Never Under Estimate the Power of a Genealogy Source | The Armchair Genealogist
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Never Under Estimate the Power of a Genealogy Source

This week I was able to uncover some new information on my great-great-great grandfather James Stapleton. At first glance I would have thought this source to be weak in terms of offering anything new.
The source came to me through my cousin Danette. Now she is not the weak source by any means. Danette is my partner in genealogy studies of our family tree and we share info almost daily as we discover it. She knows her stuff.
This week she sent me a link to a website that contained an 1842 Land Assessment for Huron County, Ontario, Canada. Previously, we had found James Stapleton’s land in an atlas of this county, however this potentially offered more confirmation of this fact and of course the more citations you can obtain on a piece of information the more solid your tree becomes.
Nevertheless, when I opened up this assessment I was pleasantly surprised. This assessment not only contained the location of his land, which did confirm our previous information but it also contained a census of who was living on this land. This makes it the earliest population census of this area.
I learned there were two people living in the home in 1842, one male over the age of 16 and one female over the age of 16. This just answered one of my burning questions. In trying to place my ancestor’s movements, I know they came from Stratford to this parcel of land just outside of Holmesville. What I wanted to know was if any of their children had been born in Stratford before their move. We have their eldest child being born in Dec of 1842, but we did not know where. I can now conclude that James and his wife Ellen married and then moved from Stratford, Ontario, Canada bought 65 acres of land just outside of Holmesville and began their family.
This little land assessment put a few more pieces of the puzzle into place. I have been doing this long enough to know that you never leave a stone unturned and that every document can offer up more proof of your ancestors lives. However, I am always pleasantly surprised when what appears to be a source of known facts suddenly reveals another new tidbit of information. Moral of the story never under estimate the power of a source.