Saturday, August 11, 2012

Genealympics: Research Plan #2

From challenge 2d: "Review your collected data, research log, and database and create a Research Plan to do a Reasonably Exhaustive search for the selected ancestor(s)."

Research Plan #2:
Heman Doyle, my 4th great-grandfather.  I have the following records
  • 1850 through 1880 US Census records, obituary, city directories (New York and California), Great Register and voter registration entries (California), headstone picture, letter written by his father-in-law mentioning him, various newspaper articles, biography written by a descendant of his in the 1970s.
What I need to find/get:
  • 1820 through 1840 US Census records, 1810 also if possible; marriage record; possible biographical information from Douglas County, Nevada; cemetery record (?); probate records (?); school (law or otherwise) records (?)
What I know from what I have:
  • Heman was born 31 December, either in 1809 or 1811 in Vermont.  His father was from Ireland and his mother was from Connecticut.  He first appears in 1833 where he is mentioned in his wife's (Alzina Jackman) grandfather's will.  He appears in 1837, as Constable of Pittsford, Monroe, New York.  In 1840, his father-in-law, Moses Jackman, writes to his brother, Caleb, and mentions Heman and Heman's family.  Moses states that Heman and his family had just returned from a failed homestead somewhere near the Mississippi.  Moses further states that at the time of the letter, Heman was visiting his half-brother in Buffalo, Erie, New York.  This likely explains why I cannot find Heman in the 1840 US Census.  
  • Heman appears in the 1850 US Census in Rochester, Monroe, New York where is is listed as a lawyer.  His presence in New York in this census must be due to his wife because he was en route to California at this point.  He had gone west with John R. Shinn, who kept a journal of the trip which mentions Heman as a member of the party.  John R. Shinn would later become Heman's son-in-law.  Alzina continues to appear in Rochester directories for a few years after this, one of which lists her as a widow.  She eventually joined him out west, likely coming with her daughter and grandson in 1853.
  • Heman and his family appear in El Dorado County, California in the 1860 US Census and in San Joaquin County in the 1870 and 1880 US Census.  He died in Woodbridge, San Joaquin, California in 1881 and was buried in Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery.
  • Other tidbits:  He was in private practice in Placerville, El Dorado, California between 1852 and 1854; then until 1856 he served as recorder and court justice in Placerville.  In 1854 he was accused of trying to bribe two California State Senators.  Whatever the outcome, he did remain in practice in California afterwards.  In 1859 is mentioned as a notary public in San Joaquin Co., California.  He then went into private practice until 1865.  That same year he was appointed probate judge in Douglas Co., Nevada as well as a notary public there.  He went on to serve two terms as District Attorney for Carson Valley, Douglas, Nevada.  He also served at various times as Justice of the Peace in New York, California and Nevada.  His later activities are not known, though in the 1880 US Census, his occupation is listed as 'farmer.'  Occasionally, he is listed as H. H. Doyle, Heman H. Doyle and Herman Doyle (which is a typo).
  • From the family Bible of his daughter, his children were: Maria Adelaide Doyle, Rhoda Melissa Doyle and Frances P. Doyle.  Rhoda never appears in any records and likely died young.  While Rhoda was named after her maternal grandmother, I have no idea if any of the other girls were named after a relative on their father's side.  He was a master mason in Woodbridge Lodge, No. 131.
As you can see, Heman was no wallflower.  Finding a marriage record for him and Alzina Jackman (likely around 1832 in Monroe Co., New York) is my first priority, as is finding probate records (if he left any, they'd be in San Joaquin Co., California).

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