Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finding Hannah Sawtell's 1789 Birth Record in New Hampshire Town Clerk Records

One of the potential errors I found yesterday in Fixing My Folks in FamilySearch Family Tree - the Plan was the parents of Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857), who married Zachariah Hildreth in 1810.  The FamilySearch Family Tree showed her parents as Simeon Sawtell and Abigail Cory, while my records indicate her parents were Josiah Sawtell and Hannah Smith.  Which one is right?

Fortunately, an exact birth date is provided in the FamilySearch Family Tree for Hannah Sawtell - 6 Novermber 1789 in Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.  That matches the birth date I have from the Brookline Town history book.  

Is there an actual Brookline town record for this event!  I went searching in the New Hampshire Town clerk, Town and Vital Records, 1636-1947 - a FamilySearch record collection.  Here is the process I used:

1)  The New Hampshire Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, 1636-1947 page:


2)  This is a Browse only collection, so I clicked on the "Browse through 402,443 images" link on the screen above.  The list of Counties appeared:


3)  I clicked on the "Hillsborough" County link on the screen above and saw the list of Towns in Hillsborough County:


4)  I clicked on the "Brookline" link on the screen above, and there are four different collections available for Brookline:


If Hannah Sawtell's birth record is to be found, it is likely in one of the two Brookline Town Records collections that include 1789.

5)  I clicked on the first one, "Town Records, 1758-1907:"


The first image in this collection shows me a title page, and there is an index.

6)  I found the index page with the "S" families on it, and saw:


There is a listing for Josiah Sartell on page 33 of this collection.

7)  I made my way to page 33 (penned at the top of the page), which was on Image 13 of this collection:



On page 33, the second entry on the page says:

"Hannah Sartell the daughter of Josiah Sartell
and Hannah his wife born November the 6th 1789."

In the left margin on the page is a number "526" (the heading is "Page No." and a note, in a different hand, "copy, Mar. 25 1911 by E.E.P." (I think!).  E.E.P. is Edward Everett Parker, the author of the book History of Brookline, Formerly Raby, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (Brookline, N.H. : Town of Brookline, N.H., 1914).

7)  Because there is a number "526" denoting a Page number in some other book, I was curious as to what the other book was.  I found the information on the first image - the cover page - of this book.  It says:

"From the 29th Page to the 87th Page transcribed from the Old Book with a Marginal reference sho[w]ing the page of the Old Book from which it was taken."

I wonder if the "Old Book" is still extant, or was it destroyed after this transcription was made?  I checked the FamilySearch Library Catalog and did not see a reference to this "Old Book."

8)  Assuming that the "Old Book" was transcribed perfectly, it is clear to me that Hannah Sartell was born on 6 November 1789 to Josiah and Hannah Sartell. [Note that I use the surnames "Sawtell" and "Sartell" interchangeably in this post - they were both used in the available historical records.]

Therefore the entry in the FamilySearch Family Tree is wrong, and Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857) should be removed from the family of Simeon and Abigail (Cory) Sawtell, and included in the family of Josiah and Hannah (Smith) Sawtell.  I will try to do that soon in the FamilySearch Family Tree and report on the process!

UPDATE:  I realized after I published this that I had done a similar post finding Hannah Sartell's birth record last week in FamilySearch has New Hampshire Town Clerk Records.  Oh well!  A senior moment, I guess.  I did add a bit more information to this post.  

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/11/finding-hannah-sawtells-1789-birth.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver




1 comment:

Heather Rojo said...

The next step is to go local and ask an expert. I'd contact the Brookline Historical Society http://www.brooklinehistory.org/ and someone there should know what the reference "Old Book" means. Or email Dan Fessenden, the president of the Historical Society (his email is on the home page) Brookline is a very small town, good luck!