I received an email from Ancestry today with “Possible record matches” in the subject line. Those of you who use Ancestry know that they give you hints, with little green leaves indicating some sort of match in their records, whether it be in another tree, a historical record, etc. This email contained three such hints. Sometimes I open these emails, but sometimes I don’t, because often the hints are for secondary or tertiary lines.
The second hint was for “Amanda” no last name and indicated a potential match in the 1900 census. I almost didn’t look at it, because the fact that I had no last name meant that this was a wife for whom I had no further data and, moreover, I didn’t recognize the name as a direct ancestor.
But I did click on it. Amanda did turn out to be the wife of an ancestor’s brother (Edward Roberts), just as I had suspected. I glanced over the names in the household and realized there were several children that I did not have in my database. I almost blew it off, because I was tired. I noticed that the last name in the household was “Mariah,” and I thought “Oh, they named a daughter after Mariah Langston.” Then I noticed the relationship to head of household. It was not daughter, but mother. This was not someone named after Mariah Langston; it was Mariah Langston, living with her youngest son.
I checked my records and I had census data for Mariah in 1880 and 1910, but not 1900. This is an important find, that I almost missed, because I didn’t feel like branching out in the tree.