John Jay Jackson bio that I quoted last Saturday, and examine it, bit by bit. Surely there is some truth that can be squeezed out of that seemingly enigmatic report.
Here’s what I found on page ninety-four of Pioneers of Perry County Ohio by 1830, compiled in 2003 by the Perry County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society:
Mr. Jackson was first married in 1816 at Bellefontaine, Missouri to Sarah Howard Ijams, daughter of Wm. Ijams (sister of William, John and Joseph Ijams) who later died in 1825. In January 1818, he accompanied his wife, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law across the Mississippi at St. Louis to Bearfield Township, Perry County Ohio, where they arrived the latter part of August.
First, let’s take an excruciatingly painstaking approach and list each of the “facts” we can glean from this paragraph:
· The subject is John Jay Jackson
· He was married in 1816
· There is a place called Bellefontaine in Missouri
· John Jackson’s wife was named Sarah Howard Ijams
· Sarah was the daughter of William Ijams
· Sarah was sister of William, John and Joseph Ijams
· Someone died in 1825 (whether Sarah or her father)
· A trip from Saint Louis to Ohio commenced in January, 1818
· The party included John, Sarah, Mrs. Ijams and her son
· The party arrived in Bearfield Township, Perry County, Ohio
· The trip concluded late in August—presumably 1818
Next, let’s determine what directions we may now take, based on those prompts:
· Marriage records for John Jay Jackson and Sarah Howard Ijams
· Family constellation reconstruction through other documents
· Cemetery or probate records for Ijams or Jackson death in 1825
· Confirmation of date and location of marriage
· Confirmation of date and location of death
· Search and review history on Bellefontaine, Missouri
· Review history on Bearfield Township, Perry County, Ohio
Of course, thanks to the assistance of some of you reading this blog, it appears no marriage documentation is readily available online for the Jacksons in Bellefontaine, Missouri. On a hunch that the marriage might actually have happened in Ohio rather than in Missouri, I’m also pursuing searching through marriage records in Fairfield County, Ohio, where the Ijams family lived before 1820.
With that whole list in mind, we have quite a bit of work cut out—and that is from just one paragraph! There is yet another whole page of information to be analyzed.
While I’m thankful that such records preserve and pass down information from the past—after all, the biographical sketch was extracted from an article published in the September 28, 1876, issue of the New Lexington Tribune—I still need to cast a jaundiced eye at all information. Information is best tamed when you have made it your own by diligent examination of all facets. It’s not that anyone is out to deceive you with wily designs of misinformation. It’s just that reports can be no more accurate than the people who create them.