored, unknown informant record. Therefore, baring any more evidence the conclusion is that Phebey Coulton is William Coulton's daughter and not granddaughter. The person making the abstract apparently made a mistake.

4) Indirect or negative evidence or both that do not conflict, and no direct evidence. In this case there is no conflict and everything agrees. For example a person ages 10 years every census. Or every record on a person you have indicates the person's father was born in Ohio.

5) Indirect or negative evidence or both that does conflict and again no direct evidence found. For example my ancestor Delaplain Ridgway in family records and authored works is listed as having died in 1803. However, I have found land records (buying and selling land) for him after that date and he is listed as an executor of his father's estate in 1809. I have yet been able to locate his death record or will or probate. I have narrowed down is death to around 1813 and either in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 5

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/r/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 5
GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation

This chapter has to do with Analyzing a record to determine how accurate it is. It also has to do with compering two or more records to come up with a conclusion.

Analyzing: There are two things you need to consider when analyzing a record: 1) What kind of a record is it? and 2) What kind of information is given?

What kind of a record is it helps determine whether you need to look further or not. A record can be:
  1. Original, meaning that the record is at its earliest state. This may be the actual record or an unaltered copy of the actual record.
  2. Derivative, meaning it can be an index, abstract, transcription or some other form of the original record, but it is not in the original form. You should try and locate the original if at all possible because a derivative record has a chance of having errors and may also contain additional information.
  3. Authored work, meaning a compilation of information some one has gathered and put together. The work may or may not contain source citations. If the work has no source citations than its accuracy is questionable.
What kind of information is given?
  1. Primary is where the person giving the information is not only a witness, but also the record was made at or near the time of the event. This is the most accurate, but you need to consider the length of time between when the event occurred and when it was recorded.
  2. Secondary is also referred to as hearsay. It is when someone who was not at the event is providing the information. A person giving his birth date is secondary, because he was to young to know the date. The person is going by what he was told by those who were present for his birth.
  3. Indeterminate is where you do not know who gave the information like in an obituary and census.
My biggest challenge analyzing a record is that I look at the whole record instead of just looking for one piece of information. For example a death certificate can have direct and indirect information and it can also contain both primary and secondary information. So I have problems when analyzing the record on how to separate these things out.

Correlation is where you compare and contrast all the records you have found for one event. Dr Jones gives several examples of ways you can correlate records.

  1. Use a table
  2. Make a list
  3. Make a timetable
  4. Draw a map


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 4

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/r/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 4
This chapter has to do with source citations.

Dr Jones explains that citations used for academic papers do not always work for genealogists.
Genealogists work with many sources that are not in published book form and some times we work with packets or loose papers. So how do genealogist write citations then. I have always heard the main purpose for the citation is so that some one else can find the source that I used.

Dr Jones states there are 5 things that need to be in a genealogical long-form citation:
  1. Who - meaning who is the author. Not all citations will have a who, if it is records from a court house of archives this may not apply.
  2. What - meaning some kind of source title, this may also include a database title, or a collection of papers.
  3. When - meaning the publishing date, the exact date of viewing it on line, the date of the record (for vital church records). There may be 2 dates if you are citing a birth certificate from an on line database.
  4. Where in the source - meaning the page or image number, the name on the will or land deed, the chapter, etc.
  5. Where is the source found - meaning the URL and name of the web site or database, the library, the court house, your own personal copy, etc.
There is also a short-form citation that is used when referring back to a source you have already used. The short-form citation usually contains the author, the title and the new item detail (a different page number or item of interest)

That is the first part of learning about citations. Dr Jones goes on and says there are 2 ways that you can list citations in your document.

  1. Reference Notes - These are used when you use footnotes or endnotes. Reference notes are used when you are citing each separate fact and use the form described above. This is where you will use both long-form and short-form citations.
  2. Source Lists - These are used when you are doing a Bibliography or listing all the things you have looked at whether you used something from the source. Source Lists help determine if you indeed looked at all the relevant records.
Now with all that I am going to need to practice making citations and will more than likely use short cuts. There are many places you can go and find examples of citations and most software programs have templates for making citations. Also, FamilySearch and Ancestry are providing citations for their records that can be used.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mastering Genealogical Proof Chapter 3

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]

Chapter 3
This chapter has to do with the GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) Element 1 or Reasonably Exhaustive Search.

So, how do you know if you did a reasonably exhaustive search?
First, you need to know what you are looking for and what time period and location you will need to search in order to answer your research question. Looking for a birth day in the 1920's is different than looking for the same information in the 1820's.

