Saturday, July 22, 2006

Genealogy research update

I went to the Family History Center on Friday, since I had two microfilms come in.

Usually, I am able to print off the pages on the films using the 8.5 x 11 film printer, but when I used it, the toner was low and the images were very light. After an hour of the staff trying to find the directions (not found), and then trying to remember how to fill the toner, they figured out that they didn't have any. The machine is no longer on a service contract, and they are ready to scrap it. Frustration!

They have two scanner/computer/printer systems that scan the microfilm page and save it on the computer hard drive. The user can then print the pages, save them to a flash drive, or put them on a CD. I chose to print them, since I need a print anyway to transcribe from, and I knew the CD burning process was very slow (having watched someone else do it months ago). Well, the printing process is slow too! Fortunately, I had only 6 images to print. They chaege $1 an hour to use the system, plus $1 for a CD and $0.25 for a printed copy. Not bad.

I stayed home today and transcribed the 6 pages, which included the will, inventory and account of Joseph Allen (died 1735) of Dartmouth MA, from the Bristol county (MA) Probate Records. The will and account were neat, since they named the husbands of the daughters (mine is Rachel Allen, who married Ichabod Kirby). Previously, I had only the Dartmouth VRs and data from other researchers, which did not prove the father-daughter relationship.

I had copied many pages from the Mayflower Descendant Volume 22 (from microfilm) on an earlier FHC visit, so I also abstracted the wills of William White (1683 - 1780?) and his son, William White (1708-1780?), both of Dartmouth MA, that were summarized by George Bowman in the journal - he discovered that the original will of the elder William White included a mention of the younger, while the clerks copy in the Probate Record books did not mention the younger.

There are still many probate records to find in Rhode Island, where they were filed by towns rather than counties. I made a list of ancestor names, birth-death years, death places, etc. several months ago and am starting to find the records town-by-town.

I am applying my "Chunk Theory of Genealogy" on a regular basis, and perhaps by a year from now, I will have a lot more data, and proof of relationships, than I have now.

No comments: