The researcher has gotten back to me with her results of my search requests in the Clinton County, Illinois, Courthouse. Her search was a partial bust. But sometimes that how research is. She was paid for time in doing research–not guaranteed results. She made that clear in her communication with me. I was already aware of it, but it’s a good sign when a researcher reminds the client of that.
The researcher I hired in Clinton County, Illinois, was to search three things for me. She was given time frames (omitted here) to search the following records for the following people
- deeds for Harrison Ramsey
- probate for Andrew, Harrison, or Sarah Ramsey
- court records for Andrew, Harrison, or Sarah
We established all these details clearly in our communication. I also told her generally what the goals of the research were (establish the children of Harrison Ramsey via a paper trail if possible) just in case something else came into her radar while searching. I knew that “hoping to stumble on something while looking for something” else is not a valid research approach, but it never hurts to hold out a little hope.
Harrison’s deed of sale for the real estate he obtained in Clinton County, Illinois, through a federal land patent was was located and was dated 17 Aug 1850–which coincides with approximately when he arrived in Mercer County, Illinois. There were references in the probate records for Andrew and Sarah Ramsey, but the heirship information in both those files suggested they were not the Andrew and Sarah for which I was searching as the information was completely inconsistent with the known details. None of the heirs of the Andrew with a probate file matched the heirs of the known Andrew and the Sarah in the probate appeared to have been born several decades after the Sarah of interest. I’ve made a note of what was in the files for my notes (in case my assumptions later change).
What she found and did not find was consistent with the time line that I’ve developed for Harrison.
Sometimes you find information and sometimes you don’t. That’s the way it goes and that’s when it’s time to regroup and move on.
In this case, I’m waiting to regroup and reanalyze until the bounty land warrant application I have for Harrison as Andrew’s father arrives along with the Mexican War pension request I have in for his wife. Until I see those records, I may be spinning my wheels and wasting my time in theorizing.