Saturday, June 25, 2011

More James Forgey 1802 bible analysis

The page with my likely ancestors entries is a puzzle. It does look like Andrew Forgey's birth info was added after his death info? So everything in that column was more than likely added after the death date of  3 Aug 1809. We can probably surmise this because someone accidentally wrote his death info on the birth side then crossed it out and recopied it in the correct column. 
How, when and by whom all of this was written is a mystery. Was Nancy and Sally's info added before Andrew's? Or were all three added the same day?  It is possible that Andrew's death was recorded around 1809. Margaret's death entry is phrased differently and the handwriting is different. The other death entries have the latin phrase anidomini  and "departed this life". The 1828 death entry is more straight forward and says died.  The 1833 entry for her grand daughter appears to have been added later. It would appear that the last two entries on the page were entered around their times of death. So the impression is that the entries on this page were made between 1809 or a few years before, for Nancy and Sally, and the last entry was recorded in 1833.
The 1833 entry marked the end of the page and the death entries were continued on another page. The second page of deaths appear to be recorded in chronological order as they happened. Entries were recorded in several hand writings, apparently by several people. The phrasings for death ranged from died, departed this life, and deceased.

Apparently someone wanted to clarify the jumbled and partially illegible info from the page with Andrew & Margaret and son James info and recorded this:

Could be the same person who recorded the previous entry? They seem to phrase the entries the same. Also they both misspelled February as Fabruary. 
More thoughts on the bible. It appears that the style of writing most often used in the bible is called copperplate mixed with round hand style.. It was very popular in the 18th century. I was also thinking that maybe a minister recorded the marriage entry for Margaret Forgey in the bible? I don't know whether this may have been customary?  
Also noted an entry for Margaret Forgey mother of James included the abbreviation for senior? Not often used for women.
There is a lot of handwriting to compare in this bible, and a lot to think about as far as word usage and phrasing. Maybe someone with more experience analyzing this sort of thing would be able to nail down the entry dates better.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nan's Trip Docs/ 1) James Forgey Bible

Nan's trip to our ancestral area in East Tennessee and extensive research and copying has really assisted me in my documentation of our family history. I did not have any original copies of such sources as Andrew Forgey's Will or the much quoted Family Bible.
Above is the citation I created for the bible at Rootsmagic. I find their citation templates so helpful. Another template which I will being using for the bible citation has fields for provenance and analysis. 
I have been analyzing this bible as my time permits. The first thing I took note of is that the bible was published in 1802 in Philadelphia. According to the book Families of Hawkins County, Tennessee, 1786-1994 , the Forgeys brought a family bible with them from Ireland? They came from Ireland in 1760's. I suppose there could be another bible, but I think this is the one they were referring to. Likely no one checked the publication date. 

The purchase date was recorded as 1805 which is also well after their migration to America.

This person F seems different than all other entries?
 Now let's plunge into some handwriting analysis. I love handwriting analysis ( I remember many years ago, when I was a child I had my handwriting analysed by a computer at the local mall) . This kind of analysis can be tricky. Sometimes several people in the same family can have very similar handwriting. For instance my mother and her brother at one time had nearly identical handwriting. My Grandfather Forgey and his brother also had similar handwriting.  This probably has something to do with the style of writing being taught at their local school during that time period, and siblings observing one another.
This is James Forgey Sr.'s bible. He was born in Ireland in 1764. The earliest entry records the birth of Andrew Forgey  4 February 1732, the owner's father. 

 It looks like the birth records for James Forgey's children were added to the family record before  Nov 1810? I assume this because the baptismal info was added later under the original entires for two children. They were both baptized 17 Nov. 1810. All of the birth date entries appear to have been entered by the same person? The 1823 entry for Gabriel Rogers was added later, from the appearance of the writing.

At first glance all of the writing looks similar. On closer inspection there are differences. An example of this is found in the marriage records section. Entry one and two seem to have been written by two different people. The first entry was written by someone who didn't slant their writing as much, and wrote in a larger hand. These two entries are not phrased the same. The first of the two was for the marriage of the bible owner, James Forgey, recorded in bible well after the actual 1791 year of marriage. The second is for his daughter Margaret in 1812, which could have been recorded around the date of marriage? 

It's interesting that most of the entries on this page are in chronological order except the one at the bottom of the page for 1817 which should be above the previous entry for 1830.  Most of the entries were made at different times possibly by three different people? The third writing style is a less elaborate style. Below is a sample of the third writing style appearing on the same page.

It looks like the final entry is in 1853 for the death of the bible owner's son James R. Forgey. It looks like James P. but it is a little hard to read?

