Have you thought about keeping a list of place names you encounter in a specific geographic area so that you don’t have to search for them every time you find a reference to them?
I have several maps for the county where I grew up and for various other areas where family members lived. When looking at maps for one specific area, many have the same place names listed. But there is some variation in which place names are on which map, depending upon the time period and the purpose. I’ve also encountered references to place names in newspapers and other print sources.
A list of place names in a specific region, their location (as specific as I can get), the time period, and the source of the place name may be an excellent item to add to my list of references for the area. Of course there are online and print sources of place names that I should reference as well, but the creation of my own list may help give me a better understanding of the area.
I recently discovered an 1860-era map for a county where I have researched family for decades. One of the place names listed on it was new to me. A search of the United States Geological Survey place names database in the United States did not include a reference to it nor did the county histories I have saved digitally.
So it just goes to show you that there is always something to learn and that it never hurts to look at “one more item” even when you think there’s nothing there you have not already seen.
It is also possible as well that the place name reference is incorrect and was the result of some error.
Is there something in your files that you have only looked at one or two times? Have you looked at the entire thing–including every minute detail?
Today I looked one more time at historical topographical maps on the United States Geologic Survey website and discovered a road on the map that I did not know existed and which suggested that at one point in time there may have been a house where I did not know one existed.
If a metes and bounds description for a piece of real estate indicates that the property line goes “with the meanders” of a certain stream or creek, it means that that portion of the property line is not straight but follows the waterway.
People move–sometimes further than one really expects. Emma Cawiezell was a native of Davenport, Iowa, who went to New York City to become an actress around 1892.
She died there a year later. There were no family stories about her travelling to New York City and it took me a while to find her.
People sometimes leave their comfort zone searching a new career, a new life, or greener pastures?
Is it possible that your relative “up and moved” in some atypical fashion? Most of the Cawiezells were farmers in rural Scott County, Iowa.
I never dreamed one of them ended up in New York.
I still have room in both of my group research trips this summer. Our trip does not include a bunch of non-genealogy activities and our registration fees are low. Time away devoted just to research can be a great way to get your genealogy research started. Additional details are on our announcement pages:
Old deeds or surveys taken in metes and bounds states may have individuals listed besides the grantors, grantees, and witnesses. There may be individuals listed with “cc” or “cb” listed after their name. Chain carriers or chain bearers helped the surveyor by carrying the measuring chain. These individuals generally had to swear an oath, had to be of legal age, and some times were relatives of the surveyor.
“CC” on an old deed does not mean “Carbon Copy.” [That was an attempt at humor.]
When analyzing information an individual provided for a record or document, consider their mental acuity at the time. Is it possible that their memory had started to deteriorate? Did they have “good days” and “bad days?”
It’s always good to consider how reasonable it is that an informant had first hand accurate knowledge of information. It’s also worth considering if the information was provided at a time when their memory may not have been at its best.
Sometimes it can be easy to overlook those relatives who left no descendants of their own. They also have their stories to tell and those stories are just as important as those of relatives who left families of their own.
A 1908 horse accident left Mary Trautvetter with her legs broken in three places, a broken arm, and other injuries. Her sister, Anna, was injured as well–but not as severely.
It’s possible that the injuries from the accident impacted Mary for the rest of her life.
Mary never married. Her sister Anna (Trautvetter) McMahon died in the 1920s and Mary raised Anna’s daughter who was left orphaned by the death of both her parents. Mary died in 1962 and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois.
Have you documented those relatives who left no descendants?