If only I knew then what I know now about using Legacy's To Do List.
In Marian Pierre-Louis' webinar yesterday, Brick Walls: Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents, she used a variety of indirect evidence to identify Nathan Brown's parents. Although, as she put it, "there was no smoking gun" to be completely certain, she put together a very strong case. Now I'm more excited than ever to try to find the missing piece of evidence to strengthen her argument.
Today while reviewing Nathan's Chronology, I noticed that I had not recorded any land transactions while he lived in Woodstock, Connecticut. Often, the initial purchase of land in a new area would state where the buyer lived previously. Wouldn't it be amazing if I found a land record where it listed him as "from Swansea, Massachusetts," the possible birth place Marian identified? If so, it would certainly tie the two locations together and solidify the case.
Next I reviewed Nathan's To Do List I had compiled in Legacy. I noticed that back in September 2000 I did search for him in the Woodstock land records. However, in the "Task Description" below, it appears that I was more interested in learning when he left Woodstock than when he initially arrived.
The "Results" section shows that I did find several Nathan Brown entries but none of the time period (pre-1791) when he would have come to Woodstock.
Ugh! Somewhere I should have recorded the timespan that I searched. Did I search from 1749 through 1867, or did I only search from 1800-1810? Genealogical best practices suggests that we always record what we searched for, how thorough our search was, and indicate any anomalies with the records. Do this even if you did not find anything in your search. You will save yourself hours of duplicate research if you are thorough in your use of Legacy's To Do List.
So, this weekend I'm off to the Mesa Family History Center (about a 60 minute drive) to "re"search these land records. And this time, I'll be sure to be thorough with recording my findings.