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09 September 2012

If There's Not a Reason, There Better Be a Reason

I have a relative,  born in Canada in the 1820s who for some reason moved to southern Missouri in the 1850s. It seems a little unusual to me and, at this point, I do not know the reason why he moved. What I do have a reason for is why I know it is the same man (his name, year and place of birth and the names of his children all match).

If you don't have the reason for why your ancestor did something a little unusual, try and make certain you have good reason for believing it is the same person. Maybe the reason it seems like you have the "wrong person" is because you do.

5 comments:

  1. My gg-grandfather was born in Canada in 1835 according to his death certificate. It also gives his father's name with no mother. I found his marriage record and have followed him in all the censuses for the U.S. but his name is so common I can't determine where in Canada he was born. He didn't marry until he immigrated to the U.S. I'm stuck. His name is George and his father is John Wahl/Wall. The U.S. censuses each have a different version of the Canada he was born in. East, Upper, English, etc.

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    1. Ontario was once called Upper Canada. English Canada just means not Quebec where they speak French.

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  2. My grandfather's brother was born in Ontario in 1887. He moved to Montana, got married and then ended up in California. My grandfather and his family moved from Ontario to California to live near them in 1924. I have family photos of the brother and his wife and son from my grandmother's photo album and my mother knew her cousins. However, in all the records of the brother, census and death records his place of birth is listed as new York. He is listed in the family Bible as having been born in Ontario and in the Canadian Census when he was young. My mother told me that his parents didn't like his wife, and that was why they went all the way to Los Angeles. I assume that is also why he lied about where he was from. His grandchildren, whom I located a few years ago, did not know he was from Canada, even though they confirmed all the other information about names and birthdates, etc..

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    Replies
    1. Robin, have you considered the possibility that this fabrication saved your subject the inconvenience of going through the naturalization process? I have two instances of this same behavior in my family. I'd wager that if you look for naturalization documents, you won't find any. In more recent years, of course, citizenship was much harder to fabricate.

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  3. People used to do, and still do, the darndest things!

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