Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally! A Research Day

I actually ventured out of the Genea-Cave today to do some "real" genealogy research...

The San Diego FHC called about three weeks ago to tell me that I had two microfilms in the file drawer, and that they would be available until 1 August. I forgot, of course, with all of the excitement of Jamboree, Fourth of July, and Real Life (well, granddaughter visits).

So I went down there today lugging my bookbag with my Lamphier notebook in hand, and two trusty flash drives in my pocket (can't have too few megabytes free, you know).

I got the films out of the file, fired up the microfilm scanning machine, and went at it. The films were Estate Papers of Jefferson County probate records, for 1805-1900. I had found Lamphier/Lanphear/Lanfear/etc. entries in the index to these records back in March, and finally ordered them in mid-June.

These records were listed in an orderly fashion in the FHL Catalog - Film 0.527,035 had the index for the L names, and the Lamphier/etc. names were in Boxes L-6, L-7, L-8 and L-19. Boxes L-6 and L-7 were in Film 0,527,036 (Cases 17-59), and Box L-8 was in Film 0,527,037 (cases 60-104). I figured that these files were in alphabetical order on the microfilm...which was almost right.

When I loaded the first film, for Boxes L-6 and L-7, the first file was labelled L-17 for Herbert Loomis, and nine cases later there was L-26 was for Thomas Lynch, etc. I thought "what the heck?" and figured someone had stuffed the wrong film in the right film box. I was going to complain loudly to the desk, but thought I should look further on the film, and soon found that the label numbers were actually Case numbers and that the Box number was handwritten on the film. Names starting with LA were Cases L-27 and on. Crisis averted.

I had four names on my list for these two films:

* Allen Lanfear of Ellisburgh, died 1832, Case L-31.

* George N. Lanphear of Wilna, died 1870, Case L-47.

* Hiram Lanphear of Wilna, died 1862, Case L-52.

* Isaac Lanfear of Lorraine, died 1852 - Case L-67.

I finally found all of them. But I also found Jeremiah Lanphear of Wilna, Case L-46, who died 1862, and was not indexed correctly!

I copied 90 pages of Estate Papers to my flash drive to bring home and review.
After two hours, I ordered the Will Index (somehow I missed this when I reviewed the Estate Papers, Letters of Administration and Letters of Guardianship indexes) and came home.

When I got home, I transferred them to my hard drive, and renamed them, then read them. There is some great information in these Estate Paper files. Unfortunately, none of them mention my Devier Lamphier. Oh well.

I will post some of the information anyway because it may help some other Lamphier/Lanfear researchers. The list of heirs-at-law are really useful!

It was a fun day... I really need to order more films and do more research rather than mess around in online family trees and write boring blog posts. I need to update my master to-do list and actually pursue more research challenges if I want to publish books before I'm age 75.


Tonia Kendrick said...

Great post! I've never visited a FHC (the closest is an hour away). I really do need to put this on my to-do list. You've given me a better idea of what kind of info is available.

Alex Coles said...

Your FHC has the ability to save scans from microfilms direct to a flash drive? I'm so jealous! I wonder if it's just NZ that is backward - here we have to pay for each page to be printed out if we want a copy, and there's a maximum of 12 pages (from memory) per film they will let you have.

Sara Gredler said...

Hey Randy! Even negative evidence is evidence! So now you have narrowed down the families which Devier did not belong to! Way to go!