Genealogical Theories: A Tool to Direct Your Research – Research Over My Shoulder


Do you ever have the situation where the
evidence that you have isn’t lining up? It’s not, it’s not making sense and no
matter what you do you can’t find anything new to help you clarify the
information that you already have? Well I have a solution that you might be able
to use in your family history research and that is theories. Howdy I’m Caleb Lee
with Family History Fanatics this is a YouTube channel where we teach you how
to understand your DNA, climb your family tree, write the stories of your
ancestors, and preserve them for the future. We also like to have a lot of fun
with our family history. Oo if you would like to have fun while you’re doing your
family history, please consider subscribing. Today we’re going to be
talking about my current research thing that I’m working on. And that is trying
to figure out who are the parents of David J Searcy? He’s got two sets of
parents and only a few records linking them to him. And so, I’ve been
having a lot of trouble trying to find more records to prove and disprove the
parentage of David J Searcy. So one of the things that I’ve been using in order
to help my researches is theories. I brainstormed a bunch of ideas and then
kind of culled the ones that were just too out there. Like there’s no way I was
gonna be able to figure it out unless they just landed in my lap. There was no
way, way I was going to be able to find the records to prove it. But, you
know, the most plausible ones that I have come up with are things like maybe he
was adopted from one family. maybe there’s two David J Searcy. But the one
I’m gonna focus on today is the one that I think that has a lot of useful lessons
and research. And that is the one that William B and William are the same
person. Now when you start out with researching new theories the first thing
you want to do after making it is listing the evidence that would be able
to prove this. For direct evidence something that will you know very
clearly tell me this is what happened. I have, if I were to find a marriage record
of William to Mary and then a marriage record of William to Sally then we have
our theory of proven. But sometimes the evidence isn’t so direct sometimes we
can have to pick it out from all of the
things you’ve gathered so far. So for instance if the two Williams
have similarities like maybe they were both from a certain place or both have a
certain death date, then maybe they might be the same people. Or if we have a case
where one of the sisters died and then William got married to the other
sister, then maybe that might be a place where he was married to one sister and
then he was married to the other sister. So this started out with me first
looking at William Searcy page, this is William Searcy that is married to Mary,
and I was going through trying to find any other information besides the fact
that he was named William Searcy and married to Mary and you know father of
David, which may not be correct. So that’s from this source. And then the other one
thing that’s connected to him is this, is this note and it says, among other things,
that William was in the Army during the Civil War when David J Searcy was 2
years old. There’s a little bit of inconsistency because David J Searcy is
born in 1864. And so he would be actually 1866 that he would be in the military if
he was when David was 2 years old, but this is a hint that William might be in
the army. I was like, “Great! There’s lots of military records. We could find a lot
and get a lot of information about William.” So I went over here, and clicked
on the search, and it comes up with 480 results. Now I could, you know, search
through all these things trying to find the military records. Making a
listing of them, checking them, figuring out the correct or not. But there is actually a way to just search for military records. So you can go down
here and you can restrict the records by, you know. You could research it by
location, but in this case, we’re gonna do by type. So you just click on type and
then you have a bunch of different things. And in this case we
search for military. So we click on this and then update and there we go.
This is all military records. These particular military records under their
special ones. You see, they’ve got this photograph with the box behind it. And
this means that they’re from a partner site. In this case. they’re from fold3. fold3 is a paid site most of the documents on there are, you
have to pay for in order to get. So I don’t have a subscription to fold3.
I don’t think anyone in my family has subscription to fold3. So that means
either I’m gonna have to, you know, get a free weekend like, this guy talked about, in
his video or we’re going to have to go to the Family History Library and
take advantage of the resources there. I know that the next page is gonna
have stuff about William Searcy, as opposed to like I don’t know Bob Johnson.
Because the last record is, you know, fairly on point.
It’s William Searcy. The only thing that’s been changing is the middle name.
So we go and we see, yeah, this pattern of middle name is the only thing that’s
changing for a while and then later we get to slight changes. So that’s
how, you know, where you might be able to find something as opposed to it’s
gone. Like there’s nothing else. That’s useful information.
