Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Semi-Random Research

Randy Seaver, of, has provided the following mission for this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:
  1. We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...what is your first name? [This is the easy part!]
  2. Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the first person in your alphabetical name index is with a surname starting with the first two letters of your first name (e.g., my first name is RAndall, so I'm looking for the first person with a surname starting with RA).  [If there are no surnames with those first two letters, take the surname after that letter combination.]
  3. What do you know about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!
  4. How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?
  5. Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

This semi-random research mission has provided me with source citations for information in my genealogy database. Here's how I got them!

  1. My given name is Denise.
  2. The first person in my database with a surname beginning with “De” is John Richard Dean, born on 29 May 1865 in Arkansas, and died 5 March 1956 in Polk County, Missouri. I am not related to this individual; according to my database, he was the husband of my 2nd cousin 4 times removed Mary Isabella Hammontree.
  3. Since there are no sources listed for any of the information about John Richard Dean or Mary Isabella Hammontree, it’s clear that I entered this information as a “newbie genealogist” before I realized the need for accurate source citations.
  4. I did find a photograph of John and Mary’s grave marker on Findagrave which includes full dates of birth and death for each of them.
  5. I did not locate a record to verify their marriage on 26 November 1886 in Greene County, Missouri. However, I did find a census record for John R. Dean in the 1900 census with his wife Belle and four children. The birth information for John and Belle is consistent with the information on the tombstones; the enumerator noted that they had been married 14 years which is consistent for an 1886 marriage.
  6. My genealogy database now includes the source citations for the information found! Yay!

© 2013 Denise Spurlock

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