Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Greatest Genealogy Find Ever

Craig Manson has a great post about his "Greatest Genealogy Find Ever" which talks about finding records for the mother of his Aunt Grace. In his post, Craig challenges others to describe their greatest genealogy find.

I want to describe two genealogy "finds" that have immensely benefited my research efforts.

1) The family papers collected over four generations about the Devier and Abigail (Vaux) Smith and Henry Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer families. These were passed down to me by my mother pretty much as they were left by Della in 1944. They include the family Bible pages for several families (with the only known records of birth, marriage and death dates); several letters to and from Abbie and Della from their extended family (one listed all of Della's cousins); Della's Journal for 1929; my grandfather's daily account books; Della's scrapbook and autograph book; many family photographs - framed, loose and pasted into books. My research would be very scanty on this family without all of this material.

2) The father of Isaac Buck (1757-1846) - I described some of this research in two posts titled "Isaac Buck in the Woodpile - Part I" and "Part II." I found the article in "Southborough MA Notifications," stating that Isaac and Ruth Buck had moved into the house of Joseph Richards in Southborough, just by chance - browsing at the library. Then I worked really hard to find the land record that proved that Isaac and Ruth (Graves) Buck had a son named Isaac Buck. I didn't prove that the son Isaac was the father of Isaac Buck (born 1757 to Mary Richards), but that is a lot more logical than the elder Isaac Buck fathering a child by a young woman. But it did affect the genealogy - it added Ruth Graves and her rich Lynn MA ancestry to my ancestral families.

Note that both of these "greatest finds" were obtained before the advent of online genealogy research and online databases. Even now, this information would not be found online except on my blog and web site.

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