25 June 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where Was My Family in 1866?


Randy Seaver over at GeneaMusings is the place to be for genealogy fun on a Saturday night.  This week the challenge is to locate where all of your family was living in 1866.

I haven't played along since well . . .since forever!  This looked like fun so here is where my family was in 1866.

2nd great grandparents Gerhard Befort & Anna Maria Stecklein were living in Obermonjou, Samara Volga, Russia.

2nd great grandparents Johann Adam Ernst & Anna Maria Kemper were living in Marienthal, Saratov Volga, Russia.

2nd great grandfather John Fred Borgstadter was living in Hitzhausen, Germany.

2nd great grandmother Mary Elizabeth Hobrock was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents), Henry Hobrock & Mary Erk and her 2 sets of grandparents (my 2 sets of 4th great grandparents) Christian Hobrock & Gertrude Erk and Valentine Thron & Margaret Beier all in Beardsville, Cass County, Illinois.

2nd great grandfather Louis Ernst Besson was living in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany.

2nd great grandmother Sarah Jane Solomon was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents) James Arthur Solomon & Angeline Fulton in Moultrie County, Illinois.  Her grandfather (my 4th great grandfather) Peter Solomon was living in Clark County, Illinois.

2nd great grandfather Joseph Payne Skillman was living with his parents (my 3rd great grandparents) Josiah Payne Skillman & Lavinia Thomas Wilson in Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Missouri.

2nd great grandmother Sallie Davis Wilson was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents) Berry Wilson & Catherine Elizabeth Rees and her grandmother (my 4th great grandmother) Mariah Fristoe Rees in Georgetown, Pettis County, Missouri.

2nd great grandfather Earnest Francis Sheern was living with his parents (my 3rd great grandparents) James Sheern & Ann Emily Leseure in Allamakee County, Iowa.

2nd great grandmother Jennie Delaney was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents) Daniel Derondo Delaney & Ellen Collins in Waterville, Marshall County, Kansas.

2nd great grandfather George Wesley Harris was living his parents (my 3rd great grandparents) H.A.T. Harris & M.A.F. Bess, his grandparents (my 4th great grandparents) Peter Bess & Sarah Beam, his great grandfather (my 5th great grandfather) Boston Bess and his great grandmother (my 5th great grandmother) Mary Ann Wacaster Beam all in Lincoln County, North Carolina.  His grandmother (my 4th great grandmother) Mildred Naylor Harris was living in Surry County, North Carolina.

2nd great grandmother Minda Ellen Wallace was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents) Samuel Wallace & Nancy Brown in Yadkin County, North Carolina.

2nd great grandfather William Campbell Berry II was living with his parents (my 3rd great grandparents) William Campbell Berry I & Mary Ping and his grandparents (my 4th great grandparents)  Bolen Green Ping & Sophia Barnes all in Des Moines County, Iowa.  His grandfather (my 4th great grandfather) John P. Berry was living in Mahaska County, Iowa.

2nd great grandmother Laura Cordelia Robinson was living with her parents (my 3rd great grandparents) David Robinson & Margaret Bowman in Des Moines County, Iowa. 

21 June 2016

Communicating With Hand Fans



Besides being an important woman's fashion accessories, hand fans help to regulated air temperature, concealed flirtatious blushes, and protected a woman from insects and nature’s harsh elements.

They were also a most important courtship tool.  A common fan language, known to both women and men, developed from what seemed  to be innocent fan fluttering. Fan movements became a way to convey messages about emotions and love based on well-known etiquette rules. 



The more common fan movements and their meanings included:


  • A rested fan on the right check meant “yes” and on the left “no.”
  • Placing the handle of a fan to a woman’s lips or pressing a half-opened fan to the lips indicated a kiss was allowed.
  • A twirled fan in the right hand meant “I love another” but twirled in the left indicated “we are being watched.”
  • Shutting a fan fully and opening it slowly was a promise of marriage. 
  • A shut fan held to a woman’s heart meant the man had won her heart.
  • Fanning quickly meant a woman was engaged or in love.
  • Fanning slowly meant a woman was married

I am guessing that this woman and her fans had no problem communicating her intentions.


