A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Chasing an Old Piece of Paper Again

Alexander McKee, the youngest child of the migration generation, was born 28 Feb 1927 in Ireland. The family emigrates when he's 10 years old. By 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Alexander is 34. Unlike his nephews (Joseph's sons), he seems not to volunteer at the beginning of the Civil War. However, in 1863, the Federal Government institutes a draft. Alexander is 36 and eligible.

With the recent release of the Civil War Draft Registration Records, I was able to find Alexander in the list in T5SR5W (Randolph County, Illinois), which is near Sparta...exactly where I would expect to find him. He is a Class 2 draftee.

From reading the description of the database, it appears that "actual draft registration records are available in NARA regional archives and sometimes contain more information than the consolidated lists." The right regional archive seems to be Great Lakes Region in Chicago, Illinois. However, because these are military records, could it be Nara Military Personnel Records in Saint Louis? I guess I'm in for some serious reading/searching on websites.

One reason to go on this little adventure is the possibility of gaining two pieces of information: a place of birth for Alexander and his mother's name (including her maiden name). So wish me luck while digging for yet another old piece of paper.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update to Agnes McKee + James Anderson

In my post yesterday, I noted my problems with deciphering the occupations for James and Agnes Dodd.

It turns out that what looked like "fs" in the occupation names turns out to be an old way of writing "ss." Peter, who is accustomed to looking at the English census and old English writing, was able to tell me that Agnes was a Dress maker. The best guess that Peter has for James is that he was a Glass maker. I've made notes in my database to remind me of this reading in case I happen upon another document that notes James' occupation.

Thank you Peter. I about went blind trying to "see" without understanding that I wasn't seeing at all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Agnes McKee + James Anderson

After thinking that I had exhausted all of the English records, I decided to do a barebones search for the Anderson family in the 1851 census. I entered the surname Anderson and the lived in place of Ashton Under Lyne. I started picking through the results and I hit the family...with one additional child that I didn't know about.

See England, Lancashire, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Household 108 (Wood Street):
James Anderson (b. 1805 Ireland) is ____ maker...I can't read what kind of maker.
Agnes Anderson (b. 1804 Ireland) is ____ maker...I can't read what kind of maker.
William Anderson (b. 1830 Ireland) is general labourer.
Alexander Anderson (b. 1833 Ireland) is shoe maker.
Agnes Anderson (b. 1834 Ireland) is cotton winder.
Mary Jane Anderson (b. 1837 Ireland) is a cotton winder.

James Anderson finally appears on a census! I've had scant information on him so finding this census showing the family association is a welcome record.

Agnes Anderson is indexed as Mary Anderson; however, when you look at the digitized copy, you can compare Agnes (wife's name) against Agnes (daughter's name) and see that they are the same. The digitized copy is difficult to read because the original is badly faded. Also, Agnes' 1804 birth date opens the possibility that she and her brother Joseph were twins. Twins run in the family mostly for female family members.

William is the "new" son. So far I haven't found much on him. Because he is not listed in his uncle Robert McKee's 1881 intestate letters, I'm working under the assumption that he dies before 1881. Not that my working assumption has done me any good to this point.

Alexander Anderson is noted as being a shoe maker, which is his listed occupation on subsequent censuses.

Agnes and Mary Jane are both there too, working as cotton winders. According to Wikipedia, children started working in Victorian England at age 7. They had to because no one was at home to take care of them and the money they made was necessary for the survival of the family.

Again, this experience reinforces the notion that researchers should track down every last census entry.