How Long and Where?

Affidavits and other witness-type statements can indicate how long a witness has known the person they are vouching for. This can be a clue as to residences, moves, etc. Charles Hartsell in this 1907 statement suggests that he has lived in the following places:

  • until 1875 in Mercer County, Illinois;
  • from 1875-1901 in Union County, Iowa;
  • 1901-1902 (approximately) in Stafford County, Kansas;
  • 1902 (approximately)-1907 Pratt County, Kansas.

Hartsell has known the Goin witness for 15 years and the McMillan witness for 3 years. Both indicate that in 1907 they were living in Stafford County, Kansas. Based on the time frame, McMillan became aquainted with Hartsell when they both lived in Stafford [corrected to Pratt] County. Goin apparently knew Hartsell when Hartsell lived in Union County, Iowa.

In this case, the knowledge of the time frame of the relationship may not yield genealogical fruit. But you don’t know until you map it out. Sometimes it does.

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