What I Don’t Know, Part 2: Undocumented Family Histories

I needed an Illinois family to research, quickly. I had less than a month to put together a program all about Illinois research. I knew VERY LITTLE about Illinois research. (I am still baffled that I pulled off the program.) Most of my research experience is in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri and New Hampshire, with a smattering of stops in other states. I pulled up my database and searched for any individuals who had “IL” or “Illinois” in any of their fields. I found four. 4! Yikes.

It turns out one of those four is a surname I’ve done quite a bit of research on: Dimick. However, this line of the Dimicks is a collateral line that I have spent no time researching until now. The only information I had was from an undocumented (no sources given) compiled genealogy from Dr. Alan Dimick. He has compiled an impressive amount of research on all of the known Dimicks in this country since the 1600s. However, there are very few sources (a few names of contributors now and then) so I can’t be sure how accurate it is. I actually find this situation to be a lot of fun. A compiled genealogy is full of clues and breadcrumbs to be followed. I personally love working with them.

A quick look at the entry for Jeduthan Dimick's family.
A quick look at the entry for Jeduthan Dimick’s family.

The entry in my database was for a daughter of Jeduthan Dimick, Sarah. Jeduthan is the cousin of my ancestor who moved to Ohio from New Hampshire. His daughter Sarah Dimick, according to this compiled genealogy, married a man named Sanders Scroggins. Sanders Scroggins. I’m sorry, but that name is so rare and odd that I had to take it on. There was also a compiled genealogy on the Scroggins family (the surname was more prevalent than I thought it would be) available online.

With these two compiled genealogies as a starting point, I was on my way. I spent the next couple of weeks learning as much as possible about the geographic area and the individuals as possible using the Internet. As any good researcher will do, I scoured the Internet from the comfort of my home office in my slippers, hot coffee in hand, and learned as much as possible before stepping foot outside and spending one dollar on gas or one minute driving to a repository.

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