18 May 2007

1856 Iowa State Census

I always tell our trip participants not to spend too much time on the computer while at the Family History Library. However, it doesn't mean one should avoid the computer completely.
I had a half an hour before the Family History Library closed one evening this week and decided to give my Ira Sargent problem a "fresh try" without any of my notes. This is not always a good research procedure as occasionally it can waste time. However sometimes I have had success "re-researching" a family without all my "stuff" with me (including my assumptions).
A search at Ancestry.com revealed a "hit" for Ira Sargent that I had not noticed before and I saw one entry from the Davis County, Iowa 1856 for him and viewed it immediately. The name and age were consistent with my Ira Sargent and this Ira was not Iras I had already located. In about twenty minutes I learned more about this family, including a few apparent name changes and one apparent gender change by a census taker. In a later column for the Ancestry World Journal at Ancestry.com, we'll see what progress I made with this entry (and what progress I didn't make).
Those of you who know me know I don't do the "happy dance" and while this one hasn't solved my brick wall yet, came close to "doing" the "happy expletive" when I found this.