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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Guest Genealogist Barbara Brown Answer Part 2

Guest Genealogist Barbara Brown Response, Part 2. See Part 1 of Barbara's answer (published Nov. 13/09) to Marcia's challenging question

You state that you do not know James' first wife's name. That should be among the first goals for your research. You know the names of his children by that first wife, we know that Elizabeth lived until 1847. Find the death information for Elizabeth, and perhaps you will discover her mother's name. Do the same for her siblings. See the Ancestor Death Record Finder for help with finding death records.

Armed with a name for James' first wife, you can then look for their marriage. Church records may have parents' names or the names of witnesses. Witnesses are often (but not always) related and offer another avenue of research for you. Marriage bonds are usually good pointers to older male relatives (but of course, not always). Of significant help in finding early parents are, surprisingly, brothers-in-law. For example, there may be several James Baggotts, but only one has a sister Hermione who is married to a Saul Leffingwell.

When you find [e.g.] Saul and Hermione Leffingwell selling a piece of land to James Beggit of Ohio as "distribution of estate" you have a probable winner....And once you have collected the in-law names, you can look through Virginia wills & estates records and find like-named devisees to point the way to earlier generations. You may want to see Ancestor Marriage Record Finder for help finding marriage records.

You have James' date and location of death. Have you looked for probate records? Or obituaries? From the 1850 / 1860 census, it looks as though the children of the second marriage were all born in Ohio. I used the census records on but these are now coming online on Footnote,comicon too.

When did James and Mary marry? Are there cemetery indices for that county James lived in at the time of his 2nd marriage? Are there female Baggots buried there who died before James' second marriage (and after the birth of Martha the youngest child of the first marriage)?

You have so many opportunities for new knowledge about this family. I hope that you enjoy the process.

And I know that you will be successful. While I was writing this response to your query, I did a bit of looking about. I followed William and George and Martha and James P Baggott. And there is quite a bit to be found, and a large number of descendants for your James Baggott. And a little gift: write Lorine at (replace AT with @) and she will give you the details. Martha Baggott married quite well; she was still living in 1900 in New York, replete with many servants. As she was active in the social scene there, I am sure that you will be able to find a glowing obituary for her, as well as very extensive estate papers.

1 comment:

  1. Barbara, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer my question in such detail. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck -- literally -- to think what I might be able to find, thanks to your insight. I'll write Lorine immediately and then get right to work. Thanks again, and a happy Thanksgiving to you! Marcia