12 September 2009

Confusing New York and Kentucky


This 1885 census for Davis County, Iowa, contains the entry for Frederick and Lucretia (Sargent) Price. I have been trying to connect Lucretia Sargent to my Ira Sargent (born ca. 1843).
What is interesting about it is that it indicates Lucretia is born in "Ky." All other records indicate she was born in either New York state or Canada. The family has to be hers as all the other details match.
The first letter of her place of birth is clearly not an "N" as there are other "N"s on the page (in the legal description of their farm location). Here is my theory:
The census taker took down notes. He wrote down "Ny" for the place of birth and then, upon writing up his good copy, read it as a "Ky."
That seems pretty reasonable. And I think it explains something else that has never made sense to me.
Ira Sargent (born ca. 1843) had a daughter Ida Sargent Trautvetter. In the 1930 census for Keene Township, Adams County, Illinois, Ida's father and mother are shown with places of birth in "Kentucky." I never understood this at all. While the places of birth for Ida's father were not always consistent, records always provided a place of birth of either New York state or Canada-never near Kentucky.
I am wondering now if she gave "New York" as her father's place of birth and the enumerator in his field notes wrote down "Ny." Did he later interpret that as "Ky" for Kentucky and write that down in the census? I'm not certain. But it makes a little more sense than other scenarios I've been able to come up with.

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26 November 2008

Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com just released Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 on their website. I was really excited as I was hoping to find my elusive Clark Sargent in this database.

So far no luck. I searched for just the last name Sargent, just the first name Clark and later on I will experiment with additional spellings for the last name. Maybe he is just hiding somewhere. Ancestry.com indicates the areas that are included the Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 and I should also look to make certain all areas are covered. It is always possible that the entire set of records is not extant. One should not assume.

One of these days, I will hopefully find Clark. In the interim, perhaps readers will have success with this database.

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14 March 2008

Uploading Your Own Content to Footnote

I've been playing around with uploading my own content to Footnote.com. The marriage license for Asa Landon and Mrs. Mary Sargent from 1849 in Winnebago County, Illinois, was something I added to Footnote.com a few days ago.

Of course, I can make annotations for names and places, which I did. Comments can also be added. Site users can interact with uploaded images just like other Footnote.com content. Uploaded images can be viewed for free, even without an account. If you want to "interact" with user uploaded content, or upload your own, you'll need an account.

Those who want to see the Sargent-Landon marriage license on Footnote can do so here. It provides a nice overview of how one actually views and interacts with the site's content. And the nice thing is that if someone does a search for Asa Landon on the site, the image I loaded will be pulled up. If they are related to Asa, hopefully they will contact me.

Mary Sargent was the mother of an Ira Sargent (born. ca. 1845 in Canada). I am thinking this Ira Sargent may be the same as my Ira Sargent who first appears in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1880.

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13 March 2008

Playing with Family Tree Maker's websearch


I have been playing with the websearch on Family Tree Maker 2008. The websearch is best used for locating new clues or easily capturing things you have already located. I NEVER automatically upload a "hit" from the websearch. The image should always be viewed if available and the information analyzed to determine if the correct person has been located.

That said, I am still playing with just a few of my ancestral families to see the matches FTM 2008 gives me. One was potentially helpful.

I had forgotten (or maybe never even knew in the first place) that my Grandma Neill's brother had lived in Keokuk, Iowa, during the 1920s. FTM2008 pulled up the reference to Elmer Trautvetter in the 1925 census, which I had not thought to search for myself.

The 1925 Iowa State Census provides places of birth for the parents, their ages, and their place of marriage. Grandma's mother (Ida Sargent) is one of my brick walls and this was another location to potentially obtain a clue as to her origins. Interestingly enough, the listing shows her mother as "Ida Sargen." I'm still pretty certain her maiden name was Sargent; however, this provides me with a potential clue as to how the family pronounced her name and an additional spelling variant. Her age is off by almost ten years as well.




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12 March 2008

Asa Landon marries Mrs.Mary Sargent 1849

A search of the Illinois State Marriage Index indicated Asa Landon married Mrs. Mary Sargent in Winnebago County, Illinois in 1849.

This copy of the marriage license was obtained from the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

The date agreed with the entry in the index. This was not a copy from book I, as referenced in the index, as that is the marriage register entry and this is the actual license.

Hiram Lake was a neighbor of Asa Landon. Lake purchased property in the same section as Asa Landon.

I'm still trying to connect Mary Sargent's son Ira, with my Ira who first appeared in the 1880 census in Hancock County, Illinois.

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31 January 2008

Searching 1870 Census

We've posted two articles on our site on searching the 1870 census. The discussion is applicable to other years as well and focuses on alternate spellings for names, variant last names, places of birth, and other issues with locating people in the census. The focus is on organizing and thinking about what you want to search before you start mindlessly entering names in search boxes.

The second article centers on an analysis of entries located while trying to search for Johann Ufkes (born 1838 Ostfriesland, Germany) in the 1870 census and provides some ways to analyze entries.

