Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mary's FAN Club

In the last post, I was debating whether I was following the right family in my search for Mary Maddox Neff. However, Mary's FAN club was reinforcing my theory. Did you know that all of our ancestors have FAN clubs that may help us advance our research?

Elizabeth Shown Mills pioneered the acronym FAN club to stand for Friends, Associates and Neighbors. I prefer F to stand for Family.

Mary isn't my ancestor, but is actually in the FAN club of her brother, my ancestor. Researching all of the siblings is part of my research efforts. I've found that the more I learn about a family, the more I can learn about my ancestor. With today's DNA matching, broad family trees are even more important to facilitate connections.

Because I know a lot about the Maddox family, I noticed a very important clue in the 1860 census. The farmhand that was living in Mary's household was related to Mary through the marriage of yet another brother. It could have been coincidence, but it turned out that this clue helped keep me focused on the right family.

Learn about your ancestor's Family, Friends, Associates and Neighbors. Sometimes you can't find your ancestor, but you might find a member of their FAN club to lead you to the poorly written or badly indexed record of your ancestor.

Specific to researchers of the Maddox and Neff families of Pickaway County, Ohio, here's another look at the 1860 census for George M and Mary Maddox Neff.

Notice the farmhand, James A Talmadge. Mary's brother David married Mary Mariah Tammadge, the older sister of James. The spelling of the name varied between Tammadge and Talmadge, depending on the record. Based on the 1850 census, the two were siblings, children of Henry Talmadge.

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