The kind of fan a woman owned was based on her social status ranging from one bought by street vendors or given away as advertisments


to those that were almost works of art - hand painted, mother of pearl, gold, precious jewels.



To educate yourself on the history of fans here are a few items to help you out:

The 18th Century: The Language of the Fans

Download for free a 311 page book "History of the Fan" by George Woolliscroft Rhead.

Article by Louisa Parr - "The Fan"
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 79, June to November 1889, pp 399-409

"The Fan Book" by Martin Percival

The History of the Fan

The Hand Fan Museum located in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California


All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


23 May 2016

DAR Guidelines For Use of DNA in Applications For Membership

During the last panel discussion of Dear Myrtle's ESM QuickLessons Study Group there was mention of DNA and the DAR acceptance of using it in applications for membership.

I am totally clueless when it comes to DNA.  While for some genealogists it is a passion and has become their niche in the professional world, for others - not so much.  I think I have most of the basics down and have done tests for mtdna and autosomal, but that is as far as I have gone.

I felt bad, not being able to describe succinctly, DAR's position on the subject. So to redeem myself, here are the guidelines that DAR has in place for use of DNA in applications for membership straight from their public website :

Due to the 150-200 year time frame (approximately 6-8 generations) at which the most recent common ancestor can be statistically identified, DNA evidence can, in most cases, only be used as proof of the link from the Revolutionary War ancestor to his son.

Because the study of DNA for genealogy purposes is based on the interpretation of test results within the confines of the available traditional genealogy sources, DNA is considered to be indirect evidence of lineage. As with any other type of indirect evidence, DNA will only be considered as proof of lineage when direct evidence is not available. DNA evidence must also be supported by sufficient indirect evidence to conclusively identify the most recent common ancestor. An explanation detailing the efforts undertaken to locate direct evidence of the relationship must be included as part of the DNA submission. This explanation must also describe the indirect evidence that was located to support the identification of the most recent common ancestor.

Because Y-DNA is passed only through the male line, it’s important to note that only lineages that descend through the unbroken male line can be used as part of this process. The use of any DNA (including Y-DNA) for genealogical purpose requires the comparison of test results from multiple individuals representing multiple lineages. In order for this comparison process to work within the confines of current DAR standards for proof of lineage, at least two individuals must be tested: one to prove the new male line of descent from the patriot through which the applicant descends and one who descends through a male line of descent that has been previously established by the DAR through traditional, direct genealogical evidence. This process cannot currently be used as proof for recent generations (ie: the applicant’s father, grandfather or great-grandfather) or to establish a new patriot ancestor for whom no previous lineage as been established for comparison.

All submissions of DNA evidence must include DNA test results for at least two males that meet very specific criteria. The first male to be tested must be a close relative of the applicant who descends through the same unbroken male line from the Revolutionary War patriot. This male must share the applicant’s maiden name or her mother’s maiden name. Potential candidates for a lineage through the applicant’s maiden name could include her brother, father, father’s brother, paternal grandfather, and paternal grandfather’s brother; or for a lineage through the mother’s maiden name, her mother’s father, her mother’s brother, her mother’s brother’s son, etc.

The second male tested must be a descendant of the same Revolutionary War ancestor through a different, unbroken male lineage that has been previously proven on a DAR application or supplemental (ie: the father, brother or nephew (brother’s son) of a DAR member). The previously verified DAR application to which this second test subject connects must meet current DAR standards for proof of dates, places and relationships. If the previously verified application is deficient in any of these standards, additional documentation may be required.

Because the foundation of the use of Y-DNA as proof for lineage on a DAR application is the currently available statistical analysis of such test results, the DAR will only accept Y-DNA results that meet specific criteria for both the nature of the test and the results of the test. The DAR will only accept lineages for which a specific set of 37 markers have been tested and for which the results show an exact match between the two tested males on all 37 of those markers. In addition, the outlined lineages from both tested individuals must demonstrate that the most recent common ancestor was born within 150-200 years of the births of the tested individuals.

