Friday, August 2, 2013

That First Discovery - Researching Elisha Gates

     In the early 1990s I purchased a genealogy software package and started entering our family tree information that had been researched and written down by dad's sister, Jane Armstrong Healey.  For some unknown reason, I became interested in Elisha Gates.  I found it interesting that Elisha had been from Maryland and had moved his family to Kentucky.  Aunt Jane knew birth and death dates from pictures of his tombstone. I decided that I would try to discover when he had married Christina Ann Summers.
     I heard that I could go to the local Family History Center and find out more information.  At that local FHC, I received some help from a volunteer and I ordered a film that was recommended as a possible source of information about Elisha. 
Christina Ann Summers (1794-1869)
Elisha Gates (1789-1863)
     A few weeks later I went back and started through the film.  It wasn't too long before I found a marriage record for Elisha Gates and Christina Ann Summers1.  A connection to my 3G-grandparents.  Their marriage record was recorded in Prince George's County, Maryland on 12 April 1817.  The film seemed to be disorganized with some pages out of sequence and some upside down on the film.  But if that was all I had to deal with then finding new information was going to be easy.
    I was just a little naive.  It was another five years before I found anything else about Elisha and over a dozen years before I found the identity of his parents.  Now I am on an Elisha Gates binge.  I have focused on him in my blog entries in particular because he was a soldier for three months exactly two-hundred years ago.  It has been nice to meet you, Elisha and Christina!    

1. Prince George's County (Maryland). Clerk of the Circuit Court, Marriage licenses, 1777-1880,  Film #14305  Family History Library,  Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949

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