In #31WBGB: Make List Posts Work for Your Genealogy Blog, Week 2, Part 1, my response to this week’s challenge is to create a multi-part list post that discusses how to find and document the relationship of an elusive ancestor, in this case my fourth great-grandfather Joel Dixon of Marengo County, Alabama.
My task is to link Joel to my third great-grandfather, Thomas M Dixon. I have been unable to connect father and son using the usually-reliable United States Federal Census. By Census Day 1850, Thomas was 27 years old and already out on his own. I have located the 1830 and 1840 census enumerations for Joel Dixon, but of course in the years before 1850, only the head-of-household is named. (I have written to Marengo County to get a copy of Joel Dixon’s probate records.)
What to do now?
Plan B involves locating a relative of Thomas M Dixon, perhaps a sibling, that I can directly connect to Joel Dixon, and then link Thomas to that relative. While searching GenealogyBank for Joel or Thomas Dixon, I inadvertently came across an obituary for Floyd Milton Dixon of Marengo County. Here Floyd was described as “the last male descendant of his great-grandfather, Joel Dixon.” Can I use Floyd to link Joel and Thomas? Let’s see…*
- Research the life and times of Joel Dixon of Marengo County, Alabama- Done! I have been fortunate with Joel. Thanks to Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Footnote.com, GenealogyBank, the Bureau of Land Management and several USGenWeb sites, I have census, War of 1812, federal land grants, and newspaper clippings that paint a pretty good picture of Joel’s life (considering the small time frame allowed by this week’s challenge).
- Research the life and times of Joel’s son Nicholas Floyd Dixon– Done! Again, numerous online sources have defined much of Nicholas’ life and connected him directly to Joel.
- Research the life and times of Joel’s grandson William Floyd Dixon– Done! Even found a photograph of William on Ancestry.com. Linked directly to Nicholas by the 1870 Federal Census for Marengo County.
- Research the life and times of Joel’s great-grandson Floyd Milton Dixon– And done! Floyd Milton is also connected directly to William Floyd, here by 3 consecutive Federal Census enumerations.
(click on the links above to view associated documents)
Now, the final step is to link Floyd Milton Thomas to Thomas M Dixon, thereby establishing the parent-child relationship between my fourth great-grandfather Joel Dixon to my third great-grandfather Thomas M Dixon.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I know, I’m doing this all backwards. But I have already done some quick research to clarify Floyd Milton Dixon’s relationship to Joel Dixon. (Joel Dixon>Nicholas Floyd Dixon>William Floyd Dixon>Floyd Milton Dixon) Kinda like starting the construction of Road B at the far end of the county from Road A and hoping they will meet in the middle!
Blog posts in this series: