Monday, 12 September 2011

Check out the siblings and in-laws!

I always include other members of the family, brothers and sisters, the in-laws and even check out the neighbours who often turn out to be family members.

Sometimes I chide myself that I have too much information, but often it turns out to be useful information.

Having the siblings on your tree makes it easy to find the correct family in other censuses, even with surname mistranscriptions.

When children are orphaned, which happened often enough, they are taken in by other family members, grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings.

Here is a recent example.

Christina Moffat Smith daughter of a Muirkirk shoemaker, married a butcher from Galashiels George Fairbairn. They had 3 children before George died in Monte Video, Paraguay in 1868. Quite what he was doing in Paraguay is still to be discovered, but another researcher found his death notice in a Gala newspaper.

The 2 oldest children were with the Smith grandparents in 1871 in Muirkirk and in 1881 she and all three children are with her family in Muirkirk. I had to search long and hard for Christina and 2 year old Agnes in 1871. It was only by going through her siblings in turn that I found her. In 1871 they are in Glasgow with 2 of her brothers and a nephew (son of another brother).

Even when you find people lodging with another family with an unknown name, check for marriages between the two names. For example, today I found Mary Oliphant and husband Hugh Philp visiting Thomas Methven and wife Margaret. A quick check for Thomas and Margaret's marriages reveal her to be Margaret Oliphant. Result!

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