Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Guest Post: If You Don't Look at the Original Record, You're Missing Out!

This guest post is by my SDGS colleague, Marshall Clow:


You've heard it before - always read the actual record. You never know what might be there.
Do you always do this? I don't; al though I do try to at least glance at all of them.

I am becoming convinced that you should ALWAYS do so, and this record was a large part of the reason.

Sarah Illingworth is (probably) my wife's 5th great-grandmother. She was born in 1777, in Yorkshire, England.

I found her baptism record on Ancestry; the summary that Ancestry provided looked like this:

It has a birth date, a baptism date (and place), and a father's name and a mother's married name.

That's pretty nice - three people and two generations from one record.

Too bad it has the mother's married name, but you can't have everything - right?

Let's look at the actual entry.

The register book is broken down into columns, with headings.

Heading: Infant's Christian Name and Seniority
Entry: Sarah / Second Daughter

Marshall says: *Second*? I didn't know there was another (older) daughter. Now I need to research her.

Heading: Infant's Surname
Entry: Illingworth

Heading: Father's name, Profession, and Abode
Entry: Nathaniel Illingworth of Moorside, son of William Illingworth of Thos Illingworth Husbandman, by Mary his wife at Moorside in the Parish of Addingham.

Marshall says: father, paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, paternal great-grandfather, occupations and where they lived.

Heading: Mother's name, and Descent
Entry: Sarah Daughter of William Hardisty of Westend in the Parish of Fewston Farmer, by Sarah D of Jonathan Walker of Sedgwich in Northergate, Farmer

Marshall says: mother, maternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, and maternal great-grandfather, occupations and where they lived.

Marshall also says: "Sarah D of Jonathan Walker" means "Sarah daughter of Jonathan Walker"

Heading: Born
Entry: On Friday the 11th of April 1777

Heading: Baptised
Entry: On Sunday the 18th of May, 1777

That's just A BIT more than what was in Ancestry's records.

Let's enumerate all the people mentioned here, and their relationships.

**** Thomas Illingworth
*** William Illingworth and Mary (no maiden name)
** Nathaniel Illingworth
* Sarah's older sister
* Sarah Illingworth
** Sarah Hardisty
*** William Hardisty and Sarah Walker
**** Jonathan Walker

That's 10 people across four generations.

*  A 5th great-grandmother, a 5th great-aunt (Sarah and her sister)
*  Two 6th great-grandparents.
*  FOUR 7th great-grandparents
*  TWO 8th great-grandparents.

Not too shabby for one record.

BTW, in the same church, two years later, was the baptism of "Thomas Illingworth, second son" - so there are (at least) two boys here as well!


Copyright (c) 2019, Marshall Clow

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Unknown said...

On a much smaller scale, Ancestry's collection of North Carolina birth records includes a birth register for Graham County, in the far western part of the state. If you look just at Ancestry's abstract of the information, you'll conclude that everyone listed was born in Graham County. But if you look at the actual register, beginning in roughly the 1960s, you'll see many births noted as "outside county."

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

What a great example! Thank you, Marshall.