Ancestor detectives search for every minute detail and comparing those details with the records. Start with the 1800 census because it provides age ranges for the children. Write down the age ranges. Next go to the 1810 census, repeating the process through the 1850 census. Now, let us determine who left the family for the various decades. See who is still there in 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840. Next, go to the county records and examine the female marriages. If a daughter age 10 to 15 in 1800 was gone in 1810, look for a female who married before 1810. Let us say that one, Matilda Martin married John Franklin in Lunenburg Co., VA in 1809. Locate the county in which John Franklin resided in the 1850 Virginia Census Index; then look up the family in that county and follow this family through for subsequent decades to learn if any of her brothers and sisters later resided with her. Compare the names to the earlier established family group sheets from these census records. Next, locate the family on the 1880 census to learn where Matilda's parents were born. Does this match? Next, search the deed records to see if one, John Franklin and his wife, Matilda, were deeded any land from the Martin family. Wives did not inherit directly and gift deeds for land, slaves, etc. were given directly to the husband.
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