Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Genealogical Puzzler

A reader sent me an e-mail hoping that I could help him with a genealogical "dead-end," that he admits is "certainly a longshot." After thinking about his question for a while, I consider him an optimist.

The reader wants help identifying the biological parents of an ancestor of his who was "found along the side of the road as an 1807." The infant was given the middle name of "Shaw" because the adoptive parents figured that - because they found her in a certain part of Ohio - she was a Shawnee.

I'm really not an expert on the Shawnee, but I highly doubt that an Indian born in Ohio around 1807 would have a birth certificate or baptism papers or anything like that. I also think that being born to people who aren't able to take care of you would make it less likely that there is any documentation.

Okay... I'm an optimist too. I want to give my reader some possible sources.

One is the Ohio-based Amy's Genealogy, etc. Blog.

Then there's the National Archives. The problem you're likely to run into with them, however, is they don't claim to maintain records from before 1830. The Shawnee nation had already begun to fade away by that time and besides, you're looking for somebody born more than twenty years before that.

But why not try to talk to a real expert on this kind of thing?
The National Archives has two regional facilities in Ohio:
Dayton (937) 425-0600,
and Miamisburg (937) 425-0601.

If my reader never finds the answer he's looking for, I still think he has a great story to tell at parties and genealogical society meetings.

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