Monday, August 18, 2014

Methodology Monday with three generations in three pages

Not all articles in top genealogy periodicals have to be long or involve a convoluted tangle of indirect evidence. If you're having a short-attention-span day, Arlene V. Jennings's recent inquiry into the mother of Jane (Fife) Smart (b. 1769) is quick and to the point in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Sometimes good methodology is just about knowing where to look. In this case two parallel record sets give varying results: no name for Jane's mother in one, and two different surnames for her in the other. Probate files for her father and husbands provide the "glue" to piece together vital records, identifying Jane as a daughter of her mother's middle (second) marriage, and reaching back to Jane's mother's mother's surname in the early 1700s.

Arlene V. Jennings, "Jane Fife's Mother, Elizabeth (Sowersby) Stather Fife Hought," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 102 (June 2014): 93-95.

Harold Henderson, "Methodology Monday with three generations in three pages," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 18 August 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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