Saturday, August 05, 2006

Property Records May Help Correct the Record

I mentioned the use of property records to find an elusive spouse. But while I was doing that, I had a rather disturbing experience. I was at the site for the Department of Records of Jackson County, Missouri [I've praised this site often so it's worth showing the link again.] I was primarily looking at records pertaining to descendants of Ezekiel Johnson (1847-1933). The disturbing part was that I came across several records purportedly signed by individuals years after my previous information shows them as having died! The death dates in the case of the Johnson family come largely from the Social Security Death Index. But a challenge in the case of the Johnson family has been the use of similar first names in successive generations as well as the "commonness" of the surname. I've long been aware of these issues and have tried to be exceptionally careful as a result.

So now I'm going to have to retrace the descendants in one branch of the Johnson family to ensure the accuracy of the research.

An issue also arose in the property records related to one member of the Gines family. A probate document in the file puts her death 15 years later than does the SSDI.

Resolving these discrepancies is a project for this weekend. Again it demonstrates the importance and value of these property records.

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