Thursday, December 8, 2011

Research Plan: James William Radcliff


James William Radcliff was my paternal great grandfather. He was married to Rebecca Schoolcraft (probable daughter of Aaron Schoolcraft and his first wife Sarah --?--). Known children include John Radcliff, William Aaron Radcliff, Abraham Radcliff, Sarah E Radcliff, James Wesley Radcliff, Barbara E Radcliff, Marietta Radcliff and Granville Anderson Radcliff.

Research Problem:

I would like to determine when he passed and who his parents were.

Known Information:

According to the death certificate of son William Aaron Radcliff, he was born in Virginia.

The only census I have located for him, the 1850 census, says he was born ca 1821 in Virginia.

In 1850, he was in Jackson County with his wife and two kids. By 1870, the family had moved to Gilmer County and he is no longer in the household. I don't know where the family was in 1860.

Suspected Information:

Based on the youngest child's birth and his failure to appear with the family in the 1870 census, I suspect he passed ca 1869. No death record has been located.

Some online family trees list an additional child named Henry Franklin Radcliff born ca 1852.

Some online family trees have his parents as John B Radcliff and Sarah Ann Thorne or Jonathan Radcliff and Sarah Castor. It's entirely possible that both of these couples are actually the same. John and Jonathan are not that big of a leap and there may be conflicting views on Sarah's maiden name.


Continue trying to locate family in the 1860 census to determine if he is still in the household.

Check probate records for Jackson and Gilmer Counties and possibly surrounding counties as well.

Check Civil War military records. While he would have been around 50, it's possible he served and that might be an avenue to find information on him.

Check census mortality schedules. If he passed within 12 months of the 1870 census, he may be listed.

Locate all Radcliffs living in Virginia near time of his birth to see if I can pinpoint his family.

Research possible parents to see if there are probate records available that name children.

Research possible son Henry Franklin Radcliff to see if I can pinpoint a birth location. If I can, it might help with locating the family in the 1860 census.

Check Family History Library catalog to see what other resources are available.

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