I don't know whether James Forgey actually wrote any of the above? I have three examples of what I believe to be his writing. He had a distinctive way of forming his r's and g's which gave the impression when grouped together of a large y? Other people misread that as a K. His y's in the two examples I have show a distinctive curl to the tail, which I don't see in the bible. His writing style somewhat matches one of the early writing styles in the bible, but is a little different. I suppose when you are writing in a public place you may write more hurriedly than at home? This may account for the differences? It is possible that he did write the early entries.

I believe this is and example of his James Forgey's writing?

The provenance of the bible seems to be as follows: it was purchased by James Forgey Sr. passed down to son James Forgey Jr., and then to his son Gabriel Rogers Forgey. then to Gabriel's daughter Evalena Forgey-Morrison then to her son Crockett Morrison.
In conclusion it appears that at least three people, possibly more, made entries in the bible. Some entries were made at an early date, others later. An analysis of writing styles at different periods of time would be helpful.  I think it also would be helpful to see the handwriting of all these owners in order to determine by who and when the entries were written.

Another writing example for James Forgey

Friday, June 17, 2011

Germans and Women

I've been doing a reanalysis of my family history data at Roots Magic and adding more detail to some vague sources. I have been focusing on my German lines. Much research has already been done on these lines. I am doing my best to verify what has been done. There really is a lot to look at and consider. Since much of this info is not sourced it's not alway easy to track down. Luckily many of the males left detailed wills. The family female lines are more difficult. Females seldom appear in early records which makes tracing their families difficult.
 A case in point Maria Eva born about 1713, maiden name believed to Bear? She married  Johannes Ludwick Zirkle. She and her husband lived in Telford, Pennsylvania before his death in 1746.  After his death she relocated to then Augusta County, Virginia with her children. I find her very interesting because she is one of the few female ancestors mentioned in early local records. 
I am trying to verify that Maria Eve's maiden name was Bear or Bare. Her name was recorded as Bear in a Zirkle Association newsletter published many years ago. No source for this info was provided. I've searched using google for any new info regarding this. Many people continue to use Bear as her maiden name, but no one has provided any sources. Doing some more research at the website for the Virginia State Library, the Memory Project, I found a grant conveyed to her in 1755 for 54 acres in Augusta County, VA. A John Bare was a neighbor. Eve Sircle also is mentioned in volume 3 of  The Chronicles of the Scotch Irish Settlement in Virginia by Lyman Chalkley. The references in  this book also regard land transactions, one of which I have a copy of (the one I found at the state library site). The other property reference refers to a patent for 130 acres which was transferred to her by John Bair in 1761. Her eldest son's name is said to be Michael Sircle.

Since Maria Eve did not migrate to Virginia with her husband, she must have traveled there with her family. Since she did live next to a John Bare, and had land conveyed to her by him, maybe he was indeed a relative? I have not been able to locate the deed for 130 acres yet, that may provide some additional info. Someone at gave her father's name as Jack Bear. They did not provide any source for this either? It would be nice to have a source for her maiden name. The record survival rate for this area is pretty good so there could be a solution eventually.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inferential Genealogy Case Study 2

I just finished studying the second case for the Inferential Genealogy course. I found that I had to go through the whole thing twice before I understood. Since there were so few documents with Obediah's name I forgot what the goal was the first time around :(. I also misunderstood and thought the Partlows were descendants, which wasn't important anyway. The instructor came up with many more details than I recorded in my conclusion and assumptions.
I tend to get bogged down in details. It is difficult for me to pick out the most relevant details. I always have to go over documents numerous times before I  make sense of all the info. I do need practice in the process of document analysis, as I've gleaned for this case study.
This course has helped me recognize that I have not searched broadly enough. I should search the records of neighboring counties. Many of my family locations have suffered record losses, so searching nearby jurisdictions may be helpful. I generally have not researched records after my ancestors' deaths. Searching a generation after may be helpful too. I also have a feeling that I have not seen all of the court documents regarding my ancestors. Like he said the probate process, especially, generated a great deal of paperwork. Sometimes all of these papers were filed in several places including bound volumes, loose paperwork etc. I've found probate documents filed in deed books also. I don't live near my ancestral locations, so I can't visit courthouses easily. If I could visit I am sure I would find all of these various court records which can't be accessed any other way.
After studying this course it is clear that studying all documents regarding your ancestors, and their associates, is essential to solving difficult problems. Looking for every minute detail.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fergus/ Forgey

