Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CVGS Research Group on 10/24/07

We had only five attendees at our CVGS Research Group today - apparently many people are heeding the directions to stay home, don't drive and take it easy due to the fire disaster here.

We discussed the Genealogy Research News for October 2007, and then talked extensively about the research problems of two attendees.

Chuck, a new member, described his problem: He doesn't know the names of his great-grandparents surnamed Reynolds. His grandfather, Elisha Reynolds, was a twin (to Elijah) born in Indiana in about 1870. In the 1880 census, Elijah R. Dean and Elisha R. Dean (both age 10) lived in Perry County IN with W.H. and S.J. Dean, and William's children William Dean (age 13) and daughter Susan Dean (age 12). Eventually, Elijah Reynolds and Susan Dean married and had children. In other records, S.J. is listed as C.J., Susan is listed as Susannah (her tombstone) and Annie. Elisha's full name is Elisha Wilson Reynolds.

Chuck had found an 1875 marriage record for a William H. Deen and Cerilda J. Reynolds in Perry County, Indiana, and thinks that this is a second marriage for both of them. Cerilda, C.J. and S.J. are probably the same person. He doesn't have death certificates for Elisha Reynolds, Susan(nah) (Dean) Reynolds, William H. Dean or Cerilda J. (--?--) (Reynolds) Dean.

We discussed this at length, noting that it is a typical research problem that can probably be solved using a cluster genealogy technique. We counselled that he needs to obtain as many birth, marriage and vital records as possible for all known family members, including the twin brother Elijah Reynolds who ended up in Illinois. He should check surname books and county history books for these families. He should check probate (admins, wills, guardianships) and deed records for the 1870-1880 time frame - if Elisha's father died, he may have left these records. They may be in Perry County or surrounding counties. There are probably land plat maps for the county that show land ownership in certain years. He should check the USGenWeb county pages, the surname and county message boards and mailing lists, and check the 1870 census for Cerilda Reynolds (with all of the potential spellings for both names).

Dick knows that his father, who lived in Wisconsin, served in World War I, but can find no records of his service. We suggested that he write the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis to see what records they might have. We also suggested that he check the World War II draft registrations for his father. Dick also wondered how to get employment and other information from Social Security. We recommended that he check the SSA web site and a recent Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog post with information.

It was an interesting meeting. We have this meeting every 4th Wednesday of each month, and we usually have 10 to 15 attendees.

UPDATED: corrected the names a bit, I got Elisha and Elijah mixed up. I did find an Indiana marriage record on Ancestry for Cerilda J. Reynolds and William H. Deen on 1 Dec 1875 in Perry County IN. I also found a marriage record for Cerilda J. Flinn and Benjamin J. Reynolds on 22 Sept 1867 in Crawford County IN. I think that this is his family data, since her given name is so unusual and the surnames match well. I can't find Ben and Cerilda in the 1870 census, or Cerilda Flinn in the 1860 census. I passed the marriage data to Chuck to celebrate...now he has more mystery ancestors!

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