Saturday, March 01, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #21 - Family Analysis

I'm still trying to get caught up in my Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course assignments. This week's lesson was much easier. The objective was to:

1. Analyze a Family Structure
2. Make inferences about a family

We were told that a family analysis should be conducted on every family before we being our research. We were also given a list of things to look at regarding dates, places and the overall family. This is something I have done mentally but never physically written down. I have no idea how good or bad my report that I handed in was but I will share it with you.

Family Analysis on the John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. Family

Family: John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. was born 3 Mar 1855, Wilton, Saratoga, New York. He married about 1881 in New York, Harriett D. Hewitt born 12 Dec 1858 in Saratoga County, New York. They had at least 7 children, all born in Greenwich, Washington, New York.

John Henry Weatherwax, Jr. b. 12 Dec 1882
Walter Weatherwax b. 24 Aug 1884
Harriett D. Weatherwax b. 30 Jun 1886
Lee Grand Weatherwax b. 15 Sep 1890
Charles Weatherwax b. 22 Mar 1893
Flora Weatherwax b. 24 Aug 1894
Herbert Lee Weatherwax b. 15 Oct 1895

The parents are only 3 years apart in age, which is an acceptable range. We do not have a marriage date but we can assume it was about 1881 due to the first known child John, Jr. being born in 1882. John, Sr. would have been 27 and Harriett age 24 when their first child was born. It is possible that John Jr. was not their first child. The marriage record and possible earlier children need to be searched. The marriage date when located might give us clues if earlier marriages for either parent need to be considered.

The first three children in the family are 2 years apart. Then there is a four-year gap between Harriett in 1886 and Lee Grand in 1890. It is possible there is another child born between them. There is a 2 year 6 month gap between Lee Grand and the next child Charles in 1893. This would appear acceptable if it wasn’t for the fact that the last three children in the family were 17 and 14 months apart. We should consider the possibility of another child between Lee Grand and Charles’s birth.

As mentioned previously the marriage date and place is unknown. We known the parents were both born in Saratoga County, New York. We do not know what town in Saratoga County Harriett was born but we should look around the Wilton area where John came from, then branch outward. The first known child was born in Greenwich, Washington, New York, which is a neighboring county. The move appears very logical if they wanted to remain close to family, but take advantage of available land. The marriage records for Washington and Saratoga County need to be searched. Earlier children should be looked for in both locations.

The family records, where a majority of the family information comes from, appears consistent and logical. It is time to work on documenting and proving this second hand knowledge with what original records can tell us about this family. The most important piece of information to begin searching for would be the marriage records of John, Sr. and Harriett. We already know the parents were buried in the Greenwich Cemetery in Greenwich, Washington, New York. Not all the Weatherwax’s are identified there so it is possible there are missing children to add to this family group buried with them.

With the report we also handed in a family group sheet.

The next part of the assignment was to participate in a group discussion. We were ask if we learned anything unexpected. Then to share our analysis experience. Here is what I wrote.

RootsTech got me really behind in my assignments. I am glad to finally get to work on this Family Analysis. I have practiced mentally reviewing all the information we were asked to look at in the analysis prior to this assignment. The big difference was the physical act of writing this information down. I wish I had kept these types of records before because I know I would have been more focused in my research. I am working on my great-grandparents and it made me realize there are possible other children that I need to find. When you review things mentally it doesn't really flesh out issues or gaps as well as physically writing it down does. Your brain-storming takes on a whole new level. This is something I need to do all the time. I've attended classes at genealogy conferences that go over these same things, but its not until you actually do it yourself that you can see why professionals write these things done. You think your saving time skipping these steps but in the long run if you thoroughly analysis things you will be more productive in the long run.

That's all for this week!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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