Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Random Research!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Semi-Random Research
It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...

2)  Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last person on your list of B names is.  Or the last person on your list of D names.  Or H names.  Or any other name you need to research.  Your choice!

3)  What do you know (or not know) about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more research 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.

Here's mine:

1)      Okay, sounds like random fun!
2)      I’m using myHeritage Family Tree Builder for this, as I’m more familiar with it than either Legacy or RootsMagic.  My last “B” name was William Evelyn Byrd, but he died in 1704 and came from England, for which I don’t have many readily available resources at the moment.  So I moved up one, and chose Washington Byrd, my 1st cousin three times removed.
3)      I don’t know much about him, just that he was born circa 1850 in Indiana.  Since my ancestry is all from the Crawford County area in southern Indiana, I’ve a hunch he was also from that area.  Washington was the son of Bryant Cole Bird and Mary (Straughan) Byrd.  I don’t even have a source cited for this little information!  I have my work cut out for me.
a.       Washington Byrd shows up in the 1860 US Census for Indiana, right where I expected to find him in Sterling Township, Crawford County, Indiana.  And now I have my first citation for Washington!
b.      I found another MyHeritage Family Tree that claims his name is George Washington Byrd.  That’s not unreasonable, to name a child after our founding fathers.  I will wait until I have better documentation to make a change, as the 1860 census did not show that name.
c.       I found several newspaper entries about Washington Byrd, a Democrat from Virginia in the mid-1950’s.  Obviously not my Washington Byrd.
d.      I found a MyHeritage Family Tree using the BIRD spelling, but otherwise the same family.  It is similarly sparse on details for Washington.
e.      As part of my research, I found that Washington’s father Bryant ole Bird had an erroneous death date of 1843 – before Washington’s birth by several years!  I was able to locate US Census records showing Bryant lived until after 1880, and some MyHeritage Family Trees that show Bryant’s death in 1886 in Grantsburg, Crawford County, Indiana.
f.        I was unable to find any further US Census records for Washington Byrd.  Did he die before 1870?  1880?  Time to search some other records.
g.       Find-A-Grave came up empty.
h.      I found an undocumented Ancestral File on FamilySearch that claims a birthdate of 1849 and a marriage on 15 Nov 1878 to Fetina J McMahel in Crawford County, Indiana. This file uses the BIRD spelling, but has the correct parents.  I also found the 1860 US Census entry on FamilySearch, but found no other records for Washington.
i. returned two hits for Washington Byrd, but kept throwing up errors and not letting me see the entries.  This was from within Legacy 8.
4)      As mentioned, Washington Byrd was my 1st cousin, three times removed.  (Doesn’t three removes equal one fire?)
5)     Here’s my results!  Did you play along?  What did you find?

My Thanks to Randy Seaver of GeaneaMusings for the weekly prompt.  This one I enjoyed rather a lot!

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2013 by Daniel G. Dillman

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