02 December 2012

My Ira Was Not Murdering People In Bath

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 1888  

Paper: Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL)--obtained on 

This is how stories get started. The 29 August 1888 Springfield Daily Illinois State Journal contains a reference to an Ira Sarent shooting someone near Bath, Illinois. The name Ira Sargent is not all that common and some might be tempted to think it is "my" Ira Sargent who lived near Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1880.

However, a quick search of the 1880 census indicates there was an Ira Sargent there, aged apparently 26 and living with his father, James Sargent in Mason County's Bath Township. "My" Ira is enumerated elsewhere in 1880 and his father was not James.

Don't be tempted to connect with people until you've done a little bit of work. In this case, the census confirmed that this Ira was not mine.