Several of my Joslin cousins and I have started planning for a research trip and "heritage tour" to New England in September. The cousins are descendants of Luther Joslin, brother of my 2nd Great-Grandmother Malissa Mariah Joslin Brubaker Bower... somewhere along the magnitude of 2nd Cousins twice removed or 3rd Cousins once removed, depending upon the person. Luther and Malissa are the children of Lysander and Lydia (Robison) Joslin.
In preparation for that September trip, I've been assigned the task of developing a research plan and putting together a list of the places to visit and sights to see in New England. Places where our (presumed) Joslin ancestors lived.
Although we don't have any documentation that explicitly states that Lysander is the son of James and Abigail (Goodrich) Joslin or that James is the son of Jonas and Ruth (Dyer) Joslin or that Jonas is the son of Joseph and Sarah (Tarbell) Joslin. Or that Abigail is the daughter of Bela and Sally (Church) Goodrich or that Bela is the son of John and Abigail (Price) Goodrich. But we "know" that it is so, after all, that's what my grandma has written in her notes, and several undocumented databases online show, so it must be right! Yeah, sure.
As I see it, the first task is really to evaluate the evidence that has been found in recent years (since my grandmother's death in 1984) regarding the presumed relationships. If those relationships, if any, can't be determined with the existing evidence, then why even make the trip to New England? Well, because my Joslin cousins are such nice people and it will be a great trip regardless ;-)
I guess, more than anything, I'm trying to convince myself that the presumed relationships are legitimate. I'm not sure they can be "proven" according to The Genealogical Proof Standard. As Craig Manson recently wrote, there is no such thing as proof. (If you haven't yet read his post, I highly recommend that you do so.) How much evidence, whether direct or indirect, is needed to "prove" a presumption? Is it required that the evidence is sufficient to convince others that a presumption is true for it to be so? Or is it enough if only I (the researcher) believe it to be true - based on evidence, of course, and not just wishful thinking?
According to published sources, from Joseph, the Joslin line goes back four more generations to Thomas and Rebecca Joslin, the immigrant ancestors who left England in April 1635 and settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts Bay Colony. And the Goodrich line from John goes back four generations to William and Sarah (Marvin) Goodrich who were married in 1648 in the Connecticut Colony. And that, of course, opens up a whole bunch more ancestral lines to be researched!
Once I recuperate sufficiently from my surgery, possibly in April, I'll be taking a trip to Delaware and Franklin counties in Ohio to see what I can dig up on the Joslin and Goodrich families. In 1986, while on a whirlwind tour of Ohio, my mother and I stopped briefly in Delaware County and were rewarded with several land records mentioning James and Jonas. Surely there are other records where they can be found. I'll be looking for those records.
In the meantime, I'll be presenting the evidence that we currently have in a series of posts. The reason for doing so is twofold: first, to make the information available to other researchers without having to send it out to multiple people, and, second, to (hopefully) get some input from my readers…