February 8, 2009

This Blog

Some of you are probably wondering where I am, or what I'm doing!  Then again, maybe not!

I addition to the on-going efforts to get "things" in order at the new house, I've been working on sorting out some non-Coffey families in Colonial Virginia.  This has involved lots of hours and effort, especially since I'm in Louisiana with few records from that time and place.

Google Books has been a great help.  What I haven't been able to find there, I have sometimes had luck finding on Heritage Quest.  What I have learned so far is that researchers from the 18th through the 21st centuries all have something in common.  They are not short on facts, but are short on sources.  Much like today, it appears that some compilers found the earliest book published to that date, copied it and added their own family.  The next compiler found that second book, copied it and added his or her own family.  Pretty soon, all these books began to look alike and sorely lacking in accuracy.

On the otherhand, I have found several books where the compiler researched every deed, every marriage record, every will, etc. and listed those as sources for nearly everyone in their book.  These books are rare!

Sometimes, I believe that compilers made up their own numbering system.  It's been difficult sometimes to follow a genealogy when the children of every sibling in a family is numbered 1a, 1b, 1c, etc. 

For example, John and Mary Smith had three sons who married and each had three children.  One numbering system that I found looked like this:

John and Mary, their issue:
   1a. John, Jr.
        married Betsy Jones, their issue:
         1a Bob
         1b James
         1c  Lawrence
   1b. James
         married Patsy Brown, their issue:
         1a Fred
         1b Joseph
         1c  Michael
   1c.  Joseph
          married Molly Peters, their issue:
          1a James
          1b Eli
          1c Franklin

This can fast become confusing, especially if the compiler decided to also enter the spouse and all of the descendants for 1a Bob before getting to 1b James.  That could take 10-15 pages, or more.  By the time I bounce back and forth between pages a dozen or more times, I'm totally confused.

So, that's where I've been, and what I'll probably be doing for the next month or so.

In the meantime, if anyone has any Coffee/y information, including photos, they would like to share, I can be reached via e-mail at the address above.

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