While combing through everything related to Forgey at Footnote I came upon a Forgey family unknown to me. I've tried to place all of the Forgey and Forgy families in relation to their immigrant line. Could not place this family at all. I found a progenitor of this family listed in a revolutionary war pension file. A John Forgey was named as a magistrate in Elbert County Georgia. I found him also named in a probate document in Rutherford County, North Carolina. I discovered that this family normally spelled their name Fergus. I also found out the family initially settled in the same area of Pennsylvania as my family, Cumberland County and Chester County. I had noticed Fergus families in Ireland sometimes went by Forgey too. I didn't know that happened in this country. This supports the origin of the name as a variant spelling of the name Ferguson .
I'll have to make note of this family so they don't confuse me in the future. I thought the revolutionary war pension file for James Fergus was fascinating. He kept a journal during his service and presented it as evidence to qualify for his pension. I copied a snippet above regarding his opinion of hospitals at the time. I thought that part was especially fascinating.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Broad Search

We are studying Tom Jones's course on Inferential Genealogy at Second Life, which is available at . I am presenting an example here of how a broad search helped me to solve a genealogy problem.
My focused goals were to find the parents of my ancestor Nancy Melvin and where in Maryland she was born. She married Elijah Hicks 28 Feb 1823 in Bracken County, KY. I checked online family trees, but could not find one listing her parents.
Step 1. Searched 1820 US Census Kentucky for possible fathers. I found only one possible father in Bracken County, KY. His name was John, and a female in her age range was listed in his household. I also searched Clermont County, Ohio where Nancy lived after her marriage. A William Melvin lived there in 1820, but didn't have daughters in her age range.
Step 2. I ordered a copy of the marriage record for Elijah Hicks and Nancy Melvin from the Bracken County genealogy Society. I received a copy of their marriage bond which John Melvin signed. At this point I felt like it was more likely than not that John Melvin was Nancy's father.

Signatures from 1823 Marriage Bond of Elijah Hicks and Nancy Melvin

Step 3. Searched 1850 Bracken County, KY Census. Found a John Melvin, but he said he was born in Pennsylvania same as his wife. I figured this might be wrong, and just an echoing of the birthplace for his wife.
John Melvin 1850 Census for Bracken County, KY with third wife

Step 4. According to all available census records Nancy was born in Maryland (all Melvins listed in Census records for Clermont County, OH and Bracken County, Ky stated they were born in Maryland). So I searched the 1810 Census for all of Maryland. I found 3 possible fathers in Maryland. One in Worcester, where many Melvin families lived. There was a John Melvin with a female in her age range in Worcester County. A William Melvin also lived in the area.
Step 5. Looked at online marriage records for Worcester, Maryland. Found a marriage for John Melvin and Mary Redden.. They married 24 Nov 1800. Nancy Melvin's eldest daughter was named Mary. A William Melvin married around the same time.
Step 6. I did a survey of all available records for Worcester, Maryland online. Nothing linking the Worcester County Maryland Melvins to Bracken County, KY.
Step 7. Went back to Bracken County 1850 Census looked for neighbors from Maryland. Found a Purnell Redden. Searched online family trees for him, where I found one giving his birth place as Worcester County, Maryland. His father Shadrack was said to be the brother of the Mary Redden, who married John Melvin. At this point felt like I was on to something :)!
Purnell Redden 1850 Census he appears on the page previous to John Melivn (his wife was a Norris and John Melvin's third wife was related to the Norris family)

Step 8. Went back to Worcester Records online and found Shadrack Redden listed in these records which confirmed he came from there. An online probate transcription did name a Shadrack and Mary Redden as brother and sister.
Step 9. Ordered all avaibable land and court microfilms for Bracken County, Ky from the LDS Family History Library. Was not able to make a definite connection between John Melvin and the Redden family.
Step 10.  Decided to research William Melvin of neighboring Clermont, Ohio. Nancy Melvin lived in Clermont after her marriage. She used many of the same names as the William Melvin family, such as Stephen, for her children. The name Stephen was also used by the Melvin family in Worcestor, Maryland. My research in Clermont Ohio records produced nothing either.
Step 11. I posted queries at Forums for Worcester, Bracken, and Clermont explaining how I was trying to link these families and what I had found.

My query paid off big time :)! Someone contacted me by email and told me that there was a biography published in an Indiana County history, which stated that William Melvin's daughter was born in Snow Hill, Maryland, which is the town in Worcester County where the Melvin Family I have been researching lived.

Centennial history of Grant County, Indiana, 1812 to 1912

 I did not have the name of this daughter because she left the Clermont area. I would never think to check a county history in Indiana :). So I now have a fairly good circumstanial case, and feel pretty confident Nancy Melvin was the daughter of John Melvin and Mary Redden of Snowhill, Worcester, Maryland. I am continuing to research this family for further confirmation.