I've pleased to announce that I have a new family member. No, it's not another child. It's my fourth great grandfather (and his wife too).
Here's how I discovered that David Smith and his wife Elizabeth Browning are my grandparents so far back.
Starting with what I knew, I had some research conducted by my mother in the late 1970s and she discovered a Philip Smith buried in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She knew he had a son named Andrew Nelson Smith (1855-1933) who was her great grandfather. She knew his wife was Catherine Dague.
In rediscovering the burial plot of Andrew Nelson in 2010, I found a tombstone for Mary E (1834-1899). I also noticed an Orlando Smith (1865-1928) and his wife Clara (1869-1927). With this information, I went back to my family tree program to get things sorted out. At first, I thought Mary E might be the correct name for Catherine Dague. Andrew and Orlando were brothers according to the 1870 US Census with the mother as Mary. But then using a combination of FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com, I discovered that there were two wives for Philip... Catherine and Mary. Catherine was Andrew's mother and Mary was Orlando's mother. I picked up an L associated with Philip's name and now I was using L Philip Smith for all of my records.
Having found L Philip Smith in the 1860 and 1880 Census, using the L in his name, I came across a family tree hint in Ancestry.com. The research who created the Conklin Family History Site had all of the siblings, and spouses for L Philip Smith that I had. The research had a link to a Leon Philip Smith's death record. Unfortunately on Ancestry.com, it only linked to an index of death records. I was on the fence about whether this was my person. I needed proof.
So, I went over to FamilySearch.org to see if it had the actual image for Leon Philip's death certificate. In examining the Ohio Deaths 1908-1953 which contains the death certificates in electronic form, I found my clue. The informant is Mrs. Harry H Long. That is my 2nd great grandmother Lura Maude Smith. Lura and her husband Harry Howard had cared for Andrew Nelson Smith for a time after his second wife died. So, to see her name on Leon Philip's death certificate clicked the light bulb and confirmed that indeed Leon Philip Smith was my 4th great grandfather.
Family Search, "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953" database, (http:/www.familysearch.org) : Entry for Leon Philip Smith, 24 August 1916
So, I immediately linked to the ConklinFamily Tree and send a message thanking the owner of the tree for their research. And then I connected Leon Philip to his parents David Smith and Elizabeth Browning. How do I know that these are his parents? Because they are listed on Leon's death certificate. So... I now only have one problem What do I call Leon Philip? Some records have him as Leon Philip others have him as Philip. He seemed to prefer using Philip later in life. His descendants referred to him as Philip not knowing Leon was part of his name. Well, perhaps when I meet this man on the other side, I'll just call him Gramps.
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