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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Put all your Genealogy Eggs in One Basket!

Donald's Question:
Hiram Walker was born in Tennessee in 1807 and married Judah George in 1827. According to the 1880 Census his father, Alexander Walker, was born in Ireland and his mother was born in Pennsylvania. Since the Walkers were early Methodist, I beleive they came from Ultser to Philadelphia about 1780-1800. I can't find them on any of the 1810 or 1820 Censuses or on any ships list. Any assistance would be appreciated!

Olive Tree Answer: Donald - Unless you have other sources which confirm Hiram's father's birth in Ireland, I would hesitate to embark on a research tour of Ulster resources based on one census entry.

What do we know about Hiram's father? We know that he (or at least his wife) was in Tennessee in 1807.

When did Hiram die? Do you have his obituary or his death certificate? I assume that you have documentation which provided the father's name as Alexander.

I hope that you have done all the usual checking: followed other Walkers born in Tennessee living near Hiram, searched Tennessee Grantor/grantee indices, consulted TSL newspaper index, found any Walkers born in Tennessee which are of a similar age, (e.g. have you looked at the 1850 Census on Ancestry.com for Polly Walker and her family? Polly born in Pennsylvania, her children state father was born in Virginia; three daughters Ann, Alcy, and Mary Walker White lived long enough to find death certificates for them).

You may want to have a look at the Ancestor Death Record Finder for more help with alternate ideas for death records other than obituaries or death certificates.

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