Today was Day 2 of the 6th Annual Genealogy Fair at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. I decided at the last minute to attend yesterday and had such a great time that I decided to return today. One reason was that, between attending topical sessions, I had a chance to confer again with the two archivists most familiar with Record Group 21 – the records of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Last fall and then again in January, I had reviewed some of the probate records for Levin Dukes, Sarah Dukes’ father, who died without a will in Georgetown in 1866. I looked at inventories, vouchers, accounts, advertisements for property sales as I tried to piece together the story of Sarah and her siblings’ guardians, first, their stepmother, and then a neighbor from Georgetown. More on that later.
But I knew there had to be more, especially about the guardian change itself. The three of us brainstormed about other record possibilities, I filled out the pull slips under their supervision, and I knew the records would be waiting for me today. And I did indeed find the court-ordered date of the change in 1867 and got a glimmer of why it happened ($$$$$).But, even better, I found a bit of information that had eluded me to date – the exact birthdates for Sarah, her older brother James, and her three younger half-siblings, one of whom died within just a few months. And it was in a Guardian Bond. Guardian Bonds — sounds dry, right? But seeing Sarah’s birthdate for the first time made me a little misty-eyed. Probably because birthdays are a big deal in our family. I’ve attached a photograph of the bond. And the citation is in the bottom right corner of the image.
One thought on “April 6, 1852”
And people wonder why we have archivists! Great stuff.