Dr Jones lists 6 things to consider:

  1. Find at least 2 sources that are independent of each other. Records are independent of each if the individual records were made by different people and/or made for different reasons. A birth record recorded shortly after the birth and a census record would be independent of each other.
  2. Look in a Wiki and see what records might be used. You want to search the common records for the time and location of your research question. Ask yourself "If another genealogist looked at my sources would they suggest another record group?"
  3. Have you located any primary records. A record or records that were made at or near the time of the event. Or have you found an eyewitness account. If you use only secondary records you have a higher chance of coming to a wrong conclusion.
  4. Are you using original records or authored works as your sources? Authored works have more room for error. The further the record is from the original, due to transcribing or translation, the higher the chance of error.
  5. If you used an authored work or an index, did you locate the records used to make them. There is always a possibility that there was a mistake when an index or an abstract was made. I know of a well used abstract that had a wrong relationship. This abstract was used in several authored works with no one tracking down the original will.
  6. After you have done your research, have you looked at any additional suggested by the records you have. For example if the census record indicated your ancestor owned land have you located the land record.
Even after all this you need to keep in mind that later a record may come to light that changes everything.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Studying the book "Mastering Genealogical Proof"

Over the next few weeks I will be participating in a study group on the following book.


Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof , also available
in Kindle format through Amazon.com]


Since some how I have messed up my Google Drive I will be posting my homework here.



Chapter I Homework:

1) Genealogy is the study of ones ancestors.
2) In my own words; the 5 parts of the GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) are:

  1. Searching in as many different types of records you can think of and/or locate.
  2. Citing all the records you find in a way that you or someone else can go back and locate the records in case the originals or images get misplaced.
  3. Look at the records you have found and determine how accurate each record is and then compare the information and determine the best conclusion to the genealogical question.
  4. Reasonably explain any and all information found in the records.
  5. Write up your conclusion in a way that others will understand.
3) The proofs explain why I came to my conclusions. The proofs are there so others can understand my thinking and reasoning.
4) A conclusion is complete. A partial proof indicates a work in progress.
5) You have to first decide on what you want to know.






Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Proof Summary - How many children did Minnie Estella Miner Huyck have?

How many children did Minnie Estella Miner and Charles Alonzo Huyck have? Also, was there a baby born in the 12 years between Gladys Mae, born in 1898 in North Dakota, and Pearl, born in 1910 in North Dakota?

On 15 July 1888, Charles Alonzo Huyck and Estella May Miner (also known as Minnie Estella Miner) were married at Shell Lake, Washington County, Wisconsin. [1]
The known natural children of Charles Alonzo Huyck and Minnie Estella Miner (The name she went by through most of her life. And also the name on her delayed birth certificate recorded 1939)[2]

Name
Birth Date
Birth Place
Informant
No. of children born to this mother
Children still living
Lucy Mary[3]
26 Aug 1894
Lorain, Polk, Wisconsin
Mrs Julia A Latson
Not given

Gladys Mae[4]
9 Nov 1898
Oberon, Benson, North Dakota
mother
4
2
Pearl[5][6]
12 Jan 1910
Rich Valley, Benson, North Dakota
John Crawford
6
3
Kenneth Charles[7]
19 May 1911
Rich Valley, Benson, North Dakota
H R Thurber MD
6
4
Velva Wynetta[8]
8 Feb 1916
Esmond, Benson, North Dakota
mother
7
4

Looking at just the birth certificates of the known natural children of Minnie Estella Miner Huyck, it appears she had 7 children with 4 living past childhood. Kenneth Charles birth certificate states differently, but it is possible that the doctor was not aware that Robbie Joe was adopted and not a natural born child. The two delayed birth certificates, Gladys Mae and Velva Wynetta, are signed by their mother, Minnie Estella Huyck.
There are two additional records that would give us the number of children this mother had. They are the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

Census
Number of children born
Number of children living
Robbie Joe listed as
1900[9]
4
2
Adopted son
1910[10]
6
3
son

Even adding the information from the 1900 and 1910 censuses, we still come to the conclusion that Minnie Estella Miner Huyck had 3 children that died at a young age. This includes Pearl who was born and died in January 1910 (which was before the 1910 census). We can also conclude that there is not a child born between Gladys and Pearl since both Gladys’ birth certificate and the 1900 census indicates that there were 2 children born and died before Gladys’s birth in 1898.
So now what about these 2 missing children can we find any information on them?  Yes, additional information has been found.

