Monday, March 10, 2014

Methodology Monday in NGSQ: Tracking Tatums

Pamela Strother Downs serves up a Southern-style methodology treat in the current issue of the NGS Quarterly. Carefully proceeding from a man who died in Louisiana back to Alabama and Georgia, she extends a Tatum line two generations downstream from where they were accounted for in John Frederick Dorman's Adventurers of Purse and Person.

As often in the Q, the map and the table accompanying the article are not just ornamental, and they repay careful study.

The map:  Census records list two landless people in Montgomery County, Alabama, in 1830 as being 28 pages apart. Downs located landowner neighbors and mapped their locations. Without locating just where the landless pair lived in 1830, the map shows that they had to live nearby because their landed neighbors did. This was a key piece of evidence in completing the lineage, and it's a key technique to use and reuse in Dark Age US research, wherever your people may be.

The table paired two timelines of same-name Tatum men to show that an earlier DAR application confused one with the other.

Tatum researchers will appreciate the two extra generations; we all can appreciate seeing good technique in action.

Pamela Strother Downs, "Ancestry of Henry Tatum of Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana: Migration and Mistaken Identity," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 101 (December 2013): 273-90.

Harold Henderson, "Methodology Monday: Tracking Tatums," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 10 March 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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