I’m always prepared to start over a particular line of research if an inconsistency occurs and it seems I have one in my Scoggins Project.
I was doing research, for a close friend, on a Scoggins line in Cobb County, Georgia. He knew virtually nothing about the line so I figured I’d give him a help. As I researched his great-grandfather I quickly found him in the 1940 census. I was quite certain I had the correct family. His grandmother was in the household as the daughter of the head. The ’40 census indicated they lived in the same county in 1935, so finding them in a nearby location, in the same county in 1930 made sense. Continuing back in time, I found them in the same county 1920 (about 10 miles away). These moves in the county didn’t surprise me because in the records, they were renting the farm that Mr. Scroggins was working.
Snapshot showing birthdate of 6 Oct 1877
From US World War 1 Draft Registrations
Thanks to Ancestry.Com
I then found him in the World War I draft registrations. It was interesting to note that it said he was two years younger than his cemetery marked indicated. I wasn’t too concerned about that because the birthdate, 6 October, was the same in both cases. I found consistency in most everything I found. Certainly there were a few here and there, the names were G George, George C, George G, and, of course, George without an initial. One record said his middle name was Lester which concerned me somewhat, but not a lot.
In the 1910 census, I found the family in the next county over. That was really good, because I remember my friend mentioning his ancestors had a farm way back when in that county, near where the census indicated they were living. Then, I found him in the 1900 census. Poo. Not right.
Snapshot from 1900 US Federal Census
Thanks to Ancestry.Com
The 1900 census is fantastic because it includes the birth month and year of everyone. The census indicated that George’s birth month was December and the year 1878, not 1875-1877 as the other records I had for George indicated. The siblings were basically the same as I had been documenting along the way. Clearly this was a different George Scoggins than the one I had been tracking. But, sibling names and many other bits of information were similar, but the birthdate was way off. It would be easy to say that the info was wrong and then continue on my merry way, but I know that something isn’t right.
Person back at their drawing board.
Public Domain Via Wikimedia Commons
I will go back to ALL of the original sources I used and analyze them very closely knowing in retrospect that there were two George Scoggins in Cobb County, born about three years apart, both of whom had siblings with the same names. It will take some time, but I will eventually untangle the mess. I’ll probably even find that the two George’s are cousins or otherwise related. I’ll be surprised if they are not. As I said, when you are certain something isn’t right, be ready to drop all assumptions, start over completely, and document all your decisions carefully.
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