Why Go Over?

Several years ago, I started the ‘Go Over’ process first introduced by Thomas MacEntee as the Genealogy Do Over. At the time I was making the transition from The Master Genealogist to RootsMagic and have since transitioned from RootsMagic 7 to RootsMagic 8. Sometimes, I wonder why I’m spending SO MUCH TIME going back thru ancestors already in my tree versus working to add more ancestors.

While working to update a narrative report on one of my third great grandfathers, John Minnick, I realized (again) why this process is beneficial. Not only do I have some inadequate sourcing, but I also had some inaccurate information.

The above image also illustrates the evolution of the standards for genealogy citations. This evolution is also illustrated in the books still in my library.

While possibly adequate at the time they were originally written, the sources highlighted in yellow are very inadequate by today’s standards. Fortunately, these items are readily available as digital images on the FamilySearch site. Thus, I can not only update the citation but retrieve a digital image and add a transcription of the record as a research note attached to the citation.

As I was working my way thru the deeds (highlighted in yellow), I discovered that my 1903 death notice from the Pennsylvania newspaper did not fit with the information I was gathering from the deeds.

“John Minnick,” Valley Spirit (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania), 13 May 1903, page 7; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 5 October 2020).

While the death notice supports that John Minnick was a shoe salesman living in Kewanee Illinois at the time of his death, it does not support when John Minnick migrated from Pennsylvania to Illinois. Instead of making that migration around 1878, there is an 1860 advertisement for John Minnick’s shoe store that indicates he had an established business in Kewanee prior to 1878. Thus, I had to delete my 1878 migration fact.

“Main Street Boot & Shoe Store,” Advertisement, Kewanee Advertiser (Kewanee, IL), 3 March 1860, page 6; digital images, Kewanee Public Library District (kewanee.advantage-preservation.com : viewed online 20 March 2022).

In addition, there is an 1856 deed for the purchase of land in Kewanee. Transcribing that deed revealed that John Minnick was a resident of Henry County at the time he purchased the land.

Know all men by these presents that I James Huchins of
the County of Henry and State of Illinois for and in consideration
of the sum of five hundred & fifteen dollars to be paid as follows
two hundred and ninety dollars down which is now received
and the ballance on the first day of April A.D. 1856 with
interest at six percent according to a note has this day agreed
to sell to John Minnick of the county of Henry and State
of Illinois the following tract of land to wit 60 feet off
from the east side of lot no 2 in block no 11 [Tenneys] ad-
dition to Kewanee Henry County Illinois together with the
appurtenances thereunto belonging in Kewanee Henry County
Illinois. Now provided the said John Minnick shall
well and truly pay or cause to be paid to the said James
Huchins at Kewanee the above sum of money at the
time above named the said James Huchins firmly binds
himself & heirs and executors under the penalty of one
thousand & thirty dollars to convey by a good deed of warranty
the above described tract of land to the said John Minnick
his heirs or assigns. If however the said John Minnick
shall not punctually pay the said sum at the time and
place above named then the said James Huchins reserves
to himself the right to ratify or confirm this agreement or not
Sealed and delivered this 7th day of June A.D. 1856
Jas Huchins (seal)

Illinois, Henry. Deeds, 1818-1912; indexes, 1836-1903. Film 1434984 Items 2-4 DGS 8576152. John Minnick, 1 April 1856 Vol 23: page 568; digital images, FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org : viewed online 17 July 2022.

While going back thru my research in this manner I’ve also been able to switch many of my citations from citing my paper transcriptions to citing the digital records. Thus, I will continue this slow process of going over the information in my tree.

One thought on “Why Go Over?

  1. I too have been doing the same thing…earlier this year I migrated my database to Family Historian and have been rewriting citations and adding images etc. Slow work, but necessary. Of course, it will take years to go through everyone, but at least I have a project 😉

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