A Vertical File Find

Records of Davis family, and Carnahan family, and Lynn family; vol. 1-4. Family Research Files.
Records of Davis family, and Carnahan family, and Lynn family; vol. 1-4. Family Research Files.

We’ve written before about the value of vertical files, but here’s a great example of the hidden gems that they contain. A researcher recently took a look at the “Davis, Carnahan and Lynn Families” research file, hoping to find the “right” Lynn and Carnahan families. The finding aid only provided the following description:

Davis, Carnahan and Lynn Families
Papers, 1800’s
One Box
Abstract: “Records of Davis family, and Carnahan family, and Lynn family; vol. 1-4” contains four handwritten diaries/journals including notes, news clippings, and photographs. No obvious order to information in these books compiled by Cora L. Davis

Examination of the volumes showed that this was indeed the correct family. The box did contain 4 handwritten volumes as described. The information in the volumes was arranged, more or less, by surname as Ms. Davis detailed her family’s history. The volumes contained birth, marriage and death dates for various family members, transcriptions of letters, newspaper clippings, memories and other valuable information. The following details were found in volume 1, page 139:

“They came over from Ireland to America in the same ship, their families settled in the east, and they (Samuel Lynn and Margaret Warnick) married in Pennsylvania, later moved to Kentucky. In 1821 they moved from Jefferson Co., Kentucky to Washington Co., Indiana and bought the old home on March 24, 1821 for $800.00. One of the witnesses to the signing of the deed was James Lynd. Their two youngest children, Archibald Warnick and Margaret Jane were born in the old home…..”

From Vol. 2, pages 233-235: 
“Remarks By Mrs. James B. Sherwood, daughter of Margaret Ann Lynn and by Oliver Lynn son of Samuel Lynn. We have a very clear recollection of what was told us by Margaret Lynn and Samuel Lynn concerning our great grandparents.”

“My great grandmother, Margaret Warnick lived in the home of my grand father William C. Lynn. She was a short, stout woman of Irish descent and could not speak the English language. She was so small that she had to climb on a chair to get into her bed……”

These files contain priceless details that won’t be found elsewhere. Be sure to check with the libraries and historical societies in the area you’re researching to see if they have similar documents. To see if the Newberry holds files on your family, check the finding aids for the Family Research Files.

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