I was able to spend a few hours at the library today, but for the first time ever, I could not get onto a microfilm scanner because they were all full!  Normally, I’m one of the first at the library on Saturday, but a dead car battery conspired against me – or so I thought…

Because I couldn’t scan the microfilm pages I wanted, I turned to the stacks to look at a few books.  I had looked at these books when I first started to research Smiths in a new location, but nothing stood out to me then.  Now when I look at these books, I see names and connections that I understand – or at least recognize.

Because I wasn’t planning to spend time in the books, I didn’t have my Flip Pal with me, so I took about 25 pictures with my phone. Most of what I got was from a book of Court Order transcriptions. I was looking for anything “promising” with the Smith surname. Some images weren’t in great focus and most were crooked in one way or another, so I decided to type up what I had collected.

As I was typing things up, I saw listings for wills that had been recorded in the County Court with an unexpected Smith as an Executor or Heir. Or guardianship granted to a Smith for a “non-Smith” child. I’m starting to see connections for which John Smith is which based on neighbors surveying roads together. Wouldn’t neighbors be likely to be witnesses for marriages or wills? In some court orders, additional hints appeared with the names – like “John Smith the lesser”. (I’m hoping that is the same thing as Jr!)

So I decided to see if I could find the wills in the Probate Records on Family Search that matched the court orders I have found. What a great thing this has turned out to be! I see all kinds of family connections for daughters that I didn’t have before. But there is a lot of criss-crossing that has me longing for an empty bulletin board from school that I can pin pages to and start making a “spider web” with yarn to really understand it all. Yarn to show that this group sheet connects with this land record which connects to this marriage bond, etc.

I wonder if my husband would notice a giant bulletin board in the hallway…

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