In addition to the DNA test results and supporting indirect evidence that meet the previously outlined criteria, the applicant must also submit the documentation to establish the complete lineage from herself to the patriot. All relationships, apart from the one link for which DNA is being submitted as proof, must be proven through direct evidence. No other analyses may be submitted as proof for any other relationship on the application form.  The applicant must then provide direct evidence of her relationship with the tested male in her lineage.

The applicant must also provide direct evidence of the relationship between the second tested male and the member for whom the other lineage from the Revolutionary War patriot has been previously verified. If the previously verified lineage does not meet current DAR standards for proof of dates, places or relationships, the applicant must submit the documentation required to fulfill those requirements.

In order to justify the statistical analysis concerning the relationships between these individuals, and to identify the most recent common ancestor, the dates (exact or estimated) and places of birth of both sons of the patriot must be documented using acceptable sources.

20 May 2016

A Most Unusual Genealogical Record


How many of you have family history recorded by an ancestor on a piece of furniture?  

I can cross this off my bucket list of "great records that only OTHER people seem to find."

The photo is of the bottom of a dresser drawer that my paternal grandmother - Myrtle Mae Borgstadter Beffort - wrote on to record the provenance of the dresser.  It also relates a bit of my lineage from my 3rd great grandparents to my great grandmother.

The photo above is the James and Angeline Solomon family.  They are shown seated on the porch.  Angeline is holding the youngest of their 12 children on her lap.  All of the children in the photo are theirs with the exception of the man standing on the far left.  He is a nephew of James and Angeline.  The woman standing between James and Angeline is Sarah Jane Solomon, my 2nd great grandmother.  

My grandmother wrote on the drawer that the family moved about the time of the Civil War.  Actually the family moved from Moultrie County, Illinois to Tescott, Ottawa County, Kansas about 1883.  The family group photo was taken on the front porch of their home in Tescott in 1884.

If the family knew what laid in store for them when they moved to Kansas, they might have never left Illinois.  James Solomon died one year after their arrival, just a month after this photo was taken.

In February 1885, the 13 year old daughter of James and Angeline died.

James' brother John Solomon had moved his wife and 10 children at the same time from Illinois to Kansas.  John's youngest son died in September 1885, his oldest son in November 1885 and then  John himself died a month later in December 1885.

A month later in January 1886, the oldest son of James Solomon died.

1887 there was one more death - my 3rd great grandmother Angeline Fulton Solomon.

All of these deaths were attributed to cholera.

In 1895, the home of my 2nd great grandparents Louis Besson and Sarah Solomon burned to the ground and their 5 year old son lost his life in that incident.

In 1896,  the two families went through another epidemic losing 7 family members to to cholera.  My 2nd great grandmother was one of those dying at the very young age of 27.

In the family photo above, they all appear to be well fed, well clothed and happy.  I find it so very tragic that these two families managed to raise almost all their children to young adults without incident.  Until they decided to move West for a better life.

15 May 2016

Family Lore - Are The Stories True?



I am a panelist in the ESM QuickLessons study group.  We are now at lesson #7.  All of my homework for the previous sessions are on Google Docs.  I decided to start posting my homework here on my blog so everyone has access to it and hopefully learn a thing or two.

I invite everyone to watch the weekly sessions that are the creation of Dear Myrtle who also moderates the discussions.  To watch archived videos of past sessions click HERE.  To watch the sessions live - Wednesdays at 9:00 am Pacific time - click HERE.

Sheri Fenley
Homework for 18 May 2016


Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-7-family-lore-and-indian-princesses : accessed 1 May 2016).



I have always wished for an ancestor that was famous or had been a part of an important historical event. I have come across many collateral relatives that had some great moments in time, but not my direct blood line – until I found a wonderful story about my 5th great grandfather Richard Thomas III.



The story told was that Richard was a minister of the Rockbridge Baptist Church in Bourbon County, Kentucky. The church was organized in 1793 and was one of the early “Primitive Baptist” churches of the Kentucky frontier. While out on a walk one day he came across the bones of Edward Boone, the brother of Daniel Boone. Apparently the spot was on a river bank and water had washed the soil away. Rev. Thomas took the remains and re-interred them in his church's cemetery.

