19 April 2010

Am I the Only One...? (Madness Monday)

...That thinks my 4th great grandfather Frederick Yount was still living on this earth after the year 1850 and even (gasp!) was married a second time?

I am not one who relies on other researchers to validate work I have done on my family tree. In the age of social media, however, you sometimes can't help giving a peak to what others say about your ancestor. Not to mention, collaboration is a good thing. Anyway, 99% (I use this percentage loosely; it's not likely I've seen all that is available) of what other researchers have posted online about my Frederick Yount is that he was married once (to my 4th great grandmother Polly Mayfield) and died in 1850 at Benton County, Missouri.

I debated on whether or not to add this viewpoint, and please note my opinion is not intended to offend anyone. It is, however, my opinion that of all the posters of information about my Frederick Yount that I browsed, it is likely only a handful are original thinkers. There are far more people out there that copy and paste or click and claim their family history. If you are a new researcher, I would take that as a "buyer beware" statement.

Anyway, the original point of my post is this: I challenge it all.

The first bit of information I have suggesting my 4th great grandfather was alive after 1850 is a land record. Ancestry's "U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907" lists five entries resulting from a search of Frederick Yount. I believe the first four are about my great grandfather. The entries show all the land was located in Bollinger County, Missouri. This is inconsistent with the date of the very first entry, however. Bollinger County was not formed until 1851, and the first entry is for 14 November 1837. If you view the image, however, you will see the document pertains to Frederick Yount "of Cape Girardeau County." This makes much more sense. That time, Frederick purchased forty acres. The next two entries are dated 10 August 1841 and 1 January 1850. Both say he was from Cape Girardeau County, and he purchased forty acres each time.

Then comes the final entry. It is dated 3 January 1856. This time Frederick was "of Bollinger County," and he purchased 320 acres. All of the logistical information about the land, which I admit I do not understand, fits with each entry. All are from the 5th PM Meridian, Township 32-North, Range 9-East, and Section 20. The final entry adds sections 21 and 29. This fits nicely since Bollinger County was created from Cape Girardeau County. Frederick probably did not move from one county to the other. The county in which he lived changed names. Finally, it may seem like a large jump in the amount purchased. I don't think it is a stretch, though, since census records show Frederick's real estate value was always increasing.

(Click to View)
That already puts Frederick alive after 1850. Moving on, I'd like to point out his second marriage. Ancestry's "Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002" show Frederick Yount married Elizabeth Kneringer (widow of Rev. Jon. Kneringer) March 1860 in Perry County, Missouri. Even though I know that Perry County is in the region of where Frederick has lived, this still gave me pause. If you go further and view the image, you will see the letter states Frederick Yount was "of Bollinger County."

Census records taken 9 July 1860 for Bollinger County, Missouri show Frederick Yount with wife Elisabeth. Some of the children listed are from Frederick and Polly's marriage. I contend the rest belong to Elizabeth and her first husband.

This last one is the most tenuous. In the 1870 census for Bollinger county, Missouri is a listing for Frederick Yount, born about 1816 in Missouri. The birth year is four off of what I believe to be true, and I cannot positively account for the other individuals listed. Nonetheless, I still think this might be my 4th great grandfather. The real estate and personal values have gone up significantly, but that could mean the 320+ acres he acquired not long before the 1860 census have begun to consistently bear fruit.

I would like to check census records for Elizabeth and her first husband to compare the names of individuals listed in the 1860 and 1870 census records, but I cannot seem to get the correct surname spelling. Is it Kneringer? Knerringer? Kremminger? Something totally different? UGH!

Lastly, I submit to you that Frederick did not die in Benton County, Missouri. I don't have sound findings to support this, it's just a hunch. Frederick spent all of his time in southeast Missouri. This small clip of a Missouri county map shows the counties in which he inhabited and those surrounding him. Benton County, Missouri is located in the west central portion of the state. Now I have found death locations for other ancestors that have shocked me, so I'm not saying it's impossible. Maybe this tidbit will prove to be true, but I'm not buying it just yet.

OK. I've laid out why I think Frederick Yount was alive and farming after the year 1850. Is there no one that agrees with me?


reh ncw said...

wow wow there is so much I agree with you on your post and especially your "buyer beware" statement. I do wish Ancestry.com would use a little of their advertisement budget on prevenative quality checks. Being a statisician most of my life---I see ancestry.com going to collapse in on it's self pretty soon. Competition with better intigrity built into a system could obsolete ancestry very quickly. Oh regarding the census that the names make no since ---- sometimes census in one's later life will be in the home of a married daughter or even a married step-daughter. I found that several times. Check the relationship if possible to the head of household. Good luck. I have a couple of lineages that although I have seen 30 trees they are wrong except mine. Just because of the copy and paste mentality. Sounds like you need to be true to your findings and eventually you will find a database purist that you can collaborate. But stick to your facts! Have a great week, good job!!!

Linda McCauley said...

Keep digging, you are definitely on the right track and have more than enough information to make all those Ancestry trees look questionable. Don't get me started on those trees - they drive me mad too. I've seen more than I can count that are so easily proven wrong.

Sanjay Maharaj said...

Always good idea to challenge things and look at the validity of the author to authenticate things.

Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist said...

A true Madness. The Yount's were popular in the midwest from Missouri to Kansas. And what's worse, some of them changed their names to Young and sometimes mistaken for Young. So, when I recently was tracing the same surname, I noticed others just decided if the name was close it must have been the Young guy! But with further research, I realized that there were two persons in the same area: Mr Young and Mr. Yount. I say always be wary of "Zombie" posts - my nickname for cut and paste genealogists.

Apple said...

As someone who started out as a cut and paste genealogist many years ago, I love to have someone point out where my tree is wrong. I think you make a great case here that the other trees are wrong!

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