|Graphic created by DearMYRTLE|
used with permission
Yesterday, despite technical problems with Google Business Hangouts, our Study Group continued using Go To Meeting.
DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ once again worked through the issues with this platform and we were able to have a great discussion.
My homework was presented first and I spoke about the importance of reading about and understanding why a record was created and the information explaining what is included in the database. My example was looking for my Grandfather and his brothers in the WWII Draft Cards records on Ancestry and discovering after wasting time, that they don't have South Carolina listed in the States represented in the collection!
Due to the limitations of this format on the number of people who can participate via webcam, I turned mine off and listened as the rest of the homework was presented by the other panelists.
Take a look at this week's recording to get some great tips on research and using the Genealogical Proof Standard!
I find it amazing how we can all read the same chapter but each come up with a different topic to do our homework on! Did you notice that MYRT calls me Cheryl instead of Cheri in this Study Group? It's because of fellow panelist Sheri and the need to clarify who she is talking to!!
My Homework for Chapter 2-
Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group
Homework Chapter Two-Building a Solid Case
Cheri Hudson Passey
Reference: Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014
As stated in this chapter, before beginning research in any record group, we need to read any information given about the source and why it was created.
If you don’t understand the reason for the set of records and what it contains, your may be searching in vain.
An example of understanding the what and why of a record set is Military Draft Records. You may have determined that your ancestor was of the age to have fought in a war. Family stories tell of him being a veteran. A search is performed to find what you hope will be a record giving you information on that Ancestor’s service but there are no hits. Why? Reading the source information and when and why that particular record was created may help you answer that question.
When searching for information on my Grandfather and his brother who served in WWII, I was frustrated by only finding my Grandfather’s Draft Card. I knew for a fact that two of his brother’s died in the War and two others also served. It wasn’t until I actually took the time to read the information about the database I was searching that I realized my mistake. While my Grandfather, who was living in Charlotte, NC at the time he filled out his Draft Card, his brother’s were in South Carolina. This database does not include SC Draft Cards yet. I wasted a lot of time by not reading and understanding the important facts about this group of records. Their father, who I thought may have had to fill out a draft card wasn’t found either. Why? Again, because he lived in SC and he was too old. The group of men in these records are between the ages of 18 and 45. Their father would have been too old.
Discovering the “Old Man’s Registration” that took place in 1942 and recorded men between the ages of 45 and 64, I thought that he may have a card in the database. This time, I looked at the information given about the record group before searching and realized that once again, South Carolina was not included in the States represented. Having that knowledge prevented me from wasting time researching in a record that could not produce the results I wanted.
Looking for more information on my 3rd Great Grandmother, Mary (Stafford) Dorrity, I turned to the South Carolina Civil War Widow’s Pension Applications. Many of these documents have been digitized by the Department of History and Archives in Columbia, SC and are available on their website.
This time I began by learning about the process for Widows to apply for a pension in South Carolina after the Civil War. The first pensions were given starting in 1887 to Widows whose husbands died in service or to Vets who were disabled or had other injuries. By 1896 the pension qualifications were extended to those Veterans that were over 60, poor and uninjured and to Widows who were over 60 and poor. This lasted until 1919. The Confederate Pension Committee was formed at that point and the eligibility requirements were changed to include all Veterans and Widows who were over 60 and had married before 1890. By 1920 a widow's age requirement went to 55, 50 in 1921 and 45 in 1930. Marriages had to have been performed in 1900 or later in 1920 and changed in 1929 to a new rule that said the Veteran and his widow must have been married for at least 10 years. Interestingly in SC, the last Confederate Widow died in 1990.
Only a few of the pre-1919 Pension Applications are extant.
With this information, I determined that my 3rd Great Grandmother, Mary Dorrity, fit the criteria for a 1919 Widow’s Pension and later. I knew from the census and other records that her husband, a Civil War Veteran had died, she was in her 70’s and was not a wealthy woman.
A search of the online index produced a link to an online image of her Widow’s Pension Application in 1919.
This digital copy of Mary Dority’s Pension Petition can be considered an original document.
The questions asked were answered by Mary herself. It was signed by an X representing her mark, so it appears that she was the informant, but not the one who actually wrote the answers supplied in on the form. The information about her age, date of marriage, husband’s death and financial status are all primary information. She would have also had first-hand knowledge of his service in the War. Her reasons given for needing the pension are that she has no one to support her. She was living with her 2 sons who are invalids and “cannot do for themselves”
The information about Manning Dority’s service is also validated by several witnesses who served with him. These witnesses provide primary information and concur with Mary’s information.
When looking at who provided the information for a record, it is always good to consider if there was a reason to lie in the document. In this case, it could be conceivable that Mary didn’t tell the truth about her marriage date or her age to make sure she was eligible for the pension as the rules stated in 1919. It is not known if there were any supporting documents provided with this application. None were included with the digitized record.
Following the guidelines of the Genealogical Proof Standard, more records would need to be located to determine if the information provided by Mary Dorrity on her birth, marriage, status of her children and financial ability is correct.
Information about the record group you are interested in can usually be found on the same page as the search box for that particular set of records when online. An internet search can provide help if there is no guidance. When doing research offline in an archive or another facility, asking questions of those in charge can help determine if you have the correct set of documents to answer your genealogy question.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, "Records of Confederate Veterans, 1909-1973" database, South Carolina Department of Archives and History,(http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov: accessed 1 May 2016) entry for Mary Elizabeth Dority, Sumter, Sumter County Application for Pension for Manning Dority, Service Company G, Twentieth Infantry Regt., S.C., p.1, (1919).
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, "Records of Confederate Veterans, 1909-1973" database, South Carolina Department of Archives and History,(http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov: accessed 1 May 2016) entry for Mary Elizabeth Dority, Sumter, Sumter County Application for Pension for Manning Dority, Service Company G, Twentieth Infantry Regt., S.C., p.2, (1919).
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, "Records of Confederate Veterans, 1909-1973" database, South Carolina Department of Archives and History,(http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov: accessed 1 May 2016) entry for Mary Elizabeth Dority, Sumter, Sumter County Application for Pension for Manning Dority, Service Company G, Twentieth Infantry Regt., S.C., p.3, (1919).
Record information on the US WWII Draft Cards, Young Man, 1940-1946 from Ancestry.com(http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2238)
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