I Found It In the Archives Contest: George E. Biggs

Finalist: George E. Biggs

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George E. Biggs

George E. Biggs


According to the death certificate of my second great grandfather, Nathaniel Keeran, he was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, 11 December 1801. I previously found his father, Reuben Keeran, my third great grandfather in the 1830 Federal Census, in Pleasant Township, Fairfield County. However, I have never been able to find information about any of Nathaniel’s siblings. Until, that is, one day in December 2012 I was at the Ohio Historical Society Library/Archives in Columbus.

The first document I found was an abstract of Fairfield County Indentures. In this abstract I found a mention of the indenture of a John Keeran, but no further information. With the help of one of the Archivists, we were able to locate the full indenture record.

“This indenture made this 31st day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven Between Ruben Keeran and of the county of Fairfield of one part and Charles Mytinger of said county of the other part. Witnesseth (sic) that the said John Keeran voluntary (sic) and with the approval of the said Ruben Keeran his Father hath put placed and bound himself and by these presents doth put place and bind himself to be an apprentice with him the said Charles Mytinger to well for and during the term of three years and ten months…”

“Charles Mytinger will well and truly instruct the said John Keeran in the art and mystery of a Taylor…”

This document linked John Keeran to Reuben Keeran as his son, and as a brother to my second great grandfather, Nathaniel.

The second document I found was an 1831 Quadrennial Enumerations, Fairfield County, Ohio. These enumerations list the names of all males 21 years of age and older living in the county. It was in this document that I found the names of Reuben, Nathaniel, and William Keeran in Pleasant Township. This established William as a son of Reuben and a sibling of Nathaniel. What happened to John has yet to be determined. This also gave me my first knowledge of William and allowed me to find other information about him in other sources.

The Ohio Historical Society Library/Archives has been a extremely valuable resource to me in my research over the years, but the findings cited here have provided me with tremendous leads to enable me to further my research.

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