Speaking of useful information, What? Because Sally is the nickname of Sareth
Searcy who’s, Sarah Peak I should say, who’s married to William B, we’re
searching for William Searcy who is married to Mary Peak. But, you know, let’s
take a look. Now, there isn’t that much information here. We have the name. We
have the other name. We have this, it is information but it’s not evidence,
that this is, you know, for in this case, William B. The only other information
that might be able to connect to their family, you know prove that this is their
record, is the fact is this July 14th. I’m not sure what this is over here. There’s
ninety. That might be a one over there. Maybe 1890? And then, this over here is
December 6, 1906. Now that date over there is, it’s fairly close to Williams’s death
date of November 24, 1906. Which would, you know, make sense. This is a
pension file and that would mean it’s s pension given to either him or her, and
so, it would start at his death date or end at his death date. But other than that,
there’s, you know, not really much evidence here. So it’s perfectly fine
to put this, in this case, your source box on Family Search or maybe
it’s your shoebox on Ancestry. But it’s perfectly okay to go back and try to
find another record that proves things. Cuz, if we can find another
military record, we have evidence that William B is part of the
military and might even find the same regiment number as the one that, again,
was listed on this record. So, we keep going and on the next page we find,
again, Sally Searcy. So here we have, this is actually a record of Sally, not
William, even though it says William right here. But anyways, this ‘died’ would
be hers (January 23rd, 1926) which we can see matches perfectly. And, you know, we
have the nice, this is when it was reported. And then going down here, again,
William B. Searcy Corporal D-54 Kentucky. The important thing to figure
out here is this a record of, you know, William B and Sally, because that’s what
this is at this point. We’ve got a lot of dates over here and this is probably the
amount that she was paid. The earliest one is 6th of December 1906, and that,
isn’t that a bit familiar? Isn’t it. Because that is also nearby his death
date. So this is a record of William died, and then it was reported, and the
government started sending money to Sally. It matches up, so this is a
record of William. And so I can add that. And I can also add this, because D-54
Kentucky mounted infantry. So going back to the clue web, we’ve we found
similarities between the Williams. Because we have William
married to Mary, who is said to have served in the Civil War and we have
William B, who actually served in the Civil War. They could be related. How do
we figure it out? Well, one of the things we can look at is, did one sister
died before the other? Was there a period where William could been married to
Mary and then to Sarah. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna
use this Timeline feature. It’s really cool, and so cool in fact that I will be
explaining it later in more detail in a future video. So with Mary, she was
born in 1840 and then we don’t know when she died. We have sources of her from
1840 to 1990, nineteen hundred I should say not 1990, she wasn’t that old. Then what I can do is we’re gonna use this timeline feature. So
what we’re looking for is we’re looking for Sarah so he married her in 1858,
which two years before Mary was in Andrew Peaks house. Mary, at the time,
would be eighteen, so just keep that in mind. Before that, he had
another spouse and she died and then there was a three year gap and then he
married Sarah. Now when you have cases where a guy marries a second wife, one
thing that might cause them to marry earlier, that as opposed to spending more
time in grieving, is if he had children with his first wife. So for
instance, he did have two children in fact one, of them is evidence
of Williams great prophetic skill. So he did have small children who would, you
know, need a mother in addition to a father to care for them.
So maybe that would be a factor in him trying to get married earlier. So
maybe? Maybe there was a marriage in this three year gap? However it doesn’t seem
right. I mean, he marries Mary for like, you know, two / three years. Then divorces her. Then marries Sarah and lives with her happily ever after, until she actually
outlived him. So it doesn’t seem right and also it doesn’t matter. Because David
was born in 1864, as mentioned previously, which is not in this three year gap. So
it’s not a case where maybe he was born so there’s some ambiguity
there. William might have, like you know, had extramarital sexual relationships
with Mary and thus cause David to come into the world. But, mmm, again that’s
that’s stretching. That’s reaching. I need a lot of evidence to back
that up. It doesn’t look like this theory that William and William B are
the same person. Doesn’t look like it would work. While you’ve seen, yes, there
are similarities. but one the timeline wouldn’t work out unless there was
adultery in which case it’s that’s kinda hard to prove. So unless something new
comes along I’m gonna assume this theory is incorrect. But just because this
theory is incorrect that doesn’t mean that theories aren bad. It you
know kind of focused my research got me thinking and looking at the evidence new
evidence and old evidence trying to piece together things that would prove
the theory. So I think you should take a look at theories you know try them out
with your problems and if you if you have success or you have failure or just
want to talk a little bit more about how you can use theories in genealogy then
please let us know down in the comments what your thoughts are what your experiences were. And of course if you liked this video please give us the thumbs up it
really helps us you know tells YouTube that this content is good and also that
we should make more of these videos because this is what you want so if you
want more of these like the video please.

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