Saturday, February 16, 2013
Evidentia Sifts Through Data
I've been trying to place Jame Forgety with his correct family. For years he was placed in the James Forgey and Rachel Miller family which turned out to be wrong. The Forgety family seemed to appear out of nowhere in 1880. Since they had to come from somewhere every piece of info on them had be analyzed for clues.
I was just recently introduced to the Evidentia program through some of DearMyrtle's webinars on the subject. The program allows you to enter claims made by documents. Every document collected for an ancestor can contain numerous claims about that person from birth to parentage and many others.
A wonderful feature of the programs allows you to float the claims box over each document so you can easily capture every claim on that document (see above). This process can bring out facts that you had not noticed. I hadn't noticed that James Forgety signed his marriage document with an X. It sounds like he could not spell his name so that is likely why so many different spellings were used. I decided to catalog all the spellings I found of the surname. When I did this I noticed that the name was unlikely ever spelled Forgey. The spelling was most often Forgaty or Forgety. This is also the spelling used for the Pulaski County, VA family. The Pulaski County family surname was sometimes spelled Forgarty, Fogarty, and one time Forgatine. So phonetically it was generally For with optional endings. I generated the report below from Evidentia.
The man we know to be our James Forgety states his occupation as farm laborer in 1880. The James Fogarty we find in the 1870 Pulaski County, VA Census with his parents Bartholomew and Virginia was also listed as a farm laborer. So we have a match there.
I found Samuel Forgety possible brother of James living in Washington County, VA in 1880 and Russell County, VA in 1900. I found possible brother John living in Washington County, VA 1900. Samuel's parents were generally stated as being born in Virginia. John stated that his mother was born in Virginia and father in Ireland. Their likely sister Ellen always stated both parents were born in Virginia. James' parents were generally stated as being from Tennessee. He does allude to Virginia origins a couple of times, and actually did live in Virginia in 1880. So why don't nearly all of Bartholomew Forgaty's descendants admit he was born in Ireland? Maybe he wasn't and the two Censuses he appears on are wrong? It's also likely there may have been some discrimination against Irish Catholics in this Southern area? I don't know anything about how the Irish were treated in Virginia and Tennessee at the turn of the twentieth century?
Doing this kind of microscopic analysis of each docment has helped me to come to a preliminary conclusion which is that the most likely parents of James Forgety are Bartholomew Forgety and Virginia Bateman of Pulaski County, VA.