That is a story that is so weird it might possibly be true. I thought it was worth the research time to find out.

After days of searching, I ended up in a maze of manuscripts called the Draper Collection. Here I found several references to the story:

Letter from Sarah Boone Hunter to Lyman Draper, October 6, 1855, Draper Mss 22C54-55

Nathan Boone, son of Daniel, reported on Edward’s death to Draper, Mss. 31C100-101

Letter to Lyman Draper from John Scholl, grandson of Edward and son of Peter Scholl and Mary Boone, daughter of Edward. Draper Mss. 22S269 & 270.

Daniel Bryan, son of William Bryan and Mary Boone, Draper Mss.31C101-102

Joshua Pennington, son of Edward’ sister Hannah, 1854 Draper Mss. 23C43

Information from the above tells this story:

The date is 6 October 1780, Daniel Boone and his brother Edward were returning from a hunting and salt making trip in the Blue Licks when they stopped at a creek to let their horses cool and graze. Daniel decided to go off and hunt while Edward stayed with the horses.

As Edward sat alone beneath a buckeye tree, a group of Shawnee warriors sneaked up and shot him. Hearing the shots, Daniel looked back in horror and saw the Indians standing over Edward’s dead body. Spotting Daniel off in the distance, the Indians released their dog. Daniel brought down the animal with a shot from his rifle and managed to escape back to Boone Station.

Edward’s daughter, Sarah Boone Hunter, in a letter to Lyman Draper, said:

"My father was killed 40 miles from the Station. He was stabbed in 7 places; his fingers were horribly cut with the Indian’s knife. He was scalped and part of his clothing were taken off. I think his coat and pantaloons."

In a newspaper article - "Circumstances Surrounding The Death And Burial Of Edward Boone, Brother Of Famed Frontier Explorer", by Edna Talbott Whitley, The Kentuckian-Citizen, December 12, 1958 - it tells us of over 30 men who went with Daniel Boone the day after his brother's death to bury his body on the site he was killed. Several of these men gave depositions to attest to this fact and can be found in the Draper Manuscripts.

But, the primary source document for Edward Boone’s reburial in the Rockbridge Graveyard is a written account taken by Lyman Draper himself. In an interview, held about 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, William T. Wilson, native of Bourbon County, Kentucky and son of Capt. Henry Wilson (my 5th great grandfather), described the event to Draper.

Wilson, according to Draper, was "long familiar" with the Boone Creek area. Wilson was in a position to know about Elder Thomas reburying Edward Boone. Wilson's brother, Lewis Wilson, married Elder Richard Thomas’s daughter, Sarah A. Thomas (Lewis Wilson and Sarah Anderson Thomas are my 4th great grandparents). This makes William T. Wilson either a primary source (an eye witness to the event) or a very credible secondary source.

In the interview, Wilson draws a plat locating the Rockbridge Baptist Church in relation to Boone Creek and described what happened:

"Millersburg, Ky is some 8 miles below the mouth of Boone’s Creek – a half mile yet higher up the creek to the spring where Edward Boone was buried. The Upper Blue Licks are about 15 miles from Boone’s Lick & the Lower Blue Licks about 20 miles distant. About 1827, the bones of Edward Boone became exposed to view where they were buried, in the road, by the washing of water, near the bank of the creek & close to the spring, & the Rev. Richard Thomas had them removed and re-interred a mile off in the Rockbridge Baptist Church Yard."



So the story is true, right? At the time, when I did the above research, I felt it was true.

Just a couple of months ago, I came across a couple of newspaper articles that now make me question my original thoughts. The first is an article entitled “Pioneer Grave” from the Bourbon News [Bourbon County, Kentucky] dated Tuesday June 29, 1897, page 4, column 3.



After reading this, and noticing that it makes no mention of the re-internment of the remains by Richard Thomas, I am not so sure about the story.

Then I come across this fairly recent article entitled “Descendants want to know where Ned Boone is buried” from the Corbin Times-Tribune [Knox County, Kentucky] dated Thursday November 25, 2004, page 6A, column 1.



