Sunday, June 1, 2014

52 Ancestors #14: Mary A Norton - and how I got caught down the wrong tree

After a long hiatus, it's hard to get started again with blogging.  I had meant to write every Sunday about someone with someone who was born that month.  I got caught up in needing pictures, more information, etc.  ENOUGH ALREADY.  I need to just write about what I have to write about.  So here's my problem this week.

Mary A Norton

born around 1838

All I really knew about Mary A Norton came from the 1850 census of Groveland, Livingston, New York where she is listed in the household of Asahel and Sally Norton.  The record shows Mary A, age 12, female, born in New York.  And there it stops.  All we know is that she was probably born in 1838 in New York, most likely as a child of these two adults.  Interestingly, there is another Mary A listed as the wife of Calvin Norton, Asahel's brother, living next door!

Of course, that didn't keep the shaky leaves from popping up on my Ancestry tree.  And I followed them right down to a Mary Ann Norton of Wilkes-Barre, PA.  For some reason, I thought these two were one and the same.  I think it was on of those late nights and I kept right-clicking, saving and moving on.  I found a husband for Mary Ann, children, a death date etc.  It was a gold mine. But all along I felt uneasy.  This Mary Norton was shown as being born in PA not NY.  Of course, I'd seen that kind of thing before and also knew that the boundary between the two states was often crossed by the Norton family (Asahel was born in PA for example).  

I even put all this information on Family Search thinking I had found a new family.  Fortunately someone caught the error and pointed out the differences.  Now I am spending my Sunday going back and unlinking all these people who should never have been connected in the first place.

Where did my Mary A go?  I'm not sure.  There is a 20 year old Mary A Norton listed in the 1860 census as a teacher - though not a child - with the John B Norton family of Hartford, Washington, New York.  This would date her birth year to 1840.  Is this an uncle?  Hartford is a long way east of Groveland, but it could be possible if she was seeking employment.

Another family history mystery to solve with a lot of erroneous information created by ME that still need to be cleaned up!

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