Frequency of Exposure Leads to Discoveries



Every year, or month even, more records become available online. This deluge of records has greatly added my research to ancestors primarily in Franklin County, Ohio and Ontario, Canada. As I encounter a new place, I can quickly access additional records without travel as well. All that aside, there is one principle of genealogy that can not be over looked. Frequency of exposure leads to discovery.


As you look at certain records with consistency, rather than a once and done approach, you pick up on little details that lead to more details. Certainly online records makes it easier to  view a record set multiple times. It also provides easy access to records you wouldn't necessarily seek out, but should.

For instance, if you printed off a copy from a microfilm reader a census many years ago, then you can look at that page as often as necessary. But if you didn't print off the previous page or the following page (or three pages in either direction), then you could be over looking important details.  However, depending upon your research situation, you might have better luck with the offline records rather than online.

Regardless, I want to give you a sneak peek of an upcoming story that supports the idea that frequency of exposure leads to discoveries.


1860 US Census Record.

1860 US Census Record for Joseph Gusler
1860 US Census, Census Place: Prairie, Franklin, Ohio; population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653.
Page: 214; Image: 432. Household 928, Joseph Gusler

On the 1860 US Census, my elusive great grandfather Joseph Geiszler is living next to Charles Pusecker, the traveling companion to Joseph's wife Caroline and her parents (with the last name Mack). I have reviewed these names numerous times: Mack, Geiszler, and Pusecker and all the variations.

However, as I started compiling additional records and exploring the descendants of the traveling companions, I kept bumping into additional names:  Tinnappel, Strunkenburg, and Fladt.

1856 Prairie Township Platt Map.

The 1856 Plat record shows that my grandfather Geiszler, his father-in-law Mack, and the Puseckers (no direct relation) are living as neighbors. Additionally, there are Fladts, Tinnappels, and Strukenburgs in the upper right corner of that same map.

St. James Lutheran Church Constitution. Highlighted names are for Joseph
Geiszler and Henrich Mach, but the additional names appear on subsequent pages.

Then I noticed that the Strunkenburg family was also on the Constitution for the St. James Lutheran Church which the Macks and Puseckers were members. Members of the Pusecker, Fladt, and Tinnappel family appeared in the same cemetery in Hillard, Franklin County, Ohio.

As I was searching for naturalization records for the Macks and Geiszlers, I discovered them for the Strukenburgs and Fladts. On a paper tree from Gillersheim, German for the Macks and Puseckers, I saw the Tinnappel names as well.

On an on it goes. As I search for one family, I discover three others families. I suspect that these families are related to a degree. I have not established all of the relations but I'm on the right path.

The point is this... the more often you view records that pertain to your relatives, the more they come into focus. And, the more you'll pick up additional clues that you would otherwise over look if you only had a limited exposure to a record set.

I look forward to sharing my discoveries in future posts. Stay tuned!

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