Tip 08: Check all the Sites (More Booby Traps)
My very favorite site, Deathindexes.com, has this entry for the state of Louisiana.
Note that all three are listed as death indexes, even though FamilySearch actually has the complete death certificates which Ancestry does not have. So an extra credit booby trap is not checking all the sites where death indexes are available. This is also true for Chicago and who knows how many other places. They also cover different years.
I have been trying to figure out some matches who have been completely unresponsive. But they live in CA so I was able to find birth records for them, and a marriage record for the parents and trace them backwards. I landed in Louisiana, with a family who was from Mississippi. The father apparently died in 1920 in Mississippi. His name was Jackson. The other people who match them on 23andme and MyHeritgage were also Jacksons who also were from Mississippi, and lived in Louisiana. I have spent a number of months digging into Jacksons, convinced that these Jackson matches was a set of ancestors. I kept working on the Jacksons and I found one dying in Chicago, after which the family returned to Mississippi. I have been doing this for some months and by now I am a real Jackson expert. But I did not see how these different Jackson matches were connected in any way. But on 23andme, they all matched so I was convinced I needed to figure out the Jackson connection. They have been driving me crazy. Jacksons are exhausting.
So as is my own personal habit when I get stuck, I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through what I had. I realized that I did not have a death record for the wife born 1884 in MS living in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana in 1950. My brain came alive, and I thought that if I could find a death record, maybe I could find an obit that would help with this family. So I searched Ancestry which gave me nothing. I mean it acted like I was asking about a space alien. Ancestry refused all requests for a death record for a Mattie Jackson. So I started to search differently, I asked for any Jackson who died in Tangipahoa Parish. So, up popped the woman. Mattie Cane Jackson died 22 November in that parish. No year. But she was aged 79. This looked promising. So I went to the FamilySearch.org index which has actual death
certificates but it only goes to 1960. I was driven to the State index where I finally found that she died Nov 22, 1963, aged 79.
I get confused adding and subtracting years etc. from dates. So I use this site to figure it out. According to this site, from when she died, she was born between Nov 1893 and Nov 1884. Well, I found her in my very own tree in the middle of another family I have suffered over, born Feb 1884 according to the 1900 census.
So, you ask, why is this important?
Booby Trap one: Using Ancestry’s indexes. I do know better.
Booby trap two. The Social Security application from one of her sons says her name was Mattie King. So stupid me, I assumed he knew his mother’s name. Nope, it is not King, it is Cane. Now I have been researching Canes like crazy for many months also and this is not the first time I have seen this Cane/King switch. So Booby Trap two is assuming people know their mother’s maiden names.
Booby Trap three. The link between all these Jacksons is that they married Canes. The Jacksons are two different families and there is no connection that I have ever been able to find. Booby trap three, assuming that common names are related. It is like that old family story. Three brothers emigrated from England. One went north and one went west and one went South. If you have not heard this before, you have not been around long enough. All Smiths are not related. All Jacksons are not related.
How could I spend four months doing this to myself? Genealogy is humbling.