Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Genealogist's Nightmare...

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
Gender: Female
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.

1 comment:

Jill Magruder Gatwood said...

Hi Kristen! I am a Magruder who has extensive information on white Magruder genealogy in the US. I've found a lot of info. on slaves (unfortunately) owned by my Magruder ancestors. I wonder if this could help in your search? I found your blog because I am very interested in learning about African American Magruders who may also be related to me by blood. It's certainly possible and I'd love to add those branches to my tree, too!