Saturday, April 18, 2009

Finding the Devier Lamphear ==> Smith Name Change Record

My genea-blogging colleagues and readers are so good to me...

I mentioned in my blog post in December 2007 titled 'Tis a Mystery that I had found a name change extract on a Wisconsin GenWeb web site - now on The record indicated a name change from Devier J. Lamphear to Devier J. Smith on 21 March 1866 in Dodge County, Wisconsin. Here is the top of the page with the reference information:

And here is the screen showing the Devier J. Lamphier to Devier J. Smith abstract:

I wondered if the actual court records would have Devier J. Lamphier's parents names. The only way to find out is to search for and obtain the court documents filed for the case. How do I find them? I Googled quite a bit today using the title Private & Local Laws Passed by the Legislature of Wisconsin of the record from the web page. I had little luck!

footnoteMaven read my posts (see her comments here), and found a Google Book entry that leads me one more step. Here is the front page of the Google Book entry:

The Search results box on the right shows four entries for Senate Bill 191 S - on pages 497 (Assembly concurs), 528 (Committee examines and finds correctly enrolled ), 580 (Presented to President of Assembly for signature), and 680 (March 21, 1866 presented to Governor for signature). Here is page 497:

The text for Senate Bill 191 S reads: "A bill to change the name of Devier Lamphier to Devier J. Smith and constitute him the legal heir of Rainslow Smith, of Dodge County." The other three pages say essentially the same thing.

I'm getting closer, thanks to footnoteMaven's wonderful search ability (why didn't I think of that?). She even gave me a hint on what to do next:

"Try State Historical and State Law Libraries to find where actual Bill 191 S. 1866 might be found."

I'm on it...on Saturday afternoon! Will it have more details about the parentage of Devier Lamphier? I sure hope so!

We all love the thrill of the hunt and solving the problem. This really shows one of the powers of genealogy blogging - if you interest researchers in your research problem, they will help you solve it!

Thank you everybody, and especially footnoteMaven, for being so helpful.


M. Diane Rogers said...

Excellent, Randy and footnoteMaven!
I was at a BC Genealogical Society planning meeting last night & this was one of the ideas - to have a small group regularly focusing in on individual members' brickwalls or research problems, like this one. Doing this on-line is great! Facilitating communication and co-operation is still the real power of the Internet, I think.

footnoteMaven said...


Glad I could be of some help.

Fresh eyes, new perspective. We really have a great community of GeneaBloggers.

And I love Twitter. It was you Tweet that made me go take a look. Using my reader I wouldn't have gotten to it until Sunday morning.

Did I mention I LOVE Twitter?


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Great find by fM! I hope the bill has your answer.

Geolover said...

Randy, on the APG list you asked "Is there supporting information in a file for a bill like this?"

I can think of two possibilties.

1) If there were a hearing held on the bill. I think not likely.

2) The State Senator who introduced the bill would have had a file including at least a letter from the person who requested this little personal-interest bill. This would have had enough information at least to get the wording of the bill right. In such a file there could be a few rounds of correspondence.

Good hunting!