Monday, August 24, 2009

Methodology Monday with the Otts

This month the Transitional Genealogists are reading and discussing T. Mark James's article, "Abraham Ott of Orangeburg, South Carolina: Direct vs. Indirect Evidence," published in the June 2005 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, a free download for NGS members. The article has many interesting aspects, of which two at least will stick with me:

* the author resides in New Zealand, but he didn't let that keep him from researching a 200-year-old South Carolina burned-county puzzle.

* the irritant that produced the pearl, in this case, was a list of intestates (people who died without wills) that included a name that shouldn't have been there -- a name that suggested there might after all have been two Abraham Otts alive in the same time and place. The moral (for me): don't duck or casually minimize those odd bits of data. In fact, seek them out. They may be trying to tell you something, and usually it's: Do More Research.

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