Friday, September 14, 2012

Shifting Gears

Hannah Daughter of James D
and Francis may be key

It isn't easy to shift my gears and start focusing my research on a less familiar area. My autosomal Owens DNA match has renewed my interest in that family. My last Owens ancestor was Mary Owens who died in the early 20th Century. I have no contacts who still carry the name Owens, or any other cousin descendants not carrying the name who still living in the area. I've made many contacts on my Forgey side which have been extremely helpful. Some of these contacts still live in the family areas. I have learned so much about the layout of the land from these contacts which is helpful since I've never been to Indiana or Tennessee. I've never been to the Owens homelands either. I don't have any contacts in the area to help me with geography or family folklore. I've had to completely rely on records I could find online, or copies of documents through correspondence with local agencies, and of course FHC microfilms.
The question I am trying to answer is who are James D. Owens parents? He was born between 1775 and 1780 in Pennsylvania. Are they John and Hannah Owens of 10 Mile Creek PA?
There were two James Owens in Bracken County, KY who were about the same age, and either could be the son of John and Hannah.
Turtle Creek
The Legacy  5 C's for success in genealogy also spurred me to pursue more about this family. I am looking at everything I've collected and trying to find gaps that might be filled, and anything I may have missed. Barbara Renick emphasized the importance of mapping out where your family lived. Using the tax lists for the Owens families it looks like they all lived near the Ohio River in proximity to Turtle and Locust Creek. I overlayed maps of these two creeks. They are close to one another and not far from Augusta, Kentucky and Felicity in Clermont Ohio.
The 5 C's for success in genealogy webinar also emphasized the importance of extracting every clue you have. It's important to gather everything you've collected and analyse it, and put it to work to solve your problem. You really have to milk it for every clue. I have collected most of the traditional source documents. James D Owens died intestate and his wife was appointed administrator.  I wasn't  able glean James relationship to the other Owens families in the area using these documents. I also have tax lists for Bracken County which do not state relationships to the other Owens families either.
As Barbara Renick stated proximity of other families can point to a relationship. She pointed out that finding someone listed next to your family on the Census meant they most likely lived near to you ancestors. I found that James Owens was listed 3 pages from the nearest Owens family which was that of George Owens. So they weren't next door but likely not too far away. With a common name like Owens it's hard to make these differentiations.
Locust Creek where red pin is
I have not found the purchase deed for James D. Owens' property. It's possible that the deed was never recorded. I would like to find more deeds for the family. When his wife Francis died in 1869 the land probably changed hands. I have not looked for later sale deeds for the property. That should be my next project. More research in court records and newspapers may also produce some addtional info? I have not found an Obituary for Francis or daughter Hannah. It's possible Hannah may have a more detailed obit since she died in the early 20th Century? Following Hannah may produce more clues. According the the 1880 Census her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother Maryland.

James D. Owens Bracken County, KY 1810

James D. Owens Bracken County, KY 1820

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1830

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1840

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1850
Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1860

Hannah Hicks Daughter of James D. and Francis 1880 Census



David O said...

Hi I am David Owens b 1963
Thomas Owens b 1940
Thomas Owens b 1903
John Henry Owens b 1860
David V Owens b 1818
James D Owens b 1785
We still own 167 acres of the family farm overlooking the Ohio River, 3 miles west of Augusta, KY.

Annette said...

Hi David! So nice to hear from you! Wow, I've been looking for your line. I'm Annette Kapple also born in 1963. Would you be interested in taking a DNA test if I sent one to you? My Email Address is
You can also join my facebook group here:
Thanks for leaving a comment!

David O said...

what would I have to do.