Unfortunately I have not found either person (Johann Ufkes or Ira Sargent) I was looking for in 1870. But the search continues.

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10 December 2007

A New Ira May be "My" Ira

The image to the right shows the 1856 census enumeration for an Ira Sargent in Davis County, Iowa---who may be my missing ancestor.

An article on my search
for Ira appears in this weekend's edition of the Ancestry World Journal .

The census enumerations are not crystal clear---but that's not unusual for census enumerations. Coimpounding the problem with this family are the two marriages of the mother, which are not hinted at in other records.

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14 November 2007

Looking for Clark Sargent of Winnebago County, Illinois

Clark Sargent purchased federal land in Winnebago County, Illinois on 1 March 1848. I think he died shortly thereafter and the Mrs. Mary Sargent that married in Winnebago County, Illinois to Asa Landon on 6 January 1849 is his widow. I have tracked Mary and Asa in the 1850 (Winnebago County, Illinois) and 1860 census (Christian County, Missouri), but am trying to find out if Clark Sargent who purchased the property is the Sargent who was the husband of Mary. One of the Sargent children living with Landon is Ira, born ca. 1844. I lose the Landons after 1860.

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18 May 2007

1856 Iowa State Census


I always tell our trip participants not to spend too much time on the computer while at the Family History Library. However, it doesn't mean one should avoid the computer completely.
I had a half an hour before the Family History Library closed one evening this week and decided to give my Ira Sargent problem a "fresh try" without any of my notes. This is not always a good research procedure as occasionally it can waste time. However sometimes I have had success "re-researching" a family without all my "stuff" with me (including my assumptions).
A search at Ancestry.com revealed a "hit" for Ira Sargent that I had not noticed before and I saw one entry from the Davis County, Iowa 1856 for him and viewed it immediately. The name and age were consistent with my Ira Sargent and this Ira was not Iras I had already located. In about twenty minutes I learned more about this family, including a few apparent name changes and one apparent gender change by a census taker. In a later column for the Ancestry World Journal at Ancestry.com, we'll see what progress I made with this entry (and what progress I didn't make).
Those of you who know me know I don't do the "happy dance" and while this one hasn't solved my brick wall yet, came close to "doing" the "happy expletive" when I found this.

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14 February 2007

Ida Sargent Trautvetter Miller



Perhaps my biggest brick wall is my great-grandmother, Ida May Sargent Trautvetter Miller (1874-1939). The image on this post comes from her 1939 death certificate, although other sources do indicate her mother was a Florence (or Ellen) Butler, who was born in Missouri in the 1850s.

Ida's date of birth (1 April 1874) is given relatively consistently in the records, her place of birth however is not. She has been located in all censuses from 1880-1930, none providing clues as to her parents beyond their general places birth. Her tombstone provides little additional data. Her second marriage application provides no new information either.

Her parents apparently were "dropped" in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois in 1880 when they were enumerated in the 1880 census. Her mother "evaporated" a few years later, and supposedly was never heard from again. Her father Ira (as William I. Sargent) married again to Martha Morris in Adams County, Illinois, in 1888. Ira died in 1916 in Limestone Township, Peoria County, Illinois, and has no burial location or stone. The most precise place of birth obtained for Ira has been Canada (although one census does indicate he was born in Quebec). Martha cannot be located in the 1920 census and the one child she supposedly had before her marriage to Ira has never been located. She has no stone at the cemetery where she is buried.

This discussion of Ida is somewhat informal. Records of Hancock and Adams Counties in Illinois have been exhausted in an attempt to locate more on this family. Suggestions are welcomed... mjnrootdig@gmail.com

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11 December 2006

Evidence Analysis



Of course, work on a family never centers on one document (or at least should not, if at all possible). In the case of Martha and others, her death certificate should be analyzed in light of other evidence. And it should always be remembered that documents can be incorrect. Her death certificate had information provided from someone outside the family--a prime source of potentially incorrect information.

The 1900 census for Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois even has the last name as Sargin instead of Sargent.



Martha's 1900 census entry (itself prone to errors) gives a different middle initial for her and a year of birth off from the census, but not radically different.

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My Brick Wall


The death certificate here represents part of my brick wall. It is the death certificate of Martha Ellen Sargent, second wife of my ancestor, Ira Sargent. Martha had one daughter, Martha/Mattie Sargent Silsby Greenstreet. Martha Ellen may have also had a son before her marriage to Ira Sargent, but no information about this son has been located. Unfortunately, this certificate for Martha does not provide much in the way of information.
Martha and Ira are enumerated in the 1900
census with Ira in Rocky Run Twp., Hancock County, Illinois. I have been unable to locate her in 1910, 1920 or 1930 for reasons I cannot determine. Ira was institutionalized between 1900 and 1910 and is enumerated in the state hospital near Peoria, Illinois.
Interestingly enough, Ira's first wife was named Florence Ellen. She is another story completely.

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