Friday, October 10, 2014

"Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogical Research" Strikes Again...

I love it when surprises happen to me - it just reinforces my Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogy Research - "Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding."

I wrote my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks biography of my third great-grandfather, Henry Carringer (1800-1879) last night, and it posted this morning.

This morning, while wondering what to do (I forgot about my society blog posts...), I thought "you know, I don't know if I've ever checked Google Books for old Henry Carringer."  So I went to Google Books, and entered the search [henry carringer louisa county iowa] to see what I could find.  Here is the result:



Lookee there - the first two look promising!

The first one was really useful - it was the biography of John Robinson and his wife Eliza Carringer.  It provided John's death date, their marriage date, and their children and grandchildren.  Here is the text from the book:

Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay and Riley Counties, Kansas, Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the Counties, Together With Portraits and biographies of all the Governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States (Chicago : Chapman Bros., 1890)

The biography says:

JOHN ROBINSON, late a resident of Iowa. and numbered among its most worthy citizens, was born in Hubbard County, Ohio, in 1818, and departed this life at his homestead April 29, 1867. He was a good man in all the relations of life, kind and indulgent to his family, industrious and reliable and made for himself a record of which his children will never be ashamed. 

The parents of our subject were Thomas and Mary Robinson who were of Scotch-Irish descent and spent their last days in Pennsylvania. John was reared to manhood in his native State and on the 11th of November, 1858. was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Eliza Carringer. Of this union there were born five children, two of whom, Emma I. and Thomas E., died at the ages of fifteen and thirteen years. The survivors are Henry H., a resident of Colorado; Ella S., and Elmer E. The eldest son married Miss Nancy Stewart and they became the parents of three children, one of whom died in infancy. The survivors are George E. and Herbert L.

Mr. and Mrs. Robinson after their marriage removed, in 1858, to Louisa County, Iowa, where the husband and father died, and where Mrs. Robinson continued to live until the fall of 1881. Then with her three children she came to Northern Kansas, settling upon the land which she now owns and occupies and where, with the assistance of her children, she has built up a comfortable homestead. Mrs. Robinson is a member in good standing of the United Presbyterian Church and a lady greatly respected by all who know her. Mrs. Robinson was born in Mercer County, Pa., June 1, 1827, and is the daughter of Henry and Sarah (Feather) Carringer, likewise natives of the ' Keystone State and both of German ancestry. Eliza was their eldest child and was reared to womanhood in her native county, receiving her education in its primitive schools. Her paternal grandfather served as a soldier seven years in the Revolutionary War. IIer uncle, Jacob Carringer. served in the War of 1812. The parental family consisted of ten children, namely: Eliza, David J., a resident of Colorado; George W., deceased; Cornelius A., residing in Pennsylvania; Mary, who lives with her sister, Mrs. Robinson; Sarah. Henry and Louisa deceased; Matilda. Mrs. Moore. of Riley County, this State, and Harvey M., deceased. Henry served as a soldier in the late Civil War. 


Mr. Robinson was a Republican in politics and a consistent member of the United Presbyterian Church.

I spent two hours this afternoon adding source citations and other family information about this Robinson family and their descendants to my RootsMagic database, and then added most of it to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  These are my cousins, and there may be DNA matches hiding in the autosomal DNA matches I have.  That was fun!

The other book for the History of Louisa County, Iowa had only two Civil War regiment listings for Carringer persons.  

I decided to make a Descendants Chart for Henry Carringer (1800-1879) and Sarah Feather (1804-1848), just for fun.  Here it is (full scale it's 15 inches high and 148 inches wide).  I don't know much about several of these Carringer family lines - there are only 76 descendants (and spouses) on this chart.  



Have you put your ancestral names, along with a location, into Google Books to see if there is published information about them?  After all - you never know what you're going to find!  I'm glad I did this today.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/10/forrest-gump-principle-of-genealogical.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


4 comments:

Diane Hall said...

That's great Randy. What fun. We really do not ever know what we will turn up unless we do a search. Have I Googled all my ancestors, or only the ones I'm having trouble with? I believe it would be the latter. So, it seems I've some work to do.
Never know what I might find. Thanks for the great reminder.
Diane

Schalene Dagutis said...

Google Plus is one of my very favorite genealogy tools. I found out one of my Riggin ancestors lost an Illinois state representative election to Abraham Lincoln in 1838 and that one of my ancestors was murdered in Nebraska. The article in the county history book about the murder led me to a book dedicated to the subject and several newspaper articles. And those are just my favorite two finds using Google books.

Michael Stephens said...


This entry shows both the usefulness and the limitations of these old "Mug" books. There is no Hubbard County in Ohio. There is, however, both a Hubbard City and a Hubbard Township in Trumbull County, Ohio which is located across the state line from Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

vwsheldon said...

You suggested that we search Google Books, and I know that I need to do more online research on lots of my ancestors. Diane said she had Googled some of her ancestors. Schalene mentioned Google Plus. That made me wonder which might be the best way to search.

In a brief experiment, I first searched Google Books for Arthur Denny in Illinois, an ancestor with whom I am very familiar and whom I have done lots of research. Second, I tried Google. I found that Google contained all of the entries included in Google Books as well as listings from lots of websites. But, there was a lot of garbage in the Google search that not was not related to my search. (I might have eliminated the garbage with a tighter search.) Third, I tried Google Plus, where I found literally nothing useful. Fourth, I tried Bing. On Bing, I received essentially all of the entries in Google with less garbage, but it did not include the info from Google Books (at least in the 10 pages of entries I checked.) Out of curiosity, I tried Mocavo, a pay site with free look-up. It returned a long listing (I'm not sure if it included everything from Google), but there were some entries I don't think were returned by the Google search. I am not a member, so, I would have to do a second search to look up each site individually. Not efficient when Google returns most of the same entries and you just have to click to see them.

I will use Google for my searches as it appears to be the most complete and does not require doing two searches.