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Who Is Jenny Neal?

This weeks Finally Get Organized checklist deals with applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to four generations on my Crawford line. Basically this involves evaluating the quantity (reasonably exhaustive search) and quality of sources for these four generations. The second part of the task is to re-evaluate how those sources support the events in each life and whether a source or sources raises additional questions about that persons life.

Conducted a Reasonably Exhaustive Search? That should be easy, right? After all, I have  75 footnotes on my dad, over 90 on my granddad and 54 on my great-granddad. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Since I have participated in the Genealogy Do-Over,  I was reminded of the basic research skills that I used when I first started. Knowing that I hadn’t completed a ‘checklist’ on these men since the early days of my research, I elected to resurrect that skill and complete ‘checklists’. Low and behold, I discovered that I hadn’t found my great-grandfather in the 1925 Kansas Census after it became available. I had the 1930 and 1940 census records for him but not the 1925.

Some would argue that since he and his wife lived in the same town, same house for most of their lives getting the 1925 census wouldn’t be necessary especially since I had the 1920 and 1930 records. However, reasonably exhaustive search (and my previous experience) says that every source is an important source and that the 1925 census might shed additional light on the family.

So, I set off on my trek to find the 1925 census records. In the early days of my genealogical research, this would have meant a trip to Topeka to view the microfilm. However, most of the Kansas census is now available on Ancestry, including the 1925 records. So it was off to Ancestry for a quick search to locate the record and then record the info in my database.

Crawford-Judson-b1866-1925-Kansas-Census

Not only did I find Judson Crawford exactly where I expected (504 Avenue G in Dodge City), but I found the younger children still at home. But WAIT! Who is this Jenny Neal, a twelve year old female born in Kansas? Since NEAL sounded like a surname I had data on, it was off to RootsMagic to try and figure out who this young lady might be.

I did find some NEALs in my data but from over 100 years earlier. Could she be descended from them? It’s possible since a lot of the family migrated to Dodge City. Could she be related to Judson’s wife, Josie. That’s another possibility but I don’t have anything to indicate that relationship. Could Jenny’s father be a deceased railroad worker that the Crawford family took in? That’s another possibility since Judson worked for the railroad and was an active member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

So, the next step is to try and learn more about Jenny Neal so I can answer the question:

Who is Jenny Neal?