Friday, January 20, 2017

DearMYRTLE Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group-Chapter 3 Evaluating Records

With Google Hangouts up and running, DearMYRTLE's GPS Study Group met to discuss Chapter 3 of Christine Rhodes's book.

The discussion focused on writing. Myrt warned us about being too wordy when writing up a case study and following the proper format.

She reminded us a properly written report consists of:

1. Research Question
2. What do we know
3.What documents are found
4. Analysis, Correlation, Resolving Conflicting info
5. Conclusion, End notes or Footnotes (citations)
    Images ( inline vs. appendices)

As we went through everyone's homework, we looked for those elements.  Our challenge for next week is to rewrite one of our previous homework assignments using this format. We were cautioned not to be too wordy.

This week my homework dealt with a problem with a census record. The 1940 U. S. Census is the only one that records who the informant for the information it contains. 
With that knowledge, you would think since my great grandmother was the informant for her family it would contain accurate information. 

Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group
Homework Chapter Three-Evaluating Records
Cheri Hudson Passey
Reference: Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014

A major part of the Genealogical Proof Standard is evaluating the records used in our research.
Learning how to determine what type of record you have and the type of information given in it is key to understanding if you can trust what it is telling you.
Census records that are digitized online can be considered an original document.
In the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, there is a mark beside the name of the person who gave the enumerator the information to fill out the form for the family.  Knowing who this person may help to determine if they were in a position to know the facts about the family.
The 1940 US Census of Richland County, South Carolina shows a problem with my 2nd great grandmother, Bessie Mae Price, and son Frank. Bessie is marked as the informant. Looking at the record, it appears that Bessie correctly identified her son Frank as the Head of the household and herself as Mother. From other records, Bessie’s age is correct but Frank’s?  Born in 1914, Frank would have been 26, not the 57 as written.
 Apparently, someone looking at this record felt the same way and decided the relationship “Mother” was a mistake and wrote “wife” above it.  Where Bessie indicated she was a widow, it is crossed out, and the letter M written above it.  
The image online shows this change in faint writing, but it is dark enough for indexers to see and incorrectly list them as husband and wife.  
Bessie and Frank Price - 1940 Richland County, South Carolina Census

1940 U.S. Census, Richland County, South Carolina, population schedule, Arden, Enumeration District [ED] 40-44, p.2B (penned), house number 5801, visited number, Bessie Price: digital images, Ancestry ( accessed12 January 2017); from National Archives microfilm publication 
T627, roll 3834.

Anyone not using the Genealogical Proof Standard may have come across this census and stopped there. They would have found what they thought was a couple and recorded this information in their tree and tried unsuccessfully to find them in other records.
The GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) requires reasonably exhaustive research, which means looking for any records that may be available. In this case, the GPS  leads to additional census records for the previous years showing a consistent family unit with Bessie, her husband Campbell and children Beulah Mae, David, George, Nellie, and Frank.
Bessie became a “widow” (it is unclear what happened to her husband, Campbell, as he disappeared in 1922 according to family lore) and did not remarry. Her death certificate and obituary name Campbell Price as her husband.  Named in son Frank’s 2002 obituary is his mother, Bessie, and father, Campbell.
Following the GPS standard of Evaluating Evidence, the census entry was determined to be correct, except for the age of son Frank, when it was originally recorded. The crossing out of the terms mother and widowed was a mistake by someone who based the decision on the mistake in Frank’s age.

The Campbell and Bessie Mae Price family in the 1920 Richland County, South Carolina Census. 

                                     1920 U.S. Census, Richland County, South Carolina, population schedule, School District 4, Enumeration District [ED]98, p.49A (penned), dwelling966, family 1003, Cam Price: digital images, Ancestry ( accessed 13 January 2107); from National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1707.

                                                                          Bessie Price Obituary

                                                               The State, (Columbia, South Carolina), electronic newspaper, archived, (]: accessed 12 January 2017), Mrs. Bessie Price, p.9

                                                                   Death Certificate of Bessie Price

South Carolina Department of Archives and History, “South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1961” database, Ancestry ( accessed 13 January 2017), entry for Mrs. Bessie M. Price, certificate number 10072 (1943).

Frank Price: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
State, The (Columbia, SC) - June 20, 2002
Deceased Name: Frank Price
WEST COLUMBIA - Services for Frank Earle Price, 87, will be held at 11 a.m. today at Faith Lutheran Church, conducted by the Rev. Tommy Lineberger, with burial in Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Bethlehem Circle, Leesville. Pallbearers will be Scott Broam, Harold Davis, Rick Gartman, Michael Coffey, Brent Ridenhour, Jonathan Smith, Jamey Ricard and Larry Sease. Thompson Funeral Home of Lexington is in charge. Memorials may be made to Faith Lutheran Church.
Mr. Price died Tuesday, June 18, 2002. Born in West Columbia, he was the son of the late Campbell Bertrand and Bessie Mae Eargle Price. He had been a lifelong area resident and was a member of Faith Lutheran Church. He was a lifetime member of the PTA, treasurer of Faith Lutheran Church Sunday School and had retired as secretary of ACTW Union. He had retired from M. Lowenstien-Pacific Mills.
Surviving are his wife, Drucie S. Price of West Columbia; sons and daughters-in-law, Reginald L. and Brenda Price of Lexington, Edsel B. and Sandy Price of Leesville; granddaughter and spouse, D'Etta Price and Scott Broam of Lexington; great-grandchildren, Hannah Broam and Noah Broam. He was predeceased by a son, Edwin Earle Price and a granddaughter, Merika Lynne Price.
Edition: FINAL
Page: B4
Copyright (c) 2002 The State

The State, (Columbia, South Carolina), electronic newspaper, archived, (]: accessed 20 June 2002) Frank Price, p.B4

Click to watch the Hangout for Chapter 3

Next week, I will be at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and won't be able to participate in the study group. My plan is to rewrite on of my assignments as requested and submit it. 
Week 4's Hangout will be archived so I will watch and share.

Missed a Chapter? Here are the links to previous Study Groups.
Chapter 1
Chapter 2

What can I do to help you discover your ancestors? Please contact me!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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