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Emptying the Reed Bin

Each year I select one family line for my research. When I run across material for other lines, I toss it into a stackable bin to be addressed later.

In the years since I last researched my Reed ancestors, their bin had started to overflow. I was eager to see what treasures were stored in there when I resumed the Reed research this year.

I began by sorting items by generation. Not only did I take papers from my own Reed bin, but I also pulled Reed research files compiled by a cousin. I found documents ranging for several generations back from my father:

  1. Earl Reed (1927-2017)
  2. Owen Herbert Reed (1896-1935)
  3. Samuel Harvey Reed (1845-1928)
  4. Joseph Caleb Reed (1818-1903)
  5. Thomas Reed (1783-1852)
  6. Caleb Reed (1756-abt. 1835)
  7. Thomas Reed (dates unknown)

Throughout January, I analyzed and filed the documents from my father’s and grandfather’s generations. I tossed duplicates from my cousin’s files.

As for the rest, I found several treasures including information about a cousin’s time at the Merchant Marine Academy and an uncle’s cattle brand used while he homesteaded in Wyoming.

My bin of papers included numerous research notes for my great-grandfather Samuel Harvey Reed. He lived in several states, and much more investigation into his activities could be done. But he is not my research subject this year, so I will move on from him for now.

This month I will turn to his father’s papers to see what I can file, what can be tossed, and what needs to wait until a later time.

Once I accomplish this, I can begin the research on my intended topic for this year, Thomas Reed (1783-1852). He was born in Fayette County, PA. The family relocated to Spencer County, KY where he raised his family. When land further north opened for settlement in the 1820’s, Thomas did not follow the rest of his family to Indiana. Instead, he moved with his wife and children to Coles County, Illinois.

That is where I will pick up the research on him and his life.

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