Well, I think I may have figured out why I’m having such a hard time finding records for John’s birth. You remember back in the beginning, I used math (I think I may have even called it “simple”) to calculate John’s birth date from his death certificate? The information on the death certificate was wrong! This just reinforces two things I already knew: (1) I really shouldn’t do math; and (2) Don’t take every document at face value (in other words, confirm, confirm, confirm!)
I headed over to the Looking 4 Kin (http://www.looking4kin.com/) website and hopped into the chat room. I had never been in the chat room there, and thought I would just check it out. Everyone there was so nice! I told them about John and what a problem I was having finding him in Wisconsin. Two very nice people, sonofedd and Spivey, actually did a couple of searches and found him on the 1860 federal census! His name was indexed as “Sloway” on Ancestry and as “Slowny” on HeritageQuest.
So because the census shows that John was 3/12 years old in July 1860, we know that he was probably born in April 1860. I’m not sure this information will help me find a birth certificate any easier, but at least with more accurate information and some alternate spellings of Slowey, I might be able to repeat some old searches and uncover something else!
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