11 May 2013

A Warning About Warnings Out

Research in a new area often causes the researcher to utilize new materials with which they are unfamiliar. At least it should cause the researcher to utilize materials that are outside their comfort zone.

As time allows I continue to research on my newly discovered New England ancestors. After twenty-five years of not knowing much at all, I discovered a few years ago that my Midwestern great-grandmother's ancestry is centered in New England, including families that were on the Mayflower.

In an attempt to document members of this family, I've been working on a Samuel Sargent who lived in Addison, Vermont in the very early 1800s. He appears in the town records as having received what is termed a "warning out."

from Volume 5, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Deeds, Town Records for Addison, Vermont, page 1--obtained on FamilySearch.com.

The image above contains the reference to Samuel, who along with his wife Sarah, appears in the Addison records as having several children before the date of this document. The summons make no mention of why Samuel was warned.

I've got several things to learn about these records and about Samuel in order to better understand this record:
  • Could there be any other records regarding this "warning," perhaps newspaper records?
  • What were some things that could cause the "warning."
  • What was the purpose of the whole "warning out" process?
  • Was a "warning" the same as being "kicked out?" The answer is no.
  • Is this really my Samuel Sargent or were there other Samuels in the area at the same point in time?
  • Are there any other references to Samuel Sargent or other Sargents in these records?
  • How are the records indexed?

Citation reminder: We are a strong believer in citing genealogical source material in the spirit of Evidence ExplainedHowever, we choose not to include properly formatted citations in these blog posts. There's always enough information in the post to create a citation and full citations are included in my how-to newsletter Casefile Clues.