Monday, August 20, 2012

Questions About Backing Up Your File, Connecting People, Baby Graves, Boarders and Genealogy Computer Programs

Question from Peggy:
How do you back up your genealogy file?

I back up my file every day that I work on it. I back it up to my hard drive, to a flash drive and to Carbonite.

Question from Trisha:
How do I connect Brittain King and Dorcus King who both show as heads of household in the 1820 Lenoir County, North Carolina census?

My first move would be to detail all of the Kings in Dobbs County in 1790 [Lenoir was formed from Dobbs in 1791] and Lenoir County 1800 - 1850. I would use the 1850 to work backwards to show which families progressed through time. I would then pull all the King wills from Dobbs and Lenoir counties for this time period to further reconstruct the family. The next set of documents would be deeds. I would also look at all of the King marriages during this time period. All of these things are available on microfilm at the Family History Library. If it were me, I would try and find an abstract books for wills, deeds and marriages in Lenoir County and start there. It will make your life a lot easier if the books exist. Once you get all of the names and dates from the abstract books you can get the original documents a lot easier. You can start piecing the King families together and you will be able to also rule out certain relationships.

Question from Dan:
I have a marker in a cemetery of a baby that died in 1935 but there is nothing on the marker but the last name and the year of death. The last name is one of main lines and there are gazillion people in this family buried in this cemetery. How can I figure out whose baby this is?

This happens so often. You will find baby graves where the child was born and died between the census years so there is no census record of the child. You are lucky in that 1935 is late enough you should be able to get a death certificate. I would also check the local newspaper. In 1935 most deaths made the local paper. If the baby/child had died in 1863 then your task would be a lot harder. There wouldn't be a death certificate and there mostly likely wouldn't be anything in the paper unless the death was particularly unusual or the parents were extremely important in the community. In this case I would compile a list of possible parents. I would look at the census records as well as who all is buried in that same cemetery. You should be able to narrow down the list by looking at the ages of the parents and the dates of birth of the other children. Also, see if the marker matches any other markers in the cemetery. Many times when a family lost more than one child the children's markers will match each other in style, even if the deaths were not close together. I had an example of this where 6 children died in one family over about a 15 year period. The children were buried in two different cemeteries but the markers were identical to each other in both the style and the way the inscription was done. Several of the children were listed on the census with their parents (who were buried in one of the cemeteries with the grandparents buried in the other). The remaining children could then be tied in. The census records also showed that the parents moved from near the first cemetery where the grandparents were buried to the second cemetery where the parents were buried. It all fit together nicely.

Question from Amy:
I have a man listed as a boarder in the census but he has the same last name as the wife's maiden name so I am sure that he is really the wife's brother. Why would they list him as a boarder?

When you have extended family living the household it isn't uncommon at all for them to be listed as boarders. Having said that, just because the man has the same surname as the wife's maiden name doesn't automatically make him the wife's brother. It could be a totally unrelated person, it could be a brother, it could be a nephew or an uncle or any of several other possibilities. You need to corroborate this one piece of evidence with other pieces to make a more complete picture.

2nd question from Amy:
You have mentioned Legacy Family Tree several times. What other computer programs do you use?

I use Microsoft Word for all of my correspondence. I use Microsoft Excel to put together timelines and conflicting info tables when I am working on a brickwall. I use Ani-Map to map out locations and watch boundaries change over time. I use L-Tools which is a utility program that works with Legacy Family Tree. I use GENViewer which is another Legacy add-on type program. It allows you to look at your data in different ways. I have been toying around with Microsoft One Note for brick wall research but I haven't really started using it to its fullest potential yet.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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