Monday, September 8, 2014

Methodology Monday backtracking Jacob Wynkoop (NGSQ)

Jacob Wynkoop died in Morgan County, Ohio, in 1842, placing his entire life in what I call the "Dark Ages" of US genealogy, before the first every-name census was taken in 1850. In the June 2014 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Stephen B. Hatton traces the Wynkoop family back by studying their associates (and in one case the associates' associates), the Sears, Power, McNabb, Brabham, and Combs families.

These five families lived near one another, intermarried, went to court, sometimes bought land -- and, most importantly, produced more records than the Wynkoops did! Clues from both Ohio and Virginia show that they all went back to Loudoun County, Virginia.

The importance of this sizeable pile of evidence becomes even clearer near the end of the article, when the author reveals a much smaller pile of direct evidence about Jacob's family, and shows how the pieces fit together. See the article itself for details (the quarterly is a benefit of membership in the National Genealogical Society and is available in good genealogy library collections).

Many of us would have put the direct evidence up front, but I think Hatton is on to something in this case by playing his strongest cards -- indirect evidence from friends, associates, and neighbors -- first. Check it out and see what you think!

Stephen B. Hatton, "Using Networks to Backtrack the Migration and Identify the Parents of Jacob Wynkoop of Morgan County, Ohio," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 102 (June 2014): 111-27.

Harold Henderson, "Methodology Monday backtracking Jacob Wynkoop (NGSQ)," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 8 September 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

1 comment:

The Enthusiastic Genealogist said...

Interesting! I'll have to check it out.