It seems that the Boone Society thinks the story is true. I am guessing that they did research in the Draper Manuscripts like I did and came to the same conclusion – that the story is most likely true.

Richard Thomas III is my 5th great grandfather. I am very proud of this particular ancestor. Richard served in the Revolutionary War as a private in Captain Lytle's Company in Colonel William Taylor's North Carolina Regiment. He was discharged in June, 1778, at Valley Forge, after having served General George Washington himself. Richard's brother, General Philemon Thomas, was the commanding general who took Baton Rouge in the War of 1812.

Richard Thomas was born 19 October 1758 in Orange County, North Carolina to Richard Thomas II and Frances Hawkins. On 19 November 1794, Richard married Elizabeth Bowles, the daughter of Jesse Bowles and Hannah Perkins. I descend through their daughter Sarah Anderson Thomas who married Lewis Wilson.

Richard wrote an article for the "Western Citizen" on 30 April 1825 at the height of the controversy between the Old and New Court of Appeals.

Some Reflections of Affairs on the Present State of Government
by an Old Soldier of the Revolutionary War of 1776

I served four campaigns in that war, am now in the 66th year of my age and have nothing to fear on my own account - yet my sympathies are engaged for my children, my brethren, and my country. Every energy of my mind runs out in desire that minorities and majorities shall possess equal rights, that no power shall rest in the hands of a majority to trample on the rights of any. That power lodged anywhere to trample the rights of others is tyranny. I have conscientiously expressed my belief as to where the master spirits of the store are endeavoring to bring us in the following sheets: To establish Tyranny among us and destroy our present Republican Government and believing that there are thousands now led astray, who are honest and firm republicans in heart I entreat you for your own sakes, and that of your children, reflect before it is too late. With the warmest feelings and sincere wishes for the prosperity of my country I remain a sincere friend to equal liberty and rights.

The Draper Manuscripts are a 491 volume collection of letters, genealogical and historical notes, land records, newspaper clippings, and interview notes pertaining to the frontier history and settlement of the old Northwest and Southwest Territories of the United States from the 1740s to 1830.

491 volumes divided into 50 series of varying lengths. Each series is titled by a geographic area, by a subject, or by the name of a prominent frontier leader:

A George Bedinger Papers Vo. 1
B Draper's Life of Boone Vol. 1-5, 7-9
C Boone Papers Vol. 1-6, 10-33
D Border Forays Vol. 1-5
E Brady and Wetzel Papers Vol. 1-16
F Joseph Brant papers Vol. 1-22
G Brant Miscellanies Vol. 1-3
H Daniel Broadhead Papers Vol. 1-3
J George Rogers Clark Papers Vol. 1-64
K George Rogers Clark Misc….. Vol. 1-5
L Jonathan Clark Papers Vol. 1-2
M William Clark Papers Vol. 1-6
N William Croghan Papers Vol. 1-3
O Daniel Drake Paper Vol. 1-2
P Draper's Biographical Sketches Vol. 1-3
Q Draper's Historical Misc… Vol. 1-8
R Draper's Memoranda Books Vol. 1-3
S Draper's Notes Vol. 1-33
T Thomas Forsyth Papers Vol. 1-9
U Frontier Wars Papers Vol. 1-24
V Georgia, Alabama & So. Carolina Papers Vol. 1
W Josiah Harmar Papers Vol. 1-2
X William Henry Harrison Vol. 1-5
Y Thomas S. Hinde Papers Vol. 1-41
Z Illinois Papers Vol. 1
AA William Irving Papers Vol. 1-2
BB Simon Kenton Papers Vol. 1-13
CC Kentucky Papers Vol. 1-36
DD Kings Mountain Papers Vol. 1-18
EE London Documents At Albany Vol. 1
FF Mecklenburg Declaration, By Draper Vol. 1-3
GG Mecklenburg Declaration Papers Vol. 1-3
HH Mecklenburg Declaration Misc….. Vol. 1-2
JJ Newspaper Extracts Vol. 1-4
KK North Carolina Papers Vol. 1
LL Paris Documents at Albany Vol. 1
MM Robert Paterson Papers Vol. 1-3
NN Pittsburg and Northwest Virginia Papers Vol. 1-10
OO Pension Statements Vol. 1
PP Potter Papers Vol. 1
QQ William Preston Papers Vol. 1-6
RR Rudolph-Noy Papers Vol. 1-10
SS David Shepherd Papers Vol. 1-5
TT South Carolina Papers Vol. 1
UU South Carolina In The Revolution Misc…… Vol. 1-2
VV Thomas Sumter Papers Vol. 1-24
WW John Cleves Symmes Papers Vol. 1-4
XX Tennessee Papers Vol. 1-7
YY Tecumseh Papers Vol. 1-13
ZZ Virginia Papers Vol. 1-16


