Saturday, September 18, 2004

I'm not a Packrat . . . .I'm, uh, an Archivist

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?

So I had been looking for George Micheau's (1851?-1942?) forebears (see I'd Like to Teach the World to Gene). And I had a theory about that. Genealogy is like other evidentiary endeavors: theories, hypotheses, inferences, assumptions, and sometimes the outright WAG ("Wild A-- Guess," for the uninitiated), all play roles in getting to the "facts."

My theory was that George Micheau was the son of either John Micheau (b. 1796) or Auguste Micheau (b. 1799). Based on the evidence I'd seen, and the fact that any more evidence would be very unlikely to turn up, I was ready to settle on the "fact" that George Micheau was the son of Auguste Micheau. The evidence persuaded me that this was "more likely than not."

I was cleaning out some "old" files when I found the smoking gun in the form of the 1870 census of the village of Prairie du Rocher, Randolph County, Illinois. There was the following:

Misho, George 55
" Margret 36
" William 20
" George 18
" Chess 16
" Nicholas 14
" Antcinan 7

So . . .proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Maybe not, but I'm glad I never throw anything away!

1 comment:

amyrebba said...

LOL this one made me laugh. Been there, done that. I also rarely throw anything away. I'm just going to have to keep adding file cabinets. It's a good thing my hubby built me a large office.

I've often kept things just because of a gut feeling, but it wasn't until I gathered other pieces that the gut feeling paid off.