Mailing List:1998-09-18 01, Re: Stow, MA, Vital Records - Correction needed???, by Allan E. Green

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Mailing List Archives > 1998-09-18 01, Re: Stow, MA, Vital Records - Correction needed???, by Allan E. Green

From: <ALLAGREEN -at-> Subject: Re: Stow, MA, Vital Records - Correction needed??? Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 02:39:17 EDT Dear Marilyn & WRG: I really hadn't intended to turn the question of the Stow VR entry into a full-blown analysis of the details of the timing of the children of Thomas-3 Whitney, but since it seems to be heading that way, here goes. Marilyn wrote: Stow vitals have exactly as you have listed. Have you looked at the Whitney Genealogy? Which Whitney Genealogy? - the Pierce book on the descendants of John and Elinor? I would have to ask Jon Aston, as all I have is a microfilm copy, which is almost impossible to find things in. In addition, given the occasional errors in that source, I would be hesitant to change anything on the basis of Pierce alone. Jon, perhaps you could help out on this. For reference, to save going back and digging out old mail, we are talking about the entry for the birth of Thomas-4, s.o. Thomas-3 and Elizabeth Lawrence Whitney. The Whitny12 database? The latter has given the year 1781 for Thomas' birth, despite the Stow VR showing 1787. This is also consistent with Robert Ward's 6-Generation descent of J&E, which also agrees on the 1781 date. This date would also work well with the marriage date in the Watertown records for the parents, that being 29 Jan 1678(/1679), putting the birth of the first child 2-1/2 years after the marriage (Jan 1679 to Sep 1681), rather than Elizabeth, born mid-Feb 1682(/1683), which puts the time between marriage and first child at a little over four years. I agree that this is the "most likely" answer. It makes sense in several ways - first, it would make Thomas the first child, and as the male first child, being named for the father is very common. It would require treating the birthdate for the second child, Elizabeth as actually being in February1782/83, otherwise there would only be five months between Sept 1781 and Feb 1782, but that, too, is highly probable anyway and simply consistent with the practice at that time. What I really hope is that whoever submitted this line to Jon for inclusion will have some other, independent source that will confirm the 1781 change. Such might be a family bible with contemporary entries, a listing of children in a will that states "in the order of their birth" or "my eldest son, Thomas." I would be delighted to take anything like that as a basis for "correcting" the Vital Record. The one thing that is clear is that there is an error somewhere, what is not clear is what that error is. Until that time, I am hesitant about a database entry that conflicts with the Vital Record source. It certainly conflicts with my current project of adding source citations to every piece of data in the Whitny12 database for which I can find a VR source. For better or for worse, I have been "correcting" the data in the Whitny12 db where it conflicts with the Vital Records, taking the latter as the better information. Any and all help will be most appreciated. Allan E. Green

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