First, a family story about why Robbie Joe was adopted. According to the family story, Minnie Estella Huyck had a child that died at a young age and so she and her husband adopted Robbie Joe. The story goes that the reason why Minnie Estella Huyck and her husband Charles Alonzo Huyck adopted the boy, which they named Robbie Joe, was because Minnie had just recently lost a young child and Robbie Joe’s mother had died about the same time. Thankfully, there was a formal adoption, which was not very common for the time period. The boy was born 26 December 1890 and had originally been named Joseph Smith Klinck Jr. On 24 January 1891 the Huyck’s filed a petition to adopt a baby boy in Polk County, Wisconsin. The petition was granted 4 February 1891 and signed by both the Huyck’s and Mr. Joseph S. Klinck, the baby’s father. In the petition Mr. Klinck states that his wife, the boy’s mother, was already dead. With the boy being less than a month old at the time of his mother’s death and the time period, there would have been a need for a woman to breast feed the child in order for him to thrive. This fact and the age of Robbie Joe at adoption lend credence to the family story that Minnie Estella Huyck had a young child at this time in order for her to properly take care of the child. The fact that there is no family record of the Huyck’s having a child born at this time that lived past infancy also adds credence to the story.[11]

Second, a note was found in a cousin’s genealogy papers after her death that leads to the possibility that Minnie E Huyck had a boy in December 1889 in Shell Lake, Polk County, Wisconsin[12]. Whether this is referring to the child born and died that lead to Robbie Joe’s adoption or not is unknown.

Third, in the Lorain Union Township Cemetery, Polk County, Wisconsin there is two listings for infant Huyck (Charlie’s child)[13]. Unfortunately, there is no record as to when the burials took place only a record of who is buried there.  Can one of these burials be Pearl’s? No, Gladys Mae, the second daughter told me that Pearl was buried in North Dakota[14]. Gladys would have been 12 at the time and would have remembered someone traveling from North Dakota to Wisconsin to bury baby Pearl.

Therefore, Minnie Estella Miner Huyck was the mother of 7 natural children. Four of these children lived to adulthood and had their own families and three that died young. Of these three that died young, one was a girl named Pearl (possibly remembered because of Robbie, Lucy and Gladys being old enough to understand what was going on). All we know of the other two is that they were more than likely born in Polk County, Wisconsin between 1888 (when Minnie Estella Miner and Charles Alonzo Huyck were married) and died before 1898 when Gladys was born.





[1] Charles Alonzo Huyck and Estella May Miner, marriage certificate, no. 23 (1888), Wisconsin State Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health ,Wisconsin State Archives, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[2] Minnie Estella Miner, birth certificate (delayed but on a form for at birth registration), (birth 1872, registration 1939), Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[3] Lucy Mary Huyck, birth certificate, (1894), Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Divisoin of Health, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[4] Gladys Mae Huyck, delayed birth certificate , no. 90 (birth 1898, registration 1942),North Dakota, State Department of Health, mother signed the delayed registration, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[5] Unnamed Huyck, female,  birth certificate, no. 00525 (1910), State of North Dakota, Bureau of Vital Statistics, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[6] Family Records obtained from Lucy Mary Huyck Baker, the oldest known daughter, names this child as Pearl even though the birth and death certificates names her as unknown Huyck.

[7] Kenneth Charles Huyck, birth certificate, no. 00579 (1911), State of North Dakota, Bureau of Vital Statistics, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[8] Velva Wynette Huyck, delayed birth certificate, no. 15987 (birth 1916, registration 1944 ), North Dakota, State Department of Health, copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton

[9] "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11666-59311-73?cc=1325221 : accessed 24 March 2015), North Dakota > Benson > ED 13 T.151-152-R.70 Fairview, T.141-R.71 North Fork, T.152-R.71 Pleasant Valley, T.163-R.69 Albert > image 15 of 33; citing NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[10] "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11551-47581-19?cc=1727033 : accessed 24 March 2015), North Dakota > Benson > Esmond > 0022 > image 22 of 32; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[11] Robbie Joe Huyck; Adoption Papers; Charles A Huyck and Minnie E Huyck; 4 February 1891; Polk County Court, Wisconsin: Ole Larson County Judge: Recorded in Vol 3, page 121: copy in possession of Betty-Lu Baker Burton
[12] The note possibly originated from Harriet Hilditch, a younger sister of Minnie Estella Miner.
[13] Copyright (c), 2002,  Art and Betty Johnson, Frederic, Wi. <bjajohn@centurytel.net>    http://files.usgwarchives.net/wi/polk/cemetery/lorain.txt : Block B Lot 15 Row 1: accessed 31 March 2015
[14] Interview with Gladys Mae Huyck Hanson in the late 1970’s; Date of interview not recorded; Interviewed by Betty-Lu Baker