Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finding Genealogy Gems in Ancestry Member Trees

I confess to looking at Ancestry Member Trees from time to time, usually looking for leads for more events and records on my ancestral families.  Today was typical - I was trying to find records in Somerset, England for the parents of Mary (Palmer) Vaux, who married James Vaux in 1808, and had 11 children. The family settled to Erie County, New York in 1832.

I searched for Mary Palmer looking to see if anyone has identified her parents.  On one Ancestry Member Tree (thank you, cousin Simon Vaux!!), there was an 1832 Passenger List record for "Mary Vous:"

I clicked on the "source citation" link and went to the Record Summary page for Mary Palmer on the Passenger List for the ship Cosmo arriving in New York from Bristol on 1 May 1832:

Clicking to see the actual passenger list, and zooming in to see the record for this "Vous" family:

There are 8 "Vous" persons on this list:

*  James Vous -  age 42, male, a farmer, belong to Great Britain, intend to inhabit United States
*  Mary Vous - age 40, female
*  Saml Vous - age 20, male
*  Josiah Vous - age 8, male
*  William Vous - age 13, male
*  George Vous - age 12, male
*  Ernest Vous - age 1, male
*  Ann Vous - age 18, female

While the ages don't match the records I have for this James Vaux family exactly, all of the names do!  There are two older male sons in the family who apparently didn't make this voyage, but came later.  There are also several younger children in the family who probably died young in Somerset after their birth but before the voyage.  This is definitely the family of my 4th great-grandparents, James and Mary (Palmer) Vaux who settled in Erie county, New York.

I downloaded the image to my computer hard drive, and have added the Event and the source citation to my RootsMagic database this afternoon.  Here is the source citation created using the source template for "Immigration-Emigration Rolls, Images:"

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, ( : accessed 14 March 2013), ship Cosmos, Bristol to New York, arrived 1 May 1832, List 242, Page 2, Line 19, James Vous family entry (image 5 of 11); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 16.

It really pays off to search for your ancestral families once in awhile on, especially if other researchers have attached source citations and document images to their Member Trees!  I feel lucky, and glad that Simon was creative enough to find this Vaux family indexed as "Vous" in these records.

"Good things come to those that search!!"

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Unknown said...

Randy, I've also found some good sources on trees in Rootsweb's World Connect Project. It pays to go looking sometimes. I recently purchased an Ancestry DNA kit and needed an ancestry tree to connect it to, so I added a few generations to it so that Ancestry would be able to find close relatives based on DNA matches. I found that Ancestry's shakey leaf kept finding new sources based on the vital data I provided and their algorithms that search for people in similar trees. Pretty soon I was building up more and more generations just to see what it would find. It went pretty quickly and even though most of the sources I already had in my database, there were some new ones as well. I was also able to add several new ancestors to my daughter-in-law's tree. That being said, the hints they provide need to be analyzed thoroughly before accepting them. They suggest a lot of poor quality sources as well such as the "Family Data Collection" and the "Millennium File", which are really nothing more than large databases of unsourced family trees. Ancestry does allow you to turn off their Ancestor Trees from the hints, which was nice. Ancestry won't find every source, so a quick search is also useful. My take away is that Ancestry can automatically locate some very good sources for ancestors in matching trees with very little effort.

Simon Vaux said...

Randy. I'm glad you found our tree useful, although I have to give credit to ancestry for storing the Vous/Vaux name correction rather than me.
All the best
Cousin Simon Vaux, Reading, England

lorir said...

My ancestor, Samuel Latham was on that same ship!