Genealogy Research Using Free Internet Resources - A Case Study
By Linda Altman
Using free genealogy resources available on the internet, we will determine that the Abraham Labar married to Ann Marie Lange is not the same individual as Col. Abraham Labar of Revolutionary War fame.
Previous Genealogy Research Performed
The following information has already been determined by prior research. Abraham Labar was born in 1752 and died on 24 January 1814. He was married to Anne Marie Lange and they resided in Upper Bethel Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Using this information as Abraham Labar's unique identifiers, we can separate him from other men with the same name in the same location.
According to the information provided, Abraham Labar is the correct age to have been able to serve in the Revolutionary War. In this case study, we did not use any for fee websites. Instead we resorted to online research techniques that include the use of search engines, free genealogy websites that offer transcriptions of records, and websites from state archives.
The first place we looked for Abraham Labar, is in the US census. 1790 is the year we will start searching. This is the first federal census taken in the US. You can expect to find the names of the head of household and a listing of other residents, by gender and age. Our quest for Abraham Labar shows the following 2 records located in 1790 US census, Upper Bethel Township, Northampton County:
- Abraham Labar household: 3 males aged 16 and over, and 7 females.
- Margaret Labar household: 3 males aged 16 and older, 3 females. Margaret is probably a widow.
We continue our search to the 1800 census. This census contained the same information as the 1790 census, however the age categories are expanded. We found 1 entry of interest:
- Located in 1800 US census, Upper Bethel Township, Northampton County, Abraham Labar, aged 45 or older, 1 female aged 45 or older.
This is most likely the same Abraham Labar listed above; at 48 years of age his information fits.
There are other places to look for genealogical records other than the US census. We expanded our search to the Pennsylvania State Archives. Their ARIAS database reveals 5 records of interest:
- Abrm. Labar, Lieutenancy: Northampton, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Company, Captain Henry Allhouse, 4th Class, 16 May 1780, inactive duty militia.
- Col. Abraham Labar, 5th Battalion, PA Militia, September 1776 to May 1777.
- Abraham Labar, no rank specified, 5th Battalion, 4th Company, Captain John Long, 1 May 1782.
- Col. Abraham Labar, 5th Battalion, 1777-1780.
- Col. Abraham Labar, accounted for £ 310.10.0, entrusted to him September 1776 for recruiting the flying camp. [Flying camps were a special battalion of PA line troops].
These records show that there are 2 different Abraham Labars, serving from the same area of Pennsylvania. Which one is the man we are looking for?
Our last stop in our research is DAR online lookups. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) has a record for Col. Abraham Labar that is of great importance.
- Col. Abraham Labar, born in Delaware before 1750, Colonel from PA, no pension, Died in PA after 1777. His wife is Margaret Gordon.
This Col. Abraham Labar, contained in the DAR records, is most likely the spouse of Margaret Labar, listed in the 1790 census above. In addition this rules out that the Col. Abraham Labar, is not the ancestor of my client. Here is why:
Abraham Labar (1752-1814), married to Anne Maria Lange, would only have been about 24 at the onset of the American Revolution. This is very young to have obtained the rank of Colonel by 1776. Abraham Labar, the subject of our research, is married to Anne Marie Lange, not Margaret Gordon.
There is no way to determine if Lt. Abraham Labar from above is the man we are looking for, however, we can rule out that he is NOT the same individual as Col. Abraham Labar, because he could not serve in 2 separate units, with 2 separate ranks at the time.
These records clearly indicate that there were 2 men named Abraham Labar from Upper Bethel Township. In depth research will completely identify the Abraham Labar of our research as a separate and distinct individual from the Col. Abraham Labar listed in the records above.
© 2008 Linda Altman and Southern Genealogy. All rights reserved.
Linda Altman is a writer and researcher with 10 years of genealogy research experience. Her company Southern Genealogy, http://www.southerngenealogy.com specializes in Census research, and families of the southeastern US, in particular, North Carolina families. Other areas of expertise include passenger lists, Native American research, and New England family research. This article may be reprinted as long as this entire box and copyright are included with it.
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