Making Certain I Have the Right Person
by Michael John Neill
I recently located testimony that appeared to have been given by my wife's ancestor in a Revolutionary War pension application. My excitement over the new discovery was tempered by the realization that I needed to make certain the person giving testimony was indeed my wife's ancestor. While it is certainly natural to be excited over new discoveries, it is important not jump to conclusions. Hasty research can lead to wasted time, money, and brick walls higher than the ones we originally had.
The 1847 Revolutionary War pension application for Katharine Blain in Delaware County, Ohio, contained testimony from a Katharine Wickiser. My wife's ancestor, Katharine Wickiser, also lived in Delaware County and both women were about the same age. But before I used the clues contained in the pension file to further my research, I needed to be reasonably certain the two women were the same person.
The first step was to review the chronology and family structure I had compiled for Katharine Wickiser and her husband Abraham. Comparing the information already located with the information in the pension testimony would help me in determining if the two Katharines were one and the same.
Chronologies are such an important tool that we'll briefly discuss some suggestions for compiling them. Read More - Click Here.
This Weeks Free Genealogy Resource
Use a name to Search Birth & Death Records for FREE.
Free Lookups: Guidelines