Daniel Matlock age 80 died in Dunn 1906
Buried Jubilee Burying Ground, Oneida Ontario
How can one determine the relationship of individuals on the 1860 census. On the 1860 Hardy County Virginia census, my great grandfather Thomas Wilson is placed below a Pamelia Wilson, and above that a Judy Wilson. Can I safely assume that Thomas is Pamelia's son born out of wedlock?
My answer to Steve was “This is an important question in genealogy. The short answer is Absolutely not!"
The meaning of "assume" is to suppose without any proof.
You should never assume anything in genealogy research. You can however create a Working Theory, based on the facts you have found.
List the Possible Scenarios
In the example you gave, you don't know how Thomas is related, or even if he's related at all. Let's look at some possible scenarios (with the caveat that you have not told me the ages of the individuals and that's an important consideration when developing theories).
1. Thomas might be Pamelia's son.
2. Thomas might be Pamelia's nephew.
3. Thomas might be Pamelia's cousin.
4. Thomas might be adopted
5. Thomas might be from a completely unrelated Wilson family
There are other possibilities depending on the ages of Thomas and the other individuals in the census.
Develop Your Working Theory
A simple definition of "theory" is a supposition, or an idea that might be true but are not yet proven.
You think that Thomas might be Pamelia's son. That's a good working theory.
Prove or Disprove Your Theory
Your next step would be to search for records that PROVE or DISPROVE your theory.
* Can you find Thomas or Pamelia in 1850 or 1870 census?
* Look for Thomas' birth record
* Look for Thomas' marriage record
* Look for Thomas' death or obit
Continue researching Pamelia. Find out what you can about her. Is her father named Thomas? That might add a little more weight to your working theory (although that still would not be proof of a mother-son relationship). Perhaps Pamelia has an obit that mentions a son Thomas.
The bottom line is that unless you find proof, it's only guesswork or assumptions. And genealogy is about facts and truth, not guesses. Guesses based on a record you found are important to aid you in developing a working theory but you still must prove (or disprove) that theory.
When I first had the idea to create my Olive Tree Genealogy website back in 1996, the internet was a brand new thing. There were very few online genealogy sites. The big sites like Rootsweb and Ancestry did not yet exist. It was a new frontier.
It never occurred to me that a quarter of a century later the Olive Tree Genealogy site would still be going strong. And over the last 25 years Olive Tree Genealogy has grown into an entire family of websites – NaturalizationRecords.com, AncestorstAtRest.com, and several more.
Then there are my blogs. 18 years ago I jumped on the blog bandwagon with my Olive Tree Genealogy blog. I’m never happy with just one toe in the waters, and several more blogs followed, all part of the Olive Tree Genealogy family.
Then came the Social Media explosion and this created many new avenues for Olive Tree Genealogy to explore and grow, including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
The last 25 years have been busy, exciting, rewarding and yes, like all endeavours, sometimes frustrating. I have always believed in giving more than I take from the Genealogy community but now it’s time to slow down. Since it’s only a slow down, not a goodbye, I am calling it semi-retirement!
I will still be offering free and unique content on Olive Tree Genealogy (It is not going anywhere), and participating in genealogy events. My other websites will remain online but they won’t be my primary focus after December 1st .
For now I plan to get back to my roots (pun intended). I will be scaling back my blog posts and my time on Social Media. I may even be able to carve out some time for my own genealogy research!
I’ll be focusing most of my time on my Olive Tree Genealoy website but I’ll also be writing more Genealogy books, including my Janie Riley genealogy mysteries.
New horizons await and I am eager to start this new journey.
What’s important to you as the keeper of the family genealogy?
Agnes Isabell Moulton Webb, wife of Alfred Webb, 26 years old, died February 11, 1919.
