Saturday, March 27, 2010

An "Inbox Genealogist"

Guess I have never thought of myself this way before, but I’m probably an “Inbox Genealogist”. A good part of my genealogy research each day is determined by what I find in my email that morning.

A couple of days ago it was a note from a client who forwarded a message from her cousin:
“Hey, I wanted to let you know that I found some information that validates the findings of your genealogist regarding Harry Mxxxx’s father, Thomas R.C. Mxxxx having come from England via Scotland via Braintree Mass. via Nova Scotia and NOT being Irish. I found a page that has this information from the 1930 Census:
“1930 Census list Harry C. Mxxxx in Porterville, Tulare, CA as a 59 year old white male born in IL father born in Nova Scotia mother born in Ireland occupation Farmer General Farm”

“SO, I was wrong about Harry Mxxxx’s dad being Irish, but he WAS Irish through his mother. Harry’s mother’s maiden name was Harriet Bxxxx. This validates the family tradition that we came from County Clare, Ireland, although no definite link there exists. I had heard that Grandma Fannye said that we were related to Anne Boleyn (but the Boleyns were decidedly English with no record of an Irish connection), and I wonder if this is based on fact or simply on the similarity of the names.”

My client wanted to know, “Any truth to that rumor?”

So I went back and checked the 1930 Census record and her cousin had correctly interpreted the record. It said Mxxxx’s mother was born in Ireland. So did the 1920 Census record. However, whoever answered the census taker in 1910 and 1900 at Harry’s residence, said that his mother was born in Ohio. So, who do you believe?
Well, I’ve found mom in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Censuses. In each case she was reported as having been born in Ohio. In addition grandpa was reported to have been born in Pennsylvania and grandma in Virginia.

I don't have nearly enough information to validate or discredit the Boleyn tale. However, I believe I have more than enough information to report to my client that if there are Irish ancestors in this line, they are a few generations further back than her great-great-grandmother.

I guess this is another validation of Dr D's rule-of-thumb, "When you see the same thing in THREE consecutive censuses, you can start to believe it."

Let's see, what else in in my Inbox?

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