Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Looking for Ethel

Just a very quick post to tell you I changed my mind about posting family research here. I decided to create a separate blog for it. Check it out:

Monday, May 10, 2010


One of the interests my grandmother and I shared was family history. When she was still fairly sharp-minded and spent only her winters in Texas, we would compare notes on new things we'd learned over the summer. I had an membership, so I was able to go searching for a paper trail when she brought me a new name.

For the last five or six years, I've not had the funds for an Ancestry membership, and Gramma's memory wasn't reliable anyway. So my genealogy files got shuffled around, and those facts in my head got pushed to the back.

Weekend before last, mom found some boxes of photos in the garage, so as I have time, I've been sorting through them and scanning them (such as the one of North Madison School third-grader Marjorie Ashley at right). It's a slow process, but interesting. And finding photos of ancestors got me thinking again about genealogy.

So last night I went searching for those genealogy files, and scrounged up the backup DVD from the kaput computer that has JPG image files of a lot of Census pages and whatnot (from when I DID have an Ancestry membership). Spent a couple hours past my bedtime looking through what I had, rediscovering a few facts I'd forgotten, finding again the pile of questions and notes I'd written to myself.

For anyone who's interested, I intend to periodically share research and photos here on my blog. Once I get what I have organized and make a list of what I need to look for, I'll get a two-week trial membership to Ancestry and see what else I can find.

Here's one of the notes I wrote to myself several years ago:


The information Gramma gave me from Aunt Judy says that Solomon Ashley married Sarah Swang Sampler in 26 Nov 1829. So by the time the 1830 Census was taken, they'd been married all of six months. However, in the 1830 Census, Solomon has three kids under five years of age (two boys and a girl), and two between the ages of five and ten (a boy and a girl). Both he and his wife are of thirty and under forty. SO, we can only assume that this was not the first marriage for at least one of them.

ALSO, that same information from Judy has that Elkanah Ashley married Sarah Jordon, daughter of Charles Jordon and Rebecca Hill. However, in the 1850 Census, Elkanah is indeed married to a Sarah, who is 20 years old, and they have a one-year-old son. Right next door, the next family on the census, is Charles Jordon and his wife Rebecca, who have a 20-year-old daughter Sarah LIVING WITH THEM. Unless she's in two places at once, the two Sarah's are not likely the same person. Mucking things up is the marriage record I have from FamilySearch, which may or may not be reliable anyway. It says an Elkana Ashley married a Sarah Jourdon in Ashtabula county on 2 Jan 1848. The record supposedly comes from a film.

Sure enough, I looked at the 1830 and 1850 Census images. The 1830 Census shows exactly what I wrote in my notes. I wish I had the original marriage record. Will add that mystery to my list of things to look for with my two-week trial... The 1850 Census indeed shows Sarah is living next door to Sarah (screen shot below). So either her parents gave the census-taker the names and ages of ALL their children (perhaps they thought living next door was close enough to living with), or it's not the same Sarah.
*****UPDATE: I looked further down the page and saw that there was also another Elkanah Ashley (age 23) living with Solomon Ashley. After some further digging, I've figured out that the pair on lines 6 & 7 are not the right Elkanah and Sarah Ashley. How weird is that? Almost identical ages, identical names, living within yards of each other on the same street. I don't know about the marriage record on that. *****

I found a few other weird things I don't think I'd really noticed before, but I can share those another time :)