Saturday, February 9, 2008

Faith Leaping or Conclusion Jumping

It is a cardinal sin for any genealogist to jump to conclusion. Everything must be collaborated and documented. It makes it real, real hard for those of us researching our African-American ancestors. There is very little documentation readily available and much of that is inaccurate. It is so tempting to jump to conclusion.

For example, my cousin Juanita found her grandmother Rosa Nance listed on the Tennessee census as the daughter of Harvey Dunnagin. She immediately claimed that we were not related based on that information. However, it turned out that Dunnagin was Rosa's grandfather. The census was taken during a time when Rosa and her siblings were living with their grandparents. Rosa's mother Malessie was living in Memphis while Rosa's father, my great-grandfather Ike Warren, was living elsewhere. The information was there in black and white but it was wrong.

Right now I'm on the trail for Amy, mother of Solomon's children. I already mentioned my theory in a previous post. After searching the 1900 census, I found an "Emmie Nunn" living with Joe Dodson and his family. She is listed as a widow and "G-mother." I checked other Tennessee censuses and could not find an Emmie Nunn. I want so much to believe that Emmie is mispelled for Amy. Joe's children would be her grandchildren since his wife was Mosella Koonce, Solomon and Amy's oldest living daughter. Mosella had passed away ten years earlier. I want to believe but I have to keep digging for actual proof.

There is also evidence this is not my Amy. First of all the name is wrong. The birthdate is listed as March of 1819. And she had 10 children but none of them are living in 1900. So there is a good chance she isn't who I hope her to be. I plan on taking a trip to Tennessee soon to find out more. No matter what I wish, it has to be verifiable proof.

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