Snow storms can sometimes be a good thing…

I have only managed to get in to work one Monday this month due to the weather. This Monday was no exception. But I have to say it was a productive snow day.

As I have been pretty much in full time genealogy mode these past two months a lot of my free time has been spent doing something related to research: organizing, contemplating, clearing out. Yesterday I was going through some Buchanan material which my lovely, sometime assistant, Larisa, sent me from the clan meet she went to last year. After reading the general material over, I started looking through the Buchanan records I had and where the research stood regarding them. In the process I realized that while we have a bit of information on the Buchanans, William Buchanan’s wife, Margaret Mobely, was a mystery. So I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

I knew Margaret’s birth name because it was listed on her daughter Jane Buchanan Shepard’s death registration. So my first thought was to find an actual death registration for Margaret. She was entered in my records as having died in 1881, but the information wasn’t sourced properly.

My first stop was the Virginia State Archives online death index. I found an entry for a Marg Buckhannon, died February 13, 1883 of consumption, the parents were listed as William and Sarah Mabley. Hmmmm, that seemed to be a mighty nice coincidence to me, Mabley/Mobley. Especially since Margaret and William Buchanan named one of their daughters Sarah. The other interesting bit from this record tells me that Margaret was born about 1832 and not 1810 as I had found somewhere in the past. Underneath her listing in the online death registration book is, probably, her husband William Buckhannon who died in 1891 at 65, Margaret died at 51. Neither of these records match the improperly sourced bit I had in my records. (The first rule for all beginning genealogists – SOURCE EVERYTHING! and source is properly.)

So I have probably found Margaret’s death record, which changes the dates in my records, and adds a possible parentage. All of these records were found in Jackson County, West Virginia, not Wood County, where my previous searches has been. Which makes sense too as the 1880 census had them living in Jackson County. Something I missed when trying to find the vital records years earlier.

The next step was to try and find Margaret’s parents in the census records. It is possible that I have, but I do not know for sure. As Margaret was married by 1850, she would not be found in any censuses with her parents as anything but a number (individuals were not listed on census records until 1850, previous censuses only listed the head of household’s name). The census records I found for her possible parents were all in Marshall County, Virginia with another early record in Belmont County, Ohio. It looks like I have another couple counties to add to my research list for my trip to SLC.

All-in-all a satisfactory day. Of course this was all a carefully devised diversion, just so I wouldn’t have to shovel the 12″+ of snow that was coming down. (Shhh don’t tell hubby.)