Monday, January 14, 2008

The Elusive Russell Smith - Post 5

This is a continuation of my series of posts - Post 4 is here that summarizes past research. I'm waiting for my Oneida County NY microfilms to come in - land indexes and will abstracts.

In the mean time, I thought I would construct a timeline for Russell Smith to see if I can figure out more items to look for or more places to look for them. I'm going to do this in plain text for ease of editing on the blog, although I have an MSWord form available with columns. I'm going to use a subjective "Proof Scale" (PS) based on Craig Manson's list, with "Reasonably Certain," "Likely," "Probably" and "Possibly" are the scale levels.


TIMELINE FOR RUSSELL SMITH (born ca 1770, died after 1812?)

* ca 1765 to 1775: BIRTH in Rhode Island (Source for date: 1800 census (age 26-45), 1800 Census (age 26-45), PS = Possibly. Source for place: 1880 census of Lyman Smith, PS = Possibly). Parents not known

* ca 1790-1792: RESIDENCE in Delta, Oneida County, NY "David Smith and his sons, David and Russell, came to ... near Delta..." (Source: "Our County and its People" book, page 461). PS = Probably

* ca 1790-1800: MARRIAGE to Esther --?--, perhaps in Oneida County NY (Source for date: implied from 1800 and 1810 census data, first child born before 1800. Source for name: Given in George Smith and Lyman Smith obituaries. Source for locality: conjecture). PS = Possibly

* ca 1795-1800: BIRTH of son, probably in Oneida County NY (Source: 1800 and 1810 census shows one male born before 1800).

* 1800: US CENSUS for Western town, Oneida County, NY (Russell Smith, males 1-0-0-1-0, females 0-0-1-0-0). PS = Probably.

* 1800: RESIDENCE: Adams town, Jefferson County, NY: Russell Smith mentioned in list of early settlers. PS = Possibly.

* ca 1800-1810: BIRTH of son probably in Oneida County NY (Source: 1810 census shows four males born between 1800 and 1810). PS = Possibly

* ca 1800-1810: BIRTH of daughter probably in Oneida County NY (Source: 1810 census shows one female born between 1800 and 1810). PS = Possibly

* 1805: BIRTH of son, Ranslow Smith (Source: 1850, 1860, 1870 Census records show ages resulting in 1804-1806, Bible record in possession of Randy Seaver gives exact date, written by son Devier Smith). PS = Likely

* 21 Feb 1807: BIRTH of son Lyman Smith at Rome, Oneida County NY (Source: Old World Wisconsin manuscript, quoting obituary in Dodge County Citizen dated 22 Aug 1889. PS = Probably

* 1810: US CENSUS for Oneida County, NY (no town listed) (R. Smith, males 4-1-0-1-0, females 1-0-0-1-0, page 301). PS = Possibly. I can't be sure that this is Russell, there were 2 R. Smith's enumerated in Oneida County NY, this one had more than one child

* 22 June 1812: BIRTH of son George Smith at Western, Oneida County NY (Source, Old World Wisconsin manuscript, quoting obituary in Dodge County Citizen dated 22 June 1876). PS = Probably

* After 1812: DEATH, date and place unknown.

* After 1812: BURIED, date and place unknown.

* 1810 and on: No cemetery, probate or land records found for Russell Smith in Jefferson County, NY.

As you can see, I've assumed that the Russell Smith in Oneida County NY in 1800, the Russell Smith who is an 1800 settler in Jefferson County NY, the R. Smith in Oneida County in 1810, and the Russell Smith who is the apparent father of Ranslow, Lyman and George Smith are the same person. This assumption requires Russell to travel in 1800 between two places, but they are fairly close. It also implies that the children were born in Oneida County NY, based on the obituary data, but that is the only evidence available to date.

What else do you see here? What else should I be looking for? I will add Deed and probate records, if found, to this list as time goes on.

Does a timeline like this help sort out the facts? I think it does, and I like assigning Proof Scale values to each item. Would a timeline that includes historical events in the locality also help? Probably, but it would require one to be made for each county or even town of interest.

Are there other proof scales available? I would prefer one that addresses

* Primary or secondary information
* Original or derivative documents
* Direct or indirect evidence

Is there one that assigns numbers or short words, or even abbreviations (e.g., P-O-D for primary-original-direct)?

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