Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Importance of Going Back

I've been reviewing information on Peter Bieger for the article on locating him in the 1850 census. In reviewing actual copies of the land records, I realized that I had made a typographical error in a transcription of a deed at least fifteen years ago when I first transcribed it.

I typed it as if Peter had purchased his first Illinois property in 1850. He actually purchased it in 1852. The two year difference is significant. The deed styles Peter as being of Hancock County, Illinois, and it means that the first documented record of his being in Illinois is 1852, not 1850. This also has some impact on where his first daughter was born--which really wasn't the point of the article.

There is no question Franciska Bieger, born in 1851 was his daughter. The question now has become: "was she born in Illinois or Ohio?" Part of me thinks that it's not crucial to know. After all, all evidence indicates he was her father and the precise location of her birth  will not change that. I know when and where Peter was married, so that doesn't change anything either. Not being certain of where Franciska was born does not change any relationships.  And sometimes it is okay to be uncertain.

Subscribe to Casefile Clues now and see our attempts to locate Peter in 1850.

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