Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Random Research

Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night and time for more Genealogy Fun!  Play along with us and tell us about it.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow Chris Staats' rules (from Freaky Friday: Random Research Reports)  for picking a random person's name and then doing some online research about that person.  Here are Chris's rules:

1. Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen (more than once if you want).  Pick one of the names you see.

2. Go to and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. [Randy's add:  If you don't have, go to and do it there - it's free.]

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

5. Post about it on your own blog, or as a comment here, or a comment on Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter.

Here's mine:

1)  My random name is Juliette Wood.

2)  On, the first census record was the 1870 U.S. census, and the first Juliette Wood was:

3)  Juliette Wood - age 47, female, black, born South Carolina.  She resided in Four Mile, Barnwell County, South Carolina.  She was married to Spencer Wood (age 50), and had six (probable) children living with her - Willoughby (age 26), Linda Wood (age 25), Ellen Wood (age 23),  Spencer Wood (age 20), George Wood (age 18) and Joe Wood (age 12).

4)  I looked in the 1880 and 1900 US Census records, and did not find her using all of my search tricks.  I couldn't find Willoughby Wood or Spencer Wood (father or son).  I also tried putting just the first names "Spenc* or Willo* in the search, with a parent of Spenc* or Juli* without success (meaning there were no likely matches in the results in SC or the US).  

Putting Juli* Wood born 1818-1828 in South Carolina on the global Search page resulted in just a few hits, including the 1870 census record.

Over on FamilySearch, a search for Juliette Wood (born 1818-1828 in SC) gave over 13,000 matches, but none were the 1870 census record seen on Ancestry.  Strange.  A search for Juli* Wood (exact) born 1818-1828 in SC resulted in 6 possible matches, none of them this woman.

Being African ancestored, she and her family were probably slaves before emancipation.  On the page before Juliette's 1870 page, there is a Wm. Wood (white, age 30) with a wife and child, who may have been the son of the plantation owner who owned the Woods.  The Spencer Wood family may have changed their names, may have moved away, or may have died before the 1880 census.  

A Google search for the terms [juliette "spencer wood" barnwell carolina] turned up no results.  

A search for Spencer Wood with a keyword of Barnwell resulted in several pages on GenealogyBank, but none with the names together.  

I'll give up, and hope that some descendants of Juliette's children Google her name and find my post and can see her listed in the 1870 US Census.

The URL of this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012


Julie said...

shew! just finished!

You can read mine here

Bill West said...

Mine's at