17 September 2012

Moving Forward on Rufus D. Stephens

We've been blogging about Rufus D. Stephens today and his possible involvement in an 1805 era murder, but before I do too much work on him, it's time to stop and think a little.

There are a few things I need to do many of which revolve around making certain how many Rufus D. Stephens there are. I also need to keep in mind that Rufus might not always use his middle initial and that his middle initial could be read incorrectly in some cases.

Here are some things I need to do:
  • Search 1800-1850 census indexes and create a chart that includes each Rufus. Pay attention to the age of each Rufus. This will be done as part of an attempt to establish how many Rufus (D.) Stephens are around.
  • Stay focused on New York and surrounding areas. While it's possible that Rufus moved to South Carolina for a while, searches should stay focused on the northern part of the United States--and Canada.
  • Get maps of the areas where these individuals lived in order to prevent myself from making silly mistakes in regards to geography.
  • Review information on the known Rufus D.--including his 1850 census enumeration and his War of 1812 bounty land application. 
Should I use the online trees to get some clues? 

That's a loaded question. There are plusses and minuses to using the online trees to get information or ideas. At this point, I'm inclined to not really utilize the trees. This is largely because there can be so much "gunk" to sift through and I've already have enough "gunk" to sift through as it is.

Instead of the trees, I'm going to utilize Google Books in a hope to find additional items that may be on Rufus in addition to using the materials above. At some point, I'll need local records in those locations where the various Rufuses lived. I'll also search on Fold3 Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch, in addition to   Genealogybank.com . I'll avoid any online trees or user-submitted files for now.