Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 5 in SLC - Back to the FHL, and a treat

I extended my stay in Salt Lake City so that I could enjoy a second day of research at the Family History Library. I caught the 8:30 a.m. TRAX trolley and was there by 8:45 ready for another day of microfilms and books.

I mentioned in my other post about my research on Saturday about my last-minute find of Ranslow Smith's will abstract in the Andrew County, Missouri books on the shelf. Today, my first order of research was to find the probate records for Ranslow Smith in the Andrew County records. I started with the index to the Probate Records, 1841-1918, which listed entries for a will, an a bond, application and letters of administration, an inventory, a final settlement, and a discharge. These were on four different films (and there are no films of the Inventory) - which points out one of the benefits of researching at the FHL is that everything is available immediately and in one repository. I would have spent about $40 and taken two months to get all of the films I needed in San Diego and the FHC.

I printed out copies of these papers at 23 cents a page on the microfilm printer machines. I also captured some of them to my flash drive. The FHL has two microfilm scanner/printers on each floor that enable users to capture the images and put them on a flash drive for no cost.

These records revealed a secret that I had not known - Devier J. Smith was the adopted son of Ranslow Smith. His birth name was apparently Devier J. Lanphear. So I did all of this research this morning and almost proved that Ranslow Smith is NOT my ancestor. That means that his Smith line is not my ancestry, and that his wife's Bell and Bresee (and associated Hudson River Valley Dutch families) are not my ancestry either. Swoosh! There went several hundred relatives, and perhaps 50 known ancestors. The good news is that I can suspend my Ranslow Smith ancestry search (I wqas really stuck!) and start a Lanphear search.

In an attempt to find something that adds information to my ancestral families, I also looked for land records in Andrew County, Missouri. There were deed indexes in five year increments on film - I searched from 1865 to 1885. Each Item had separate grantor and grantee lists by first letter and recording date. I searched for both Ranslow/Devier Smith and Samuel Vaux (Devier's wife was Abigail Vaux, daughter of Samuel Vaux), since I knew that Samuel had lived there for some years from earlier research.

It was lunch time so I went in there canteen, bought a frozen Apple Danish, heated it up, ate it and was back at work quickly. I took a break to check my email and post once on Facebook.

I found three entries for my Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux family in the deed indexes - then retrieved the films that had the deed records. They bought the SE quarter of the SE quarter of Section 21, Township 61, Range 33 in Andrew County, Missouri in 1863, and sold it in 1880 to William Bulla. They bought it from Mary Jane Munger and her husband (evidently land inherited from Mary Jane's father). One of Samuel Vaux's daughters married a Munger. The lesson here is that "the family that deals with another family often marries into that family." This search took about two hours to perform because of the many entries in the indexes.

I wondered where this 40 acres of land was, so I found in the FHL Catalog that they had an 1877 Plat Map of Andrew County on the oversized book shelves. I found it, and copied the overall county township map and the specific Township 61 map. Yep, there's S. Vaux right where he should be. Mr. Munger owns the other 120 acres in the other three quadrants. Samuel Crouch (another family that a Vaux girl married) is in the same township.

Having had such good luck with Andrew County land records, but not having found Ranslow Smith in them, I decided to look at Taylor County, Iowa land records for him (he was in that county in the 1870 census). I also looked in the Taylor County Marriage certificates for his second marriage to the widow Julia Johnston. I had no luck with the marriages, and realized about then that I didn't need to find Ranslow's deeds because he is not my ancestor!

I checked the FHL Catalog for Chattooga and Floyd County vital records for my friend Ed's C**** and M**** families. There were marriage certificates from 1839-1939 for Chattooga County, so I printed out two for Ed's great-grandparents and one for his grandparents. In the process, I learned the maiden name of one of his grandmothers! More information to expand the search - cool!

By this time it was 4 p.m. and I took some photos of the second and third floors for a future blog post. I went back down to the first floor and looked for surname books for the C**** and M**** families for my friend Ed. I didn't find a C**** family book with his ancestors, but one of the M**** books was relatively new and had good information about the early generations, so I copied some pages.

The FHL started closing down at 4:45 pm. (it was Monday) and as I walked out I met Harold Henderson, and we were quickly joined by several other SLIG students and Elissa Powell. They invited me to go to dinner with them again, but I had other plans for the evening.

I walked over to the next-door Plaza Hotel and met up with Leland Meitzler, the managing editor of Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine and one of the first, and still one of the best, genealogy bloggers. Leland's GenealogyBlog is back in business after an absence of about four months - it's great to have him back contributing to the genea-blogosphere. We went to dinner at Leland's favorite SLC restaurant, Ruby River Steakhouse. We talked about our life experiences, the economy, the genealogy industry, genealogy blogs, and the future of genealogy. This was a real treat for me - I had met Leland only once before at the 2008 SCGS Jamboree, and I really enjoyed our meal and discussion. I was back to the hotel by 7 pm. which allowed me to do my reading and blogging last night

I'm flying home on Tuesday morning, so I should be back in the Genea-Cave tomorrow afternoon and evening. I will really enjoy sleeping in my own bed!


Anonymous said...

Well, this seems like just the page for you: Lamphear Families and Researchers
Do check their page with many spelling variations :-(

Anonymous said...

don't drop that Smith line. I'm an adoptive parent as well as a C.G. and I firmly believe that we should all be researching all the adoptive lines in our family as well as the biological lines. The family of nurture is as important in determining who that ancestry became, as the family of birth. As you know with the increase in genetic genealogy we are all discovering that there are "non-paternity" events scattered throughout our ancestry. You probably have several other undiscovered "adoptions" in your lines. All those families are a part of you today. Research them all!