Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lineage Society - Document Discrepancies

Rose Etta Ferguson-Dunn

I finally took a day to go collect documents for my immediate family. I started early on a Wednesday morning and set my trip meter on my car. I was curious as I started out my day as to how many miles I would end up driving for the day. I covered a four county area of Brown, Johnson, Shelby, and Bartholomew in central Indiana. From my checklist of 40 documents to collect I already had most of them from previous years of doing research on my Ferguson family. The only ones I still needed to get were for my immediate family. I still needed my father’s birth certificate, two of my grandparents’ death certificates, and one great grandmother’s death certificate. The reason I had never gotten hers is that I had seen the information a few years back and it was incorrect. So now I need to decide if I can use this as a form of proof for something else – maybe her birthdate or proof of a burial place.

Here is my dilemma. Rose Etta Dunn’s documentation has been sketchy at best. According to her obituary in Johnson County she “was born at Madison in 1865 and had moved to Johnson county nearly twenty years ago living for fifteen years in and near Trafalgar.” It named her children one of which was my grandfather, George Dunn, of Johnson County. There were no other details about her husband, her other residences, or her parents. From that I had to find out who her husband was and where were they married. I did have some information from her other children about her husband and where they lived before coming to Johnson County. There was no marriage record for her in Johnson or Jefferson Counties. So the next thing to do was to get her death certificate.

Her death record gave sketchy information.
Age 64, spouse George Dunn, died August 4, 1928, buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Franklin. Her father was David Ferguson and the mother was unknown. By this time I had found that her father was John B. Ferguson from her marriage record so the last name was correct but not the first. She did have an uncle by that name though.

For her marriage record I had previously written to Hamilton County Library’s Genealogist to see if they had any info on this family. They very graciously mailed me a huge envelope filled with goodies on my family. One of these was Rose Etta Ferguson
S and George Dunn’s marriage record. Their marriage record (application) stated his name was George M. Dunn of Sheridan and gave his full information. For Rose Etta hers said her name was Rosette Furguson, she was 26, and of Sheridan also. Her father’s name was John B. Furguson and her mother was Lida Lowell. George and Rosette were married on Feb. 18, 1892. Another page was from another marriage book that showed the marriage license information. This page was very enlightening. I had never been able to connect Rose Etta back to Jefferson County with any parents in the census until I got this one. At the top of the page it read George M. Dunn to Lusetta Ferguson. At the bottom they both signed their names as G. M. Dunn and Rosette Ferguson. That was a shock, no wonder I couldn’t find her. Did she change her name? Did she just not like the name Lusetta and prefer to be called Rosetta? The name Rose Etta or Rosetta is the name she had gone by all her life except for the time she lived in Jefferson County. So now I ponder what her full name was – was it Rose Lusetta Ferguson – maybe Etta was short for Lusetta? Or maybe she just didn’t like Lusetta and just started using Rosetta instead.

George and Rosetta's Marriage Record

These two marriage documents were the best proof to link her to her parents back in Jefferson County. So now the question is what do I do with her death certificate? Do I use it and attach an explanation with my First Families application? Should I not even include it so I won’t confuse the application people? Would it be best to include all her documents and explain the discrepancies. Would this help to improve my overall application for First Families? That would probably be the best route to go, but I’ll have some thinking to do. By the way at the end of my day I had logged over 119 miles- yikes!

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