Sometimes the easiest route is the simplest route to getting answers about our heritage. Years ago I found a Sylvester Ames married to an Elizabeth Cotten in Amite County, MS. I wondered if this Elizabeth was the sister to my great grandfather Napoleon. Everything seemed to fit but I wasn't absolutely sure of the connection. Next I found that a Sylvester Ames filed for a Civil War Pension. I still wasn't sure if he was related to me so I planned a trip to D.C. to view his pension application. I'm finally going to the National Archives this weekend. I don't know what I will find. I'm crossing my fingers that there will be a great deal.
Today I called my aunt Hortense to see if the name "Ames" rang a bell. "Yes, we're cousins to some Ames." She even met one of them. I know that some of Sylvester's descendants relocated to Chicago. She thinks that is where she met them. I never thought to ask her before. Duh!!!
The same thing happened with my Warren relatives. I've been looking and looking for traces of them before 1888. The only thing I could find were people with the same first names but with the surname Lanier. I emailed my cousin Juanita who is also researching the Warren line. She had information about them that I couldn't find. I was hoping she could tell me what were the records that she where she found the data so I could look them up while I was in D.C. I told her of my dilemma and how I even believed they had changed their name. She emails me back that she found them under the name Lanier. Duh!!! She never mentioned this before to me in all our discussions.
So now I have a second source for two of my deductions. I'm very happy but I could have been happier sooner if I had just asked.