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Ask a Genealogist: Researching in 18th century Rhode Island.

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I have hit a huge brick wall. I am trying to connect Jabez Bromley with a father? I know Jabez married Martha Pendleton both were born approx. 1746-1752.There where from Westerly, R.I. but they also moved to Connecticut, I believe that Jabez Bromley is the son of William Bromley 1721 but can not find the proof.


Reply from Alice Kane, NEHGS Genealogist

Conducting a census study may be useful in pinpointing ancestor locations. Once a location is confirmed for your subject, determine who and where are the other households of the same surname living in the area--make lists or use a spreadsheet to keep the details organized. Comparing these families over the course of several census years may reveal clues as to relationships which can then be verified though study of probate, land, and town records. Also, when there are no direct records available for a particular person, you might try reviewing the family of the spouse. In addition to available family genealogies, studying in-law family members through analysis of assembled data from probate, land, and town records could yield direct information about your subject. For example, at their deaths siblings of a spouse may make bequests to nephews and nieces living in other areas, thus documenting their names and locations. Land transactions by a bride's father, during or after his lifetime, can be helpful in documenting the names and locations of the husbands of other daughters as well as the sons. Town records sometimes recorded the vital information of whole families, or documented the activities of an ancestor active in governing the town or who regularly offered needed services or goods. Town and county histories may prove useful as well since they often have biographical sketches of descendants of the area's first settlers.

Posted by David Lambert at 03/04/2014 04:54:32 PM | 

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