24 July 2012
How to use Ancestry.com and their ‘suggested records’
Have you noticed the “suggested records” on the right side of the screen on Ancestry.com? Do you know how to use them? These suggestions can lead to new and fascinating discoveries or lead down the blind rabbit hole. My example is the Schuler family of Lockport, Will County, Illinois. While researching for Genealogy: How to research family relationships from census records,part 4, the 1860 U.S. population schedule census index lists an Eliza Shuler and Elizabeth Shuler. As a family historian, I want to place Eliza and Elizabeth in their correct family.
Next to the 1860 census index page for Eliza Shuler, the “suggested records” refer to the John Shuler family of Lockport, Illinois in 1850. Another suggestion refers to Elizabeth in the John Shuler family of Ottawa, Illinois in 1850. Can the family historian assume the suggestions are correct? Always search for more verification and documentation. These suggestions may be correct; these suggestions may be mixed up, these suggestions may be completely wrong.
Matching the 1860 and 1850 census indexes, reveals that the 1860 Eliza is the 1850 Elizabeth. Others in the same home in both censuses include John, Charles, and Mary. Family records identify Eufen in 1850 as Ann in 1860. The Schuler family has resided in Lockport, Illinois since 1840.
Who is Eliza Shuler, 17, servant to Stephen Douse? Could Elizabeth enumerated in the John Shuler home and Eliza the servant enumerated with Stephen Douse be the same person? Is she working? What became of her after 1860? More research is needed to answer these questions.