When do you have enough information to go from “possible” to “probable”?

I don’t know or it depends or ……

There, got that off my chest!  I have been working on my proof of birth/location of Jens T. Dahle (I did discover I cannot copy/paste a table into this blog.) based on the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).

Here is what I have so far:

  • Birth date:  the information about Jens’s birth date is consistent between that which is in the record in the USA and that which is recorded in the Leikanger parish in Norway, i.e. 25 March 1839.  The USA information is obtained from a series of sources (1900 census, 2 contemporary county histories and the Civil War record).  While March 1839 is the common denominator, in the two county histories we have the conflicting dates of 25 March and 5 March.
  • Birth location: all sources in the USA say Norway.  No other record has been found which lists anything other than that.  A Jens Torkelson is born in Liekanger parish, Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway.
  • Immigration/emigration:  Both the date in the 1900 census and the moving out parish record in Norway say 1858.

The question is:  Do I need to do more?  There is one more clue that if resolved would lend credence to the proof.  It is stated in one of the county histories that Jens went to live with an uncle, Halvor Quie in Rice County MN, when he immigrated.  Halvor Quie is found in Rice County. However, when checking with the siblings of his parents, Torkel and Unni, and with his step father, Endre, there are no siblings with the name of Halvor.  Halvor is however, born in 1835 and might instead be a cousin, either first or second.  Halvor also mustered into the same Union Army unit on the same day as Jens.

Or, said another way, what are the chances there is