For further information on the Draper Manuscript Collection, the following links are ones I found to be very useful:





At Internet Archive - www.archive.org - there are 51 books (some are indexes of some of the volumes) about the Draper Manuscripts.

20 April 2016

Civil War Beefcake - You're Welcome.

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society will be installing a display in the glass case located in the foyer of the Troke Library in Stockton, California.  The theme is military.  Our speaker for the May 19th meeting is Craig Manson who will talk about military records.  So keeping this in mind we decided to use each of the 4 shelves to depict a different war. 

In my searching for things Civil War-ish, I came across photos at the Library of Congress website of Civil War soldiers.  

I have to share some of the photos that made my heart go pitter-patter.  I know it sounds a little cougar-ish (and it probably is) but these young men are so handsome.  I defy you to disagree!

So here a few pieces of eye candy.  You're welcome.

















22 March 2016

ESM QuickLessons Study Group With Dear Myrtle



I am excited to be a part of a study group discussion panel led by Dear Myrtle.  This time around the subject of our discussions will be the QuickLessons by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Over on ESM's website - Evidence Explained - there are 22 QuickLessons that teach us about historical analysis, citations and source usage.  The panel will explore each of them every Wednesday for the next 22 weeks.  

The panel members are:









The 60-minute sessions will be held Wednesdays as follows:

Noon Eastern US (New York)
11am Central US (Chicago)
10am Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City)
9am Pacific US (Los Angeles)

To view the Hangouts, click over to Dear Myrtle's site for instructions.

Each panelist must complete a homework assignment each week before the discussion takes place.  We are to read each QuickLesson and then share an example from our own research and how it relates to that particular lesson.  

The value in participating in a study group is that everyone brings something different to the table and we can learn from each other's viewpoint.

My homework for week #2:

Sheri Fenley
Homework for 23 March 2016

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof,”
Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-2-sources-vs-information-vs-evidence-vs-proof : [accessed 19 March 2016]).

“When we have conflicts between sources, we cannot count how many sources agree and how many disagree, then go with the “consensus.””

A recent DAR application I submitted was put on hold due to the requirement of complete dates of birth and death for the first three generations. The issue was a complete date of birth for Elmer Garrett who is in generation three - all I had provided was a year of birth.

The death certificate of Elmer Garrett gives only his age at death - 39 - giving him a birth year of 1878.

There is no birth certificate for Elmer Garrett because the State of Indiana vital records don't start until 1882, statewide registration wasn't required until 1907 and general compliance wasn't until 1920.

Alternative records that might give an exact date of birth for Elmer Garrett were searched:

1) WWI DRAFT REGISTRATION - Elmer Garrett died in 1917 and therefore did not register for the draft. A search was done anyway and no record was found

2) MARRIAGE RECORDS - Elmer Garrett married Mabel Bilby on 2 December 1907 in Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. The document only gives his age at the time the document was created - 29 - giving him a birth year of 1878.

3) CENSUS RECORDS

In the 1880 census for Pleasant Township, Coffey County, Kansas Elmer Garrett, age 3, is found residing with his parents giving him a birth year of 1877.

In the 1885 Kansas State census for Shellrock Township, Greenwood County Elmer Garrett, age 9, is found residing with his parents giving him a birth year of 1876.

In the 1895 Kansas State census for Shellrock Township, Greenwood County Elmer Garrett, age 18, is found residing with his parents giving him a birth year of 1877.

