Saturday, March 24, 2012

The family editor

My daughter is a successful editor for a publishing company in Philadelphia but she didn't have anything to do with this edit.

One of my Florida cousins wanted to obtain a Family Certificate as a Florida Pioneer from the Florida State Genealogical Society. It's for descendants of early settlers, who were in the area before 1845 when Florida became a State.

Our common ancestor William Rowell would qualify since he was in North Florida about the same time the Spanish sailed off. He had to fend off the local Indians before he could do much farming but once that was taken care of his family stayed around. I visited with one of my Rowell cousins last summer who has helped keep the family name prominent in the area for 180 years.

The text that needed an edit was the memorial marker for William Rowell in Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Madison County Florida.

They wanted to document that William was the father of Joseph Rowell so they could send in the membership application. I had found many sources that listed William Rowell in the area before 1845, his military record, land records and a newspaper account from the 1850s.

Unfortunately the 1850 census record, when Joseph was living in his father's house, didn't list relationships of anyone in the household, just their age and sex. I've never located a will or estate records for William that would have listed Joseph. So to take care of this, the cousin paid to add a few facts to the grave marker.

Now this marker isn't original and it is only a memorial not one marking his grave. He lived further west and would have probably been buried on his own land. But it didn't hurt anything to put on the marker what we all know is the truth, that he was the father of Joseph Rowell. That was enough to get the application approved.

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