Thursday, September 15, 2011

Listing the Siblings of Direct Ancestors

When dancing with the ancestors, it is important - at least for me - to track all the siblings of my descendants. Why? Well, because often, knowing the siblings can help in the verification process, especially if you stumble - as I have done many times - across a last will and testament which lists the children of a direct ancestor. This is invaluable information.

Seriously, people, forget creating family trees with a single line of descent, like . . .

Ezekial McGregor - m - Mary McGee
Mary Jane McGregor - m- James Douglas Tate

Instead, give other researchers a bit of information that helps in your search, such as . . .

Ezekial McGregor - m - Mary McGee
They had the following children - Ezekial Jr., John Houston, William Bartley, James L, Mary Jane, and Richmond C.

The reason . . . by tracking the other siblings through census records, you can often find information out about a direct ancestor.

For Example: Mary McGee McGregor. I knew when she was born, but didn't have a date of death. I knew her husband died in 1861, and that she was listed on the 1860 Warren County census with him, so, in 1860, she was still alive. So, the other day, I decided to check out some of the children, and - voila - on the 1870 census Mary was living with her son William Bartley and his family. Woo-hoo!

So, now, rather than a blank for her date of death, I have put in: after 1870. I haven't been able to find her past that date, at least not online, but plan to check out the 1880 Warren County census records on my next visit to the State Archives in Nashville, TN.

So, when dancing with the ancestors, adding the siblings of your direct ancestor to your family tree can help in solving the mysteries you're sure to encounter when, well, dancing with the ancestors.


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