Part 1-No shortage of inconsistencies, 10 June 2011
A collection of inconsistent information written about about William Preston, the first sheriff of Williams County, Ohio.
Part 2-Driven to a more historical account (
Genealogy is a journey. The second article in this series presents particular information we used to break down our brick wall. The various postings mention how the records were discovered, questioned and evaluated to better identify Sheriff William Preston.
2.01 William and his Miss Butler (marriage)
2.02 He survives (census)
2.03 The Butler did it! (identifying our Butler family)
2.04 I do declare, and he did! (declaration)
2.05 Death plus 30 (probate)
2.06 Of brothers and soldiers (about John Preston)
2.07 You do the math (about William C. Preston and the King)
2.08 One good deed (and the long road home)
2.09 Through the peep hole (the larger family)
2.10 Rummaging about Rumney
Part 3-Putting it all together - Part 3A
PART 2-Driven to a more historical account
2.04 I do declare, and he did!
John Butler's Revolutionary War pension file (no. S46,461, BLWt 1505-100) represents 14 filmed pages. The file includes correspondence from others who early researched the Butler family, but the core file is John's application for a bounty land warrant. His application is dated 8 August 1828; the personal statement he submitted at that time was witnessed by William Preston.
Some six months later, 7 April 1829, additional documentation was prepared and submitted in support of John's application. Among the 1829 documents is a declaration by William Preston in which he represents his age as "forty-nine"; Preston reports he has "long been acquainted with John Butler."
We didn't just note clues that helped weave together bits of evidence. We looked for and communicated about conflicts, too.
(1) Recall the 1830 U.S. Census of William Preston--someone aged 49 on 8 April 1829 (above, the Butler Bounty Land declaration) would have been 50 a year later, but easily could have been enumerated as "of forty and under fifty" at the time of the 1830 census.
(2) Henry C. Preston's biographical sketch [History of Jones County, Iowa (1910) 2: 92-93], reports William Preston died in 1837, then age "fifty-two"--but if our William Preston was ae 49 in 1829, he would have been about age 57 in 1837.
During the National Genealogical Society 2011 conference, Tom Jones quoted Helen Leary, saying "Conflicting evidence is incompatible with a conclusion."
For me, resolving this conflict first involved re-testing the my assertion that the man who (a) witnessed John Butler's application in 1828, (b) supplied the 1829 declaration and would later (c) serve as the administer of John Butler's estate were all the same man and indeed Sheriff William Preston. Satisfied they were, I felt the best evidence of William's age was his own sworn statement providing timely, personal information.
Genealogy is a journey. There is still more to learn.