Friday, February 1, 2019

Mill Creek Hundred Tax Books

1839 MCH Tax Book
Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that this might not always be obvious to you, but normally when I consult primary sources (like census records, land transfers, death certificates, etc.) I very rarely actually have the original documents. Like, almost never. Usually when I say something like, "I found the 1875 deed..." what I mean is I've found the image of it on a website like Ancestry. There's nothing wrong with that. I am seeing an image of the original document, so I can gather whatever information I need from it myself, without having to worry about getting it secondhand through someone else. Because, no offence (I'm not talking about you), sometimes other people are dumb. Sorry, I meant unreliable. Still don't mean you.

Frankly, I wouldn't be able to do any of this if I had to actually go out and hunt down each document I needed individually. I don't have the time, gas money, or energy for that. This blog could not have existed before the internet, and not just because where would I have put it? Having said that (and having used up about a minute of your life doing so), once in a while I'm lucky enough to actually get my hands on original, true, honest to goodness historical documents. Thanks to the generosity of some wonderful people and the foresight of their ancestors, this is one of those times.

This is also a story of serendipity, great timing, and a fortunate coincidence. After having been contacted by Dick Joyce, and while in the midst of researching the Graves Road area (of which the Peoples Farm post became the first), I got another email that would help to focus my investigating. This one came from Bob Pigford, on behalf of himself and his wife, Patsy. Patsy's mother, Helen Pierson Houchin, had passed away early last year at the age of 96. In going through her belongings, they came across several items they thought I might be interested in. I was, very much, and you'll find out more about two of them in a moment. But first, I'll explain why their contacting me was so fortuitous and coincidental, and it works on at least three different levels, all having to do with Patsy's family.