I could not find the marriage in Massachusetts for an Irish immigrant couple around 1859 or early 1860. I knew their first child was born on 9 December 1860. To make matters worse, I found a 12 October 1856 marriage of a couple with the same first and last names, but they were some 25 miles away from where the first known child was born. Since Irish Catholic names can be common, I had to wonder if this was even the right couple? The 1856 marriage also listed the bride’s father with a different given name.
I developed a strategy on the spot. I looked for children of the 1856 couple. In this case, the birth and death databases on FamilySearch were very helpful. They showed the 1856 couple had a child die on 14 August 1858 and they had a second child born and die on 28 September 1859. No civil births were registered.
Now that I had this information I had to figure out just how it all fits together and if the couple married in 1856 was really the ones I was looking for. To accomplish this I chose one of the many calculating databases on the Internet. You would typically use these in calculating birth dates found in death records and tombstones where it states someone died on a date, being so many months and days old.
Using the calculated birth dates, I then used the death fields and put in that “birth date” and calculated 9 months to get the date the child was conceived. This process provided a time line of this family chronologically:
- 12 Oct. 1856: Marriage of the parents I was wondering about, which was documented.
- 11 Feb. 1857: The first child was conceived according to the calculation.
- 11Nov. 1857: The first child was born according to the calculation.
- 14 Aug. 1858: The first child dies and this is documented.
- 28 Nov. 1858: The second child was conceived according to the calculation.
- 28 Sep. 1859: The second child was born and died and this is documented.
- 09 Mar. 1860: The known ancestor was conceived according to the calculation.
- 09 Dec. 1860: The known ancestor was born and this is documented.
Everything fit perfectly which provided the evidence the couple married on 12 October 1856 was the same as the parents I was looking for at the 9 December 1860 birth. Now I could begin the process of researching the parents some 25 miles from where I had originally documented them.
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