A death registration for Agnes, found on Ancestry, indicates she died of influenza, so no doubt the Spanish Flu. Her marriage to Alfred in March 1915 provides her parents' names as Herbert Foster Moulton and Sarah Pattison
Mary Sophia Webb, wife of Calvin Thompson died in Hagersville, January 27, 1938
Her certificate of death was found on Ancestry showing she had a cerebral thrombosis causing death.
William Winter died in South Cayuga February 25, 1917, age 85
According to his death registration found on Ancestry William was born in England. He is recorded with the surname Winters. I will leave it to interested descendants to figure out the cause of death. It appears to say hypoplaste Puen which I believe has something to do with the heart.
John Wm. (William) West died in Dunnville April 16, 1917.
His death registration was found on Ancestry indicating he died of heart failure in the House of Refuge (poorhouse). He was a widower, born in Ancaster Township, age 82 (as per death registration) and was buried in Cayuga. No information was known of his parents' names.
Gordon Elwood Whaley accidentally killed September 9, 1935, age 37. Funeral in Seneca, interment Unity Church.
His death registration was found on Ancestry and has some horrific details of his death in an automobile accident in Brant, Onondaga.
A newspaper article about his accident was found in The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]11 Sep 1935: 3.
Henry Westley, age 77, died September 21, 1925 in Hamilton.
His death registration found on Ancestry provides more details. Henry, born in USA, was hit by a falling tree and died of a skull fracture.
Mary Ella Kelley, wife of James Whicher died in Seneca September 15, 1918, age 50
In Dunnville August 24, 1913, Margaret Mary, infant daughter of Mrs. Walter Pharo late of Surrey England, age x months and 10 days. Interment Riverside Cemetery
Her death registration found on Ancestry indicates she died of Marasmus which is a form of malnutrition.
She was born in Welland on 14 June 1913 so was only 2 months old. Her parents according to Ancestry were Walter Pharo and Ann Hardy.
Who are these dashing gentlemen? These tintypes were in the Hayhow Family Bible I obtained
To see my first post about the Hayhow family Bible and photos I have. Go to http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/2021/08/the-hayhow-family-bible.html. Recently a dilapidated family bible for the Hayhow family of Ontario Canada came into Olive Tree Genealogy’s hands. Inside were two pages of family births and deaths, tintype photos from the second half of the 19th century, and a few assorted documents
In the Dunnville Gazette July 16. 1897
At Moote Settlement on the 9th inst. Charles Wilson, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mellick of Dunnville, age 3
Little Charles death registration was found on Ancestry but provides little detail other than his death was from Diptheria.
A funeral card exists with more information.
Is anyone looking for the Hayhow family?
In Moulton Township February 23, 1911, James Moisley, 73. Funeral from home of Carl Van Keuren of Moulton. Interment Riverside Cemetery
In Oneida on July 17, 1917, Archibald Russell, 81
His death registration found on Ancestry indicates he died of hepatitis on the Six Nations Reserve. His place of birth is listed as Brantford.
In Canboro on April 17, 1906, Rebecca, relict of the late Elias Mellick, in her 78th year
Marriages of some of her children, found on Ancestry reveal her maiden name of Betts
Over the next few weeks I will feature a half of the items individually, along with some research into the family. I’ve done a bit already, enough to know that this Bible belonged to Charles and Ann (Higgins) Hayhow who married in 1863 in Ontario.
From the Dunnville Gazette, Fridat June 22, 1906:
Mary Jane Modeland, relict of the late Isaac Modeland, died in Dunnvile June 18, 1906 in her 74th year
Her death registration on Ancestry says she was born in Toronto Ontario and died of old age
There were two obits for Mrs. John Ryan. It's a sad reminder of how women were considered second-class citizens. She did not even get her own first name in her obituaries.
She died April 20, 1917, age 76 in Caledonia, Norfolk County
The death registration on Ancestry provides her name as Nancy and states she died of senility
A marriage took place in Norfolk County for Nancy Trimmer (daughter of Daniel and Jane) and John Ryan (parents John and Mary) on 3 April 1860