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A Genealogist In The Archives: Using Archived Records to Fill in Your Ancestor's Timeline

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Using Archived Records to Fill in Your Ancestor's Timeline

Do you have gaps in your ancestor's timeline? Are you curious about what your ancestor's did in between the time the census was taken? You might just find what your looking for in the many record collections in an archive.

Working daily in a county archive, I get to work with many kinds of records that are not your "normal" genealogical records. A lot of these unique records are not online and have to be sought out by genealogist. Records in archives can help you fill the gaps in your ancestor's timeline.

Lyle Family Records Collection, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Being the family genealogists for the past 32 years, I have been working diligently on my own family history and that of my husbands. Recently, I was able to combine my archives work and my genealogy research all in one with a fantastic result.

The Stewart County, Tennessee Archives is just one of our wonderful county archives here in Tennessee. Stewart County, Tennessee is the main region my husband's ancestors lived in the 1800's. I recently became aware of a collection of records that had been found in the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives for Jesse Glasgow (1816-1892), my husband's great great grandfather. I requested copies of these original records that included over 50 pages of documents and receipts that have never been microfilmed and are not online anywhere. 

Inside the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives. Photo courtesy Stewart County, Tennessee Archives

One of the documents that was sent to me was a copy of a receipt for a Louisiana Lottery Ticket that Jesse Glasgow purchased and is dated June 9, 1888. Jesse bought 1 ticket and the ticket number was #92074. 

Courtesy Stewart County, Tennessee Archives, Jesse Glasgow Louisiana Lottery Ticket Notification, June 9, 1888

I found it interesting that Jesse Glasgow was buying a lottery ticket from Louisiana while living in Tennessee. I didn't even know there was a lottery in the 1800s! So, I did some research and found that the Louisiana Lottery was a very controversial event in the history of the State of Louisiana. You can read about the Louisiana Lottery here:

It is not known if Jesse Glasgow won anything from the Louisiana Lottery but the fact that he bought a ticket and I have a copy of the receipt from the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives helps me to document an event in his life that happened between the 1880 and 1900 census. I had nothing recorded for Jesse between these census years and now I do because of a county archive had records they archived and preserved.

Courtesy "The Times-Picayune" Newspaper Photographs, an example of a Louisiana State Lottery Ticket, May 8, 1888


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