Thursday, December 03, 2009

Case Study: McDonnell Part IV - Family Bible

We've been working through the research process by studying my maternal grandmother, Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell. There has been noted a discrepancy between the 1908 birth date listed on her funeral card and the 1905 birth date listed in the Social Security Death Index for Frances.

While awaiting a copy of the death certificate from the Washington State Department of Health, and the SS-5 (application for SS#) from the Social Security Administration, let's consider the entry in the Goering Family Bible. The detail is shown above clearly shows 1905 as the birth year. So the tally is:

1908 - 1
(funeral card)

1905 - 2
(Social Security Death Index, Goering Family Bible entry)

Looks like the 1905 birth year is winning thus far.

This bible was given to me by Frances' widower, my step-grandfather Mike A. McDonnell in 1975. The bible has no publication date, but was apparently given to Frances' parents Charles Henry Goering and Estelle Mae Phillips at the time of their marriage. All pre-marriage events are listed in the same handwriting and ink, but subsequent events bear a variety of handwriting and ink styles indicating possible "as they occur" event entries.

We would consider that the pre-marriage (1900) entries are merely copied from another source, and could perhaps have a transcription error. The post-1900 entries, including the full name, birth date and birth place of the couple's daughter, my maternal grandmother, are considered more reliable since they were entered at about the time of the event.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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