Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alpheus Smith, Elizabeth Dill, Forrest Gump and SNGF

When I wrote the post Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name List Roulette, little did I know that I was about to have a Forrest Gump Genealogy Moment.  Some people call it Serendipity...

I've referred to Forrest Gump Genealogy Moments (FGGM) before - see the Forrest Gump Principle of Genealogy Research, which states "Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding." This was certainly an FGGM!

My FGGM on Saturday afternoon came about because I:

1)  Chose this topic after four hours of wondering what to write about (I've used it before - when in doubt, pick an oldie but a goodie).

2)  Chose my paternal grandfather rather than my maternal grandfather - that resulted in #34, Alpheus B. Smith (1798-1840) rather than #29, Sarah G. Knapp (1818-ca 1900).  I actually knew more about Sarah.

3)  Rather than solely rely upon the information in my genealogy database, I actually pulled the four-inch thick notebook with the Medfield, Massachusetts families from the bookshelf and checked the Smith section.

Whoa - lookee here - I didn't add the probate records for Alpheus B. Smith to my database when I found the probate record list and copied some of them back in whenever (I'm thinking like 2001 or 2002) - I don't have a record of when I searched them, only copies of the records themselves.  True confession:  I'm bad Randy the Researcher - the research log entries ended in 1994.  There's also a grantee land record list with information about the transaction when he bought the farm in Medfield.

The FGGM came about when I realized that one of the probate papers in the probate packet named a person who is probably one of Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith's (that's Alpheus Smith's wife, and mother of my great-great-grandmother, Lucretia (Smith) Seaver) brothers.  Shazzaamm! 

Funny how FGGMs happen, isn't it?  Thank you, SNGF! 

I will transcribe some of the records involved and present them in some of the meme posts this week.

1 comment:

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

I think that puts us all on notice to recheck, recheck, recheck our papers! Congrats!