Welcome Mayflower Cousins

This blog is full of information for applications to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Ohio. Check back often to learn more about producing a successful application. Click the email link at the bottom to be notified of new posts as they happen.

Our contact information is:
Ann Gulbransen, Historian, ohmayflowerhistorian@gmail.com
Lee Martin, Assistant Historian, buckeyemayflower@gmail.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

How many documents should you send? Part 2

When collecting evidence try to get primary sources if possible.  For example, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records from the probate court with the return at the very bottom which should give the actual marriage date.  Prior to 1908 in Ohio birth, death and marriage records were kept at the probate court.  Depending on the county, ask to see if they will let you take digital photographs of those records.  If allowed, take photographs and include it.  If getting to the courthouse is impractical, try going to the local county chapter of OGS and see if you can examine the records on microfilm.  If there is no microfilm, order it from Salt Lake and have it sent to the local LDS church to view it or send it to the OGS library in Belleville.  If the ancestor in question is not listed in the birth records, use the social security number to obtain a copy of the social security application (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-FEWeb/internet/main.jsp).  Other records that can be used are probate records if any exist for the individual.

Once you traced your ancestor to Massachusetts, try to look for vital records by the Town Clerk.  For example, when I found out that my fourth great grandfather came from Yarmouth, Massachusetts, I ordered Town Records by the Town Clerk on microfilm from Salt Lake.  With that I was able to get original birth records and not rely on transcriptions (a two volume set of transcriptions of Yarmouth vital records were done by the Shermans in the 1970s or 1980s).  Many cases I found the same records in different volumes and helps as a cross-check.  I took the images of the Yarmouth records and created  Word document with it to include full source citations and sent them to Ann to include in my file; basically for the source citation, I simply copy-pasted the citation from my RootsMagic software onto the word document.  I used the Town records to supplement the Silver books and the Howland volumes.  By submitting the Word document with the images and source citations to Ann, she could view the record and verify that what is on the application is indeed is the same as what's on the record.  The Sherman transcriptions are accurate; but transcriptions are prone to error (any record is prone to error in reality).

Point being use as many verifiable records as possible to back up your claim - the more, usually the better.