Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Revisiting Old Data

It's amazing how as genealogists, we can sometimes go back to our sources and look at them with fresh eyes. Tonight I looked at some of my Aldridge data from Alabama and North Carolina in my database and noticed that I'd probably entered it before I switched to a program that allowed footnotes! I decided to go back and put in the sources, but when I did, I added a little information in the "notes" field. You see, I had completely left out the listed bondsman and the witness for both Prince William Aldridge and Isham Aldridge. The same person served as bondsman for both. The same witness served in both marriages. I'm sure that I had omitted that in my old database (from the early to mid 1990s) which gave me only 10 fixed width lines in which to enter information because I just didn't have room for it. Fortunately I had copies of my sources which listed these. I don't really know how to connect the bondsman with the family, but I'll be looking for a link now. The witness' name jumped off the page at me. It was "William Johnson." You see, the Aldridges had close associations with the family of Price M. Johnson after moving from Wilkes Co., NC to Alabama. Now, I'm wondering if this William could be Price's father. One of Price's sons was named William, but he's a little further down the line than I would expect in a naming pattern if he named after either spouse's father. That's not to say that it is not possible.

Now, I just need to make a trip to North Carolina to get the actual marriage bonds and to do more research!

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3 Comments:

  • That's happened to me lots of times ... sometimes it is a house next door in a census schedule that turns out to be the in-laws that I never noticed the first time around or a death record page that I had for someone else and there just a little further down was the sister of a direct line that I had assumed died young but had no record on.

    Sometimes it is also just that a fresh look after a period time sets the pieces together a little differently in brain, opening up a new possibility or even resolving a question.

    I enjoyed this topic !!

    By Blogger Holly Timm, at 2:08 PM  

  • Be sure to check a lot of other bonds from the same period in the same county. Very often the witness was the clerk of court, and really not someone related to the family. The best way to check is the NC marriage bonds database on Ancestry--search for the bondsman's name in the "other" field. If oodles of hits turn up, you're likely dealing with a clerk. The bondsman is a different story!

    Jeff

    By OpenID HainesJeff, at 11:47 AM  

  • Thanks, Holly and Jeff, for your comments. I will definitely check to see if William Johnson was the clerk! Of course, Johnson is one of those all too often common names, but it did give me a little bit of excitement to see the name there. I've got to be careful and not jump to conclusions, but I've got to check out the possibilities!

    By Blogger Lori Thornton, at 1:18 PM  

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