Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Learning About Lyman


Reaching back into records of colonial America may seem like a daunting task when we are searching for distant ancestors. Luckily for me, learning about my mother-in-law's fourth great-grandfather, Lyman Jackson, is a process helped by many research assistants. Some of those assistants are hoped for, even expected, like the records compiled for Patriots who served in the Revolutionary War. But others can come at us from totally unexpected locations. This week will be our opportunity to peruse one such unforeseen resource.

First, though, let's start our journey backwards through the life timeline of Lyman Jackson from the point of his passing in 1835. Thankfully, Lyman's headstone is still quite legible at his burial location at Albion Cemetery in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Likewise for Lyman's wife Deidama, whose unusual given name has been the source of many spelling variations—for instance, what looks like Deideamia in the close-up of a photo provided by a Find A Grave volunteer for the memorial of her 1841 death.

According to the 1830 census, the last one taken before Lyman's passing, the couple was living in Conneaut Township, where they also had lived ten years prior, as we can see in the 1820 census. While the 1830 census showed the Jackson household being a small one comprised of just the elderly couple, themselves, the household ten years prior included nine people—possibly five sons and two daughters. In addition, perusing the enumeration where Lyman's Pennsylvania household appeared in 1820, it was easy to spot three other Jackson households listed on that same page.

While I don't yet know the names of any Jackson descendants—other than my mother-in-law's third great-grandfather, John Jay Jackson—because of my work on collateral lines, that step will come soon enough. In fact, it may already have come sooner than I thought, thanks to an interesting discovery about this Pennsylvania family which came at me from an unexpected place: Atchison County, Kansas. Sometimes, we find family history narratives in the least expected places. We'll discuss that discovery tomorrow. 

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