I was given information from a cousin that Nina Estelle Rutter was born 16 May 1866 in Hopkinton, South Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa to Alonzo John and Mary Emily (Finch) Rutter. I want to check the validity of this information.
1. A reasonable exhaustive searchI have my research statement. What records might contain this information?
- birth record
- death record
- marriage record
- birth announcement
- family Bible
- grave marker
- other family members' records
The Rutter family was enumerated in Delaware Township, Delaware County, Iowa.
In 1880 the Rutter family was living in Elgin Township, Lyon County, Iowa.
Nina Rutter is now 14 years old, born in Iowa. [3rd generation-Original, Secondary, Indirect]
I know that the family moved again in July 1883, to Pipestone, Pipestone County, Minnesota. On 8 November 1883 Nina E. Rutter's obituary was published in the Pipestone County Star. [2nd generation-Original, Primary, Indirect]
If she was 17 years, 5 months, and 17 days old upon her death on 4 November 1883, then she would have been born 18 May 1866.
Nina was born before Delaware County, Iowa started recording birth. Her birth was not recorded in the county, nor are any of her siblings' births recorded. Her death is not recorded in Pipestone County, Minnesota. If her grave was marked, the has not marker survived. The cemetery has no record of her burial (see this post). Nina never married, so there is no marriage record. She died before her father, Alonzo John Rutter, applied for a Civil War pension and thus she is not listed among his surviving children in the application.
2. Complete and accurate citation of sources
I used endnotes. To see my citations, please scroll to the end of this post.
3. Analysis and correlation of the collected informationOriginal information: secondary, direct.
I do not know what the origin of the information is.
1870 census: 3rd generation-original, secondary, indirect.
Third generation original explains that it is a (3) digital image of a (2) microfilmed (1) original. It is secondary because I do not know who provided the information (when in doubt, always refer to information as secondary). It is indirect because it does not tell me the exact information.
1880 census: 3rd generation-original, secondary, indirect. (see above explanation)
Obituary: 2nd generation-original, primary, indirect. It is a (2) microfilm of the (1) original newspaper. One of her family members, most likely a parent, provided the information. However, it does not tell me exactly when she was born, rather I need to do some math to come up with a date.
4. Resolution of conflicting informationAll of the sources agree that Nina was born abt. 1866 in Iowa.
5. A soundly reasoned, and coherently written conclusionFamily lore has Nina E[stelle?] Rutter’s birth as 16 May 1866 in Hopkinton, South Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa. The 1870 and 1880 US censuses agree that Nina was born ca. 1866 in Iowa. The family had been living in Delaware County, Iowa since her parents, Alonzo John and Mary Emily (Finch) Rutter were married in 1856. Births were not required to be registered in the county when she was born and there is no record of her birth. The Rutter family had recently moved to Pipestone, Pipestone County, Minnesota when Nina died there on 4 November 1883. Her obituary appeared in the Pipestone County Star, stating that she was 17 years, 5 months, and 7 days old upon her death. This would make her date of birth 18 May 1866. Nina’s death was not recorded in Pipestone County. All of the sources agree that she was born in (May) 1866 in (Delaware County,) Iowa, most likely on the 16th or 18th day.
 1870 U.S. census, Delaware County, Iowa, population schedule, Manchester post office, Delaware Township, p. 24, dwelling 196, family 191, Alonzo J. Rutter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : downloaded 16 October 2005); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M593, roll 387.
 1880 U.S. census, Lyon County, Iowa, population schedule, Elgin Township, enumeration district (ED) 146, p. 12D, dwelling 74, family 76, Alonzo Rutter; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : downloaded 15 October 2005); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication T9, roll 352; FHL microfilm 1254352.
 "Fifty Years Ago," Pipestone County (Minnesota) Star, 26 July 1933; "A.J. Rutter, a gentleman from Rock Rapids, Ia., arrived in town...;" microfilm held by the Pipestone County Historical Society and Museum.
 "Died," Nina E. Rutter obituary, Pipestone County (Minnesota) Star, 8 November 1883, p. 3; microfilm held by the Pipestone County Historical Society and Museum.
 Delaware County, Iowa, "Marriage Record, 1851-1861," p. 189, Alonzo J. Rutter-Mary E. Finch marriage license and return, December 1856; Delaware County Recorder's Office, Manchester.
_______________________________________________For detailed posts on each part of the Genealogical Proof Standard, see step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, and step 5.