The 1900 U.S. census gives the month and year of birth of all persons enumerated. An exhaustive search has been done for Elmer Garrett in this census without success. The most likely places that Elmer would have resided in 1900 would be near his parents who were found residing in Shellrock Township, Greenwood County, Kansas or near his future wife Mabel Bilby who was living with her parents Oscar and Fannie Bilby in Township 26, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma Territory . A page by page search was done for Greenwood and all adjacent counties - Lyon, Coffey, Woodson, Wilson, Elk, Butler and Chase - and a page by page search for townships adjacent to Township 26, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma Territory for Elmer Garrett and was not found. A search for Elmer Garret residing anywhere in the 1900 census was done using every conceivable spelling variation and still he was not found

In 1907 a census of Indian and Oklahoma territories, comprising the proposed state of Oklahoma, was taken. However, only the schedules for Seminole County exist.

In the 1910 census a search for Elmer Garrett found him in the household of his parents T.J. and Susan Garrett residing in Ward 5, Ponca City, Kay County, Oklahoma. He is age 32 which gives him a birth year of 1878. However his name has a line drawn through it. The instructions given to the enumerators state that only persons residing full time in the household are to be listed. Elmer most likely was visiting his parents and the enumerator started to list him as residing in the household. The enumerator only listed Elmer's name and age and then stopped and drew a line through it indicating the enumerator was in error. A page by page search was done for all of Kay and adjacent counties - Osage, Noble, Grant and Garfield - as well as Cowley County, Kansas for Elmer Garrett with no success. The parents of Mabel Bilby Garrett, Elmer's wife, resided in Red Fork Township, Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma and a page by page search was done for Tulsa and adjacent counties - Washington, Rogers, Wagoner, Okmulgee, Creek, Pawnee and Osage - for Elmer Garrett and was not found. A search for Elmer Garret residing anywhere in the 1910 census was done using every conceivable spelling variation and still he was not found.

4) LAND RECORDS - A search was done at the Bureau of Land Management in Oklahoma with no results for Elmer Garrett. A search was conducted at the Oklahoma State Historical Society again with no results. A search was done at the Oklahoma State Archives and Library with no results.

5) NEWSPAPERS - a search for an obit or mention of Elmer Garrett in newspapers was done at the following websites: Newspaperarchive.com, Genealogybank.com, Obitarchives.com, Newspapers.com, Chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, The Gateway to Oklahoma History and none was found.

6) PROBATE RECORDS - A document from the 1912 probate file of T.J. Garrett (Elmer's father) states that Elmer is age 35 at the time the document was created - 1912 - giving him a birth year of 1877. A search of the probate records of Tulsa County and Kay County, Oklahoma was done for Elmer Garrett and none were found.

7) CEMETERY RECORDS - The death certificate of Elmer Garrett states that burial was in Ponca City, Kay County, Oklahoma but does not give the name of the cemetery. There are seven cemeteries in and near Ponca City, Kay County, Oklahoma and none had a record of burial for Elmer Garrett:

Blaine Park Cemetery of Cross
Odd Fellows Cemetery
Oak Grove Cemetery
Grace Episcopal Church Columbarium
St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
Longwood Cemetery
Resthaven Sunset Memorial Park

8) ONLINE WEBSITES - The following websites were searched for Elmer Garrett and nothing was found:
Pioneer Genealogical Society - Kay County, Oklahoma
Ponca City Library
Kay County Oklahoma GenWeb
Tulsa Genealogical Society
Tulsa City-County Library
Tulsa Historical Society
Tulsa County GenWeb
Oklahoma GenWeb
Oklahoma Historical Society
Oklahoma Genealogical Society
University of Oklahoma Digital Libraries

“. . . we often find the roots of our problem by thoughtfully considering three things—source by source, line by line: the quality of each source we used, the quality of the information taken from those sources, and the nature of the evidence we drew from the information we found. “

In this particular case I didn't resolve the conflict regarding the year of birth, much less locate a complete date of birth. I don't know what other document I could have tried to find that would resolve this problem. From the records found the year of birth ranges from 1876 to 1878.

The DAR application was verified after I submitted a report showing that I had done reasonably exhaustive research to locate a complete date of birth and had not found one.