Sunday, February 24, 2013
George A. Dunn (left) holding Lucille, Smyser boy, George's wife, Goldie holding Vonda, and other Smyser children - Trafalgar, Indiana.
I'm going to use this blog as a journal to detail my journey to become a member of a local lineage society, "Jefferson County, Indiana First Families." Last blog post I gave an overview of what I wanted to do. Now I'm going to get started by surveying what records I already have and what records I still need to get. I found an old 3 ring binder that I wasn't using and put in some tab dividers - one for each generation of ancestor. They start with me, then my father, Vonda, then third is my grandfather, George Allen Dunn, fourth is my great grandmother, Rose Etta Ferguson, fifth is her father and my ggreat grandfather, John B. Ferguson, and finally his father, Joel Ferguson. I thought about adding another tab for John B. Ferguson's wife, Lydia Ann Lovell, and her father Jonathan Lovell. Jonathan came to Jefferson County about the same time as Joel Ferguson. I still may do that later on. For now I'm going to concentrate on the Ferguson line.
Next, I made a checklist of what documents I need to get together. I'll need a birth and a death record of some sort for each person. Then finally I'll need to get land documents to prove where and when Joel Ferguson first settled in Jefferson County. Birth and death records are relatively easy to get for the later generations. My father recently passed so I have a death record for him. My grandfather's death record can be gotten from the county he died in so that will be my next task. As for a birth record for dad, I don't have that one either so I'll have to get that one. My grandfather, George, doesn't have a birth record because I had already tried to find that years ago. He was born in Hamilton County and they had no record for his birth. I had already checked in the neighboring counties, Boone and Tipton, and found none there either. I can probably use his death record as an alternate record of his birthdate.
The next generation, Rose Etta Ferguson was born in 1864 before Indiana required Births to be recorded so I'll have to come up with an alternate source such as her death record or marriage application. I already have both of those. The same goes for John B. Ferguson. He was born in 1817, so I can probably use his death record to get his birthdate from. As for Joel Ferguson he died in 1869 so that puts both and birth and death records before the Indiana requirement. So I'll have to use alternate forms of documentation for his dates also.
Next, I'll have to get together land records for Joel Ferguson which I had already done a few years back. I started to gather all the documents I have and pulled them from my files. They'll go in the 3 ring binder. I also put the checklist in the very front of the binder so I can check off what records that I have already put in the binder. The ones I still need to find will be on the checklist unmarked until I get them. Alternate documentation can be gotten from burial/cemetery records, obituaries, census records, marriage records, etc. I can make a note of that on my checklist as I go. I know in the early years of my genealogy research I was a little lax at documenting my sources. I'll need to make sure I have a source noted on the documents I already have. Time to get to work.