Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Building a Family Tree: An Example on -- Project Twelve

Deciding on a Project 

With a seemingly endless number of options, The Family Tree can be overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I know what to work on? The real key is found in 1 Nephi 4: 6
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we should never get so "wrapped up" in our work that we forget that we are involved in giving those who have moved on to the Spirit World the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we live worthily and pray for guidance, we will be led to those parts of the Family Tree that need our attention and work. On the other hand, if we approach our work with the Family Tree to prove something or to just "find a name" without being led by the Spirit we may lose the opportunity to help those who are ready to accept the Gospel in the Spirit World.

I find that when I approach the Family Tree with an open mind and listen to the promptings of the Spirit, I fond new discoveries every time. For example in the screenshot above, I have three direct line family surnames that I do not ever recall researching previously: Brindle, Worsley, and Leigh. Granted, all three of these lines start in the 1700s, but I am used to doing research in that time period. All of these people are my grandparents. Let me choose one line to see what happens.

Jane Worsey has six sources attached, but very little information. Here is my relationship.

There is only a minimum of clean up to do for this individual because little has been done. There are several children listed in the family of Jane Worsley and Adam Brindle, but it appears that they are in different locations and probably suspect.

Because so little work has been done on this family and because the parents are direct line ancestors, there is a substantial interest in cleaning up the entries and working on adding additional information. Sometimes the Spirit leads you into situations where there is a lot of work to do. Here is what is in the Family Tree for the family as I start the process:

An initial review shows that some of the information for this family comes from the IGI or International Genealogical Index. This is another indication of the lack of research that has gone into this family so far even counting the information going back a hundred years. What is here, may or may not be valid. But this is a good opportunity to see what can be found.

Most of the entries need some standardization of dates and places. An initial review of the children listed reveals the following locations recorded for births or christenings.
  • Ann Brindle: Pemberton, Lancashire, England
  • Alice Brindle: Christening in Deane, Lancashire, England, Birth in Manchester, England, United Kingdon
  • Esther Brindle: Birth in Deane by Bolton, Lancashire, England
  • Adam Brindle: Birth and Christening in Deane, Lancashire, England
  • Ann Brindle: Christening in Deane by Bolton, Lancashire, England
  • Betty Brindle: None
  • Jane Brindle: None
  • Rachel Brindle: None
The father, Adam Brindle, is shown as born in Rivington, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom. There is no birth or christening information for Jane Worsley. There are two places (at least) named Deane in England. There is one in Lancashire. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Deane in Lancashire.
Deane is an area of Bolton, in Greater Manchester, England. It is about 2 miles (3.2 km) south west of Bolton and 11 miles (17.7 km) northwest of the city of Manchester
Historically a part of Lancashire, the Parish of Deane was one of eleven parishes within the hundred of Salford and covered roughly half of the present Metropolitan Borough of Bolton. The Church of St Mary on which the parish was centred was in the township of Rumworth.
So all of the places, when listed, are consistent. The three children with no birth or christening information are problematical. A quick search for Brindles on shows that there are about 191 people with the Brindle surname about this time period in Deane. At this point, I will spend some time adding any records I can find to this family through searches on FamilySearch and the Partner programs. [Time passes]

OK, now I am back with this family. Basically, I went through each of the children and the parents and searched for additional records for each individual. As I added in the records, I resolved any standardization issues and merged all of the duplicates. Fortunately, there was a will attached to Jane Worsley of her husband Adam Brindle. In the will he names each of his children and their spouses. But one of the listed children, the first one named Ann Brindle married to Peter Ellison is not mentioned in the will. She is also the only one not born or christened in Deane, Lancashire, England.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few "Ann Brindles" in the surrounding area. But the Ann mentioned in the Will is married to Joseph Helm and it is very unlikely that the family had two daughters with the same name who both lived to adulthood and got married. It is not unusual to see children with the same name when one of the children dies very young.

Now, there is another clue in the Will, the Ann mentioned has two children at the time the Will was signed and the first Ann has three children listed who would have been born at the time of the Will. On balance, it looks like the first daughter considering her place of birth, children, husband etc. is not part of this family.

Hmm. Guess what? I am no longer shown as related to this family. Well, that does happen. The Ann Brindle married to Peter Ellison is still my ancestor.

Time to start with a different family.

Explanation of how this project began and why I am pursuing it (updated).

In this project, I started out by picking a somewhat random person from my ancestors or my ancestors' descendants who may have lived into the 20th Century from the Family Tree and to hopefully show, step-by-step, the research needed to extend that person's family tree back several generations. Finding a person who has no apparent ancestors in the Family Tree is relatively easy for those who lived in or into the 19th Century by much harder the further you go back in the past. As I continued to examine individuals in the Family Tree my objectives have changed. I decided to include anyone who, from the lack of information in the Family Tree, needed research.

To clarify this project, I will not be reserving any of the people I discover for my own Temple List unless I am related to those I find. For those I find to whom I am not related, I will simply leave the "green icons" on the Family Tree for that person's descendants to find and use for themselves. Please refrain from doing the temple work for people to whom you are not related.

Now, after I got going doing the research, I got a couple of requests to research some people further back in time. These turned out to be old, established "end-of-line" situations. Since my original idea was to demonstrate finding people, I started with easier challenges. But in any event,  I may or may not find new people to add to the FamilyTree. Since some of the families I choose are in an "end-of-line" sort of situation independent of the time frame, there is no guarantee that I will be any more successful than the average user of the Family Tree in finding additional family members. In any event, I hope that my efforts as recorded will help either the family members or others to find more information about their ancestral families and relatives.

Why am I doing this? For the past 15 years or so, I have been helping hundreds (thousands?) of people find their ancestors. I simply intend to document the process in detail with real examples so that you can see exactly how I find family lines. I simply want to show where those "green icons" come from. Since the Family Tree is entirely cooperative, I will simply assume that when I find a family that needs some research that I am helping that family. By the way, this is Project Eleven of the series because I intend to do this over and over with different examples.

There is another reason why I am doing this. Because I constantly offer to help people find their ancestors and I get relatively few that take advantage of that offer. I need to spend some of my excess energy.

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