Genealogy

Finding Your Lineage

 

1. FILL OUT A FAMILY TREE

Enter all dates of birth, death, and marriage with the location of each event as far back as you can. See what information can be found by contacting older relatives. Is there a family Bible? Do they have birth, death, or marriage certificates for anyone? Family letters? Funeral home cards? Obituaries? Ask WHEN and WHERE relatives were born, lived and died. Do they know of a published or unpublished family genealogy?

2. HOW DO WE DOCUMENT THE INFORMATION ON OUR CHART?

For several generations, certificates for births, deaths, and marriages can be obtained from state vital records offices, or town and county clerks. Use the guide, Where to Write for records on the state level; use The Handy Book for Genealogists for records on the county level. Use the 1920, 1910, and 1900 U. S. Census to assist you.

 

3. HOW DO WE FIND HENRY SMITH’S ANCESTORS?

His death certificate states: born NY, parents Uriah SMITH and Mary PEASE, both born MA. Use the 1900 IL census to confirm places, month and year of birth and years married. Look at the 1850 census index of NY for Uriah SMITH. He is in Madison Co., NY. In the household are Uriah, Polly age 41, born MA, with Henry age 9, born NY and other children. We check the 1840 census index for NY and find Uriah SMITH in White Creek, Washington Co., NY. To verify this is the same family, we read the census to compare age groups. We note several PEASE neighbors. (ALERT!) One, Green PEASE, has a pensioner, Henry PEASE, age 83, living with him.

 

4. COULD THIS BE OUR REVOLUTIONARY WAR ANCESTOR?

Green PEASE, age 50-60 in 1840, is of an age to be Polly’s father. He is not in the 1850 census. We write the Surrogate Court of Washington Co., NY, for a will of Green PEASE between 1840-1850. The response is that Green PEASE left no will, but there is an estate record. (Note our mistake in not requesting a search for an estate record as well as a will.) The final distribution names widow Rebecca and, as one of the heirs, Mary SMITH. A nickname for Mary is Polly. We now know Polly’s parentage. A reply from the town historian describes the tombstone of Green PEASE in the Pease Cemetery which reads: "Green PEASE died 16 May 1848 aged 65 years, 9 months and 6 days" (born Sept. 6, 1783). A bonus: in the same cemetery is Henry PEASE who died 1842, aged 85, with Patience PEASE, who died in 1824.

5. WHERE IN MASSACHUSETTS DO WE FIND RECORDS FOR HENRY?

The Revolutionary War pension record is examined. We learn that Henry, age 75, born in Wilmington, MA, was living in White Creek, Washington Co., NY, when he applied for his pension in 1832. He had served as a private from Reading, Middlesex Co., MA, in Capt. John Abbot’s Co., Col. Wright’s Regiment, from 1777 to 1781. There was no information about his wife or children. To back up the pension, we check Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors, Vol. 12, pg. 16. Henry Pease is there with the same service and residence. In the published vital records of Reading, MA, we find a marriage for Henry PEASE to Patience GREEN. Dates of birth are found in the vital records of Reading, MA, for Patience GREEN, as well as for their son, Green, and their other children.

6. TYING UP LOOSE ENDS

HENRY P. SMITH
New York has state censuses. We check the 1865 NY state census to see if the Uriah SMITH family was still there. This census gives the county of birth for those born in NY. In Madison Co., Lebanon, we find the household of Uriah SMITH, which includes Henry P., age 23, born Washington Co., NY. Another fact learned is the family has resided there for 16 years. Henry is of military age. Thus we search for Civil War service and find he received a pension. From the pension file, we obtain the marriage record for Henry to Fanny (a nickname for Frances) JONES. This is a “find” because NY does not have marriage records that early.

URIAH & POLLY SMITH
The eldest child at home in the 1850 census is age 21, born ca. 1829 in NY. The early census indexes can be used to track the family. Uriah in 1830 is in Washington Co., NY, but not in NY or MA in 1820. They appear to have married by 1828. Their marriage is found in the White Creek Baptist Church. With the clue of the above 1865 state census, cemetery records for Lebanon are checked. A tombstone in the town cemetery is found for Uriah. No Polly! Lebanon, Madison Co., NY, 1870 census is searched; no Polly. Could she have moved to Illinois? The 1880 full census for Dorsey, Madison Co., IL, is read. A Polly SMITH, age 71, born MA, is found. Her obituary is found in the local newspaper.

REBECCA PEASE
It is not necessary for DAR membership to locate the maiden name of Rebecca or her exact date of death. She was alive in 1848 at the settlement of her husband’s estate.

7. CLUE
Note the usage of family surnames as middle names in generations 2, 3 and 6. They are clues to maiden names of females.

FICTITIOUS FAMILY!!!! Very rarely this easy.

8. COMPLETED FAMILY TREE

pedigree chart

 

 

 
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