Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Benjamin Clifton & Obediah Smith -- My 2008 Project

These two ancestors seem to be the ones I am supposed to work on now. In 2007 I learned a great deal about them --- mainly that they are my ancestors!! I had a hunch about Benjamin, but Obediah Smith was a completely new ancestor. As I mentioned before, I try to wrap up the projects for the year in December, then I wait to see what develops for the new year. About mid January I heard from a lady that accidentally found this blog and was interested in my post about Obediah Smith, especially since it mentioned Margaret Clifton as a daughter. She was interested in the will of Obediah Smith as she is studying the Smiths of Sussex County Delaware. I quickly interpreted what the details of the will are and sent them to her. I learned a great deal about the geography of Sussex County Delaware from her as she is well acqauinted with the deeds of that county.

My next step was to review what I have about these two men. I had combined them in one big manila folder and they needed "their own space", so to speak. As always, reviewing is a good thing as I see things I missed before and I get ideas of what to do next. In this case, my first priority is to try to find the five sons of Benjamin Clifton. I know there are that many from Obediah Smith's will that mentions all of them, as well as, my 3rd great grandmother, Juda Clifton Van Buskirk.

How will I do that? By analyzing early censuses. Yes, even those that only mention the head of household, the pre 1850 censuses, are very valuable. This is what I have been doing for the past few days. I know, it may not sound like fun to you, but to me it is like having a big box of chocolates!! I will be studying tax lists as well. I have a collection of them on permanent loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. These are a good record of when a man turned age 21, the age of majority. Also when he disappears from a tax list he either moved or he died.

It looks like four of Benjamin Clifton's sons went with him to Ross and later Pickaway Counties Ohio. One son, Obediah Smith Clifton, remained in Broad Creek Hundred in Sussex County Delaware. I need to look at land records as well. Obediah Smith left his daughter, Margaret Smith Clifton, land in Broad Creek Hundred. I wonder how the title changed to Obediah Smith Clifton. Hopefully land records will answer that question.

So dear reader, I have something to work on at last. The beginning of a new year causes a bit of anxiety until I get my "new assignment".

When I feel I have found the right people I will post something on this blog. That is what I enjoy about blogging, the chance to share with you plus the idea of keeping track of my progress and techniques.

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