Thursday, March 05, 2015


Drowned Moose
Week 9
"Dinna pour water on a drowned moose"
("Don't take unnecessary action")
Neil Wilson Publishing (May 31, 2011)]

Throughout the past few weeks, I have been working with the vital records and census records of the ancestors that I defined for this project. It is more work than writing. Collateral lines definitely help with the understanding of my direct line ancestors but cluster research is not as useful because of the cost of buying records at Scotland's People. Instead I focused on the street and place names that my ancestors and their families lived on. 

The idea of "unnecessary action" gives me pause. It certainly would have been better if I had done a lot of the work on my Scots ancestors as I was going along. I didn't do that and now I am sorry. That's how I knew this needed a "do-over". 

I do think I got used to looking at other evidence like city directories and gravestones in my non-Scot ancestors which kept my interest level high and gave me reassurance that I was sure I had the right ancestors. I will complain more about this in Week 11. 

With my Scots, I wasn't quite sure. One of my cousins has reexamined her family records and found that her family made errors that I have now proved those notes were wrong. This makes me feel good. But, I'd still like more evidence. (more is better!)

left: birth record of Margaret Harcomb and right: same person's death record.

As you can see by this example, (click here to see in a larger format), I have a conflict with my 3rd great grandmother's maiden name. Margaret's birth record clearly states her mother's maiden name as Templeton but her death record 89 years later states her mother's maiden name as Hammond. Swell.

So, before I got any further, I examined the children of Thomas and Margaret (Harcomb) Broadfoot and I see one son bears a middle name of Templeton and another, a daughter bears BOTH Hammond and and Templeton as middle names.[source: her death record] 

Clearly, I need the marriage record of Hugh Harcombe to resolve this question. In family records I can find no one named HAMMOND. So rather than pour water on a drowned moose, I add finding this marriage record to my priority list.

As I was doing collateral research in past years, I made the effort to find out about all of Thomas and Margaret's children before I moved backwards to work on the Harcombe line. 

Without a research plan, I made the mistake of  not noticing this conflict. I moved to the children before finishing the work on the parents. I can hear the drowned moose bellowing, can't you? 

Since moose make a lot of noise and I got scared,  I returned to Scotlands People and found this marriage record in the index. Bingo!

1 comment:

Anna Matthews said...

Fun post and great examples, too. Happy Blogiversary!