Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back at the FHC

The friendly folks at the FHC called the other day to tell me that the two films I ordered on June 9th had arrived and would be there until August 4th. Since they will be closed next week, I figured I had better go down today.

I did check to see if the links to the partners of FamilySearch (Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, KindredKonnections, Godfrey Library, HeritageQuestOnline, and the National Archives) were working yet. The links to HQO and the NA work, but the others do not. Why am I so impatient? - it's been 3 weeks!

The two microfilms were probate records of Scituate RI and Foster RI. I had identified two ancestors that had these records in those towns, so I searched them out. Thank God for indexes - even handwritten ones - they saved me a lot of time trying to read terrible handwriting on very dark pages. I managed to collect records for:

1) Nathaniel Horton - who died in 1819 in Foster RI - there is a will, a codicil to the will, an inventory, three additions to the inventory, the executor's account, and the distribution to the heirs. These records prove that Phebe Wade, the wife of Simon Wade, was the daughter of Nathaniel Horton.

2) Richard Pray - who died in 1755 in Scituate RI - there is a will and an inventory. This record names daughter Sarah Pray, who married Nathaniel Horton in 1756. Unfortunately, she married after her father made his will. There was also a town notice accepting Rachel Pray and her children as inhabitants in 1741.

3) Nathaniel Wade - who died in 1754 in Scituate RI (my list of probates did not show him in Scituate, but in Glocester RI). There is a will and inventory for him, which names his wife Ruth and all his children, including his first son, Simon Wade, who married Deborah Tracy.

So I got a bit more than I bargained for! Serendipity is a good thing!

The background color on the images (captured from microfilm) are so dark that it is difficult to read the writing. When I printed some of them out, my color inkjet cartridge ran out of ink, and actually put a pink background on some pages ... and that made the writing clearer! I'm going to experiment with one of my photo programs and see if I can put a yellow background on these images.

The other thing I'm going to experiment with when I transcribe the records is to put the magnified image of the page in a background window on my computer screen and type into the word processor in a smaller foreground window above the page image. I think this will work fine!

I need to finish transcribing the probate records I have before I go collect more from other FHL microfilms. That is not nearly as much fun as blogging, commenting on magazine articles, or even working on the FTM class syllabus.

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