02 April 2010

First Friday Folder: Simeon Bates & Abigail Bates

I see all the neat blogging ideas for days of the week, such as Wordless Wednesday or Surname Saturday, and they do inspire me, but I think I'm just not that kind of genealogy blogger.  However, I have been thinking about doing something alliterative maybe once a month that would directly support enhancing my research.  My new idea is for the first Friday of the month: take one family folder from my file drawers and spend some time with it.

My plan is to go through it and look at:
Clean-up:  Are there any duplicates or other papers I can remove? (I always feel good when I can make a folder smaller!)  Is there anything that even shouldn't be in this folder in the first place?!
Organization:  Is everything in the right grouping: for instance, are all the census documents together and in order?  Are the family group sheets for the children who aren't my direct line together?  Have all the documents and other sources been entered in my database?  Do I need to print any new family group sheets?
Problems:  Are there any glaring problems with this family and have I clearly written my concerns?  If it is a time period with censuses available, is there a census summary grid and is it up to date?  Where do I stand in having appropriate sources and are they recorded?
Plans:  What do I do next?  What do I need to do so I can do the next thing?

Simeon Bates and his wife, Abigail Bates
So, today I began with 5th great-grandparents Simeon BATES (21 Mar 1737/1738 - 1828) and Abigail BATES (3 Oct 1733 --  ), who were themselves first cousins as both were grandchildren of Joshua BATES and Rachel TOWER.

This folder had some duplicates in it that I could discard and 2 pages misfiled.  I had not entered my source for their children's baptisms & communion. There were several worksheets that could be better grouped for easier review. The family group sheet printout was 2 years old, so it was really good I had discarded some unnecessary duplicates or else cleaning out the folder could have actually increased it!

I ran the names through the databases at New England Historic  Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to look for new additions, printed a couple of pages, and updated my database.  The big problem with this couple is that "Simeon Bates" is NOT a rare name in that time period/locality.  There are numerous, sourceless genealogies online that have Simeon with two wives: Abigail Bates and Martha Swift.  I'm very confident that my Simeon did NOT marry Martha Swift.  The Bates/Swift couple is clearly having children at the same time that my Bates/Bates couple is and in different towns.  And, neither of them is the Simeon Bates of lighthouse fame!

I need to review Attleborough, Bristol, Massachusetts history and types of available records, especially probate to see what I can find.  I need to track Abigail.  I must track their children more thoroughly: I only have anything past births for 2 of the 6.

I think it's a good idea to go back and look at folders every so often, if only to be something different from current, long standing projects.  It's a nice, little break!

I knew that I wouldn't reach any great resolution with this folder, but it's certainly in better shape now than it was!  And, I think I am more likely to get somewhere with it when I do go back to it. 

1 comment:

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