I recently connected with a third cousin I hadn’t known of through Ancestry DNA. We knew we were a match, but my cousin’s tree was private. After contacting her, she shared her tree with me and we quickly determined our common ancestors are our 2nd great grandparents, John William and Eliza Jane Fannin Manning. I am descended from their daughter Mary and cousin Bonnie is descended from their other daughter Phoebe. Now that I saw her tree information, the question arose in my mind, what do I do with this new information?
Twenty years ago, I probably would have accepted what Bonnie had in her tree, incorporated it into my tree (duplicating much information), and felt that I had a breakthrough finding lots of new information. Today things are a little different. Instead of accepting her work, I reviewed her sources and citations. Did she have sources I didn’t have? Of course, I expected her to have many things regarding her ancestors before our common ancestor and she did. So, I dutifully made notes of those sources and citations so that I may go through them personally and glean what facts I might.
|1870 Mortality Schedule entry for Rachael Mannin
I also reviewed her sources and citations for individuals that we had in common. The vast majority of them were the same as I already had. For example, we both cited the same census records. She did have a couple sources that I didn’t have. One was a US Census Mortality Schedule showing the death of Rachael Fugate Mannin (John William Manning’s grandmother). It provided a cause of death that I didn’t have before. I had the dates for her death from a family bible, but finding collaborating evidence in a census schedule is great. I should have looked for a record in the Mortality Schedule but hadn’t. There were a couple other little things I noticed, for example, she cited John William Manning in the 1850 Census. I hadn’t. I had his father, Enoch, in the census, but hadn’t made an entry in 4-year-old John’s record showing he was living with his mother and father in Bath county, Kentucky and that I had accounted for him in the 1850 census. It is a little thing, but I like to be thorough.
Then, I used my genealogy software to find another ancestor who died during the year preceding the 1870 census. I had one, 3rd great grandfather Stephen Blackhurst. He was in the mortality schedule, which shows he died of dropsy of the bowels (ascites) a new fact regarding another ancestor.
I am very happy for the DNA Match with cousin Bonnie and the new facts that sharing information can bring. Thank you Bonnie!
If a person died in the year preceding the 1870 Census, be sure to check for that individual in the mortality schedules.