I have been working very hard for almost two years now on writing a book about my African American ancestors. It has been the most challenging and rewarding project I've ever done.
About a month ago, I decided it was time for self-publishing. I had all of the text and photos laid out, I had done four rounds of editing with various friends, and I was pleased with the final result. That day, though, some new historical records became available for free online: the Alabama Statewide Deaths 1908-1974. It was a gold mine!!! I found so many records I could barely handle them all. But then my heart sank as I searched through records for the Magruders and found this:
Name: Annie B. Lampkins
Death date: 26 Nov 1940
Death place: Tuskegee, Macon, Alabama
Age at death: 46y
Estimated birth year: 1894
Spouse's name: Simon Lampkins
Father's name: George Mcgruder
Mother's name: Sally Fitzpatrick
I found out that the Annie Belle Magruder (Demps) in MY family tree, my great-grandmother, is not the same Annie Belle Magruder whose parents are George Magruder and Sally Fitzpatrick. I linked her to the wrong parents. I'm very fortunate that I caught this HUGE error two days before I was going to publish my work!
Now my challenge is to find the right parents for my great-grandmother. So far, with these newly available death records, I have narrowed down two Annie B. Magruders that are NOT my ancestor: Annie B. Magruder Lampkins, mentioned above, and Annie Bell Magruder Appleby, whose parents are Lazarus and Lou Magruder (also mentioned in my family history). I am pretty much at a standstill until I can find the right parents, but because of the missing 1890 census, it will be a miracle when I find them.