Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~(BSGO) Bright Shiny Genealogy Objects

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BSGO are items you happen upon in your research, somewhat serendipitously, and you must follow that lead, sometimes falling into a genealogy black hole!  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

1.  I do stumble upon BSGO every once in awhile.

2.  My most recent BSGO was while looking through unindexed record sets on FamilySearch dot org.  I was looking at land records for Genesee County, NY, for the early 1800s as John Ford said his father bought land in the Holland Purchase about the time he was 7 (1815).  Lo and behold, I found land sold to Nathaniel Ford by an Archibald Bennett in 1816. !!! Since I had yet to connect Prudence Bennett, Nathaniel’s wife, to anyone at all, seeing these two names together in a land transaction gave me hope!  I took Archibald Bennett’s name and ran with it.  I found out Archibald Bennett had applied for a Revolutionary War pension from Decatur County, IN, in 1837, one of the witnesses being John Ford (I’ve established that John Ford was in Indiana in the late 1830s).  Archibald Bennett’s Rev War pension application gave his date and place of birth as being Antietam, Maryland, in 1762, and that he was recruited as a Frontier Ranger while living in Washington County, PA, during the Rev War.  The year of birth, 1762, made him too young to be Prudence’s father, so I’m guessing a brother or uncle.  At any rate, just finding that land record opened a lot of doors for me!  I imagine I spent a good hour chasing leads.

3.  If I find something promising, I go after it then and there if at all possible.  If not possible, I make a note of it in Evernote or jot it down.  It depends on the situation how disciplined I am about being mesmerized by BSGO. 🙂

John Ford

John Ford is one of my Civil War ancestors.  He is my 3rd-great-grandfather.  He was born in Verona, Oneida County, New York, on 9 June 1808.  He died in Hymera, Sullivan County, Indiana, on 23 September 1884.

From what I’ve been able to glean about his life, he visited at the very least 7 states during his lifetime, one being California.  I don’t know which states he passed through to make it out west so 7 is a conservative figure.

Thankfully, he wrote an autobiography for a county history book and included many details about his life. I found this in the History of Greene and Sullivan Counties, State of Indiana (it’s a .pdf file that I created):


He was a very active man during his lifetime, it seems. I’d like to learn more about his childhood and his parents and siblings and his first marriage (see forthcoming post regarding Genealogy Do-Over Week 1). I’ve been working on finding documentation to prove each of his statements in his autobiography; some I’ve found, others don’t exist, and I still have a lot of research to do with this family.

*Was going through some indices on FamilySearch dot org for New York Land Records and stumbled across a grantee/grantor of Nathaniel Ford (John’s father) from Archibald Bennett in 1816 in Genesee County!! Huge find! Later, while researching Archibald Bennett, I found his Revolutionary War pension application from when he was living in Decatur County, Indiana, in 1837; guess who one of his witnesses was? None other than John Ford!!! John Ford attested that Archibald’s date of birth was 12 January 1762 at the mouth of the Antietam Creek in Maryland.As it turns out, Bennett’s Rev War claim for pension was rejected. He was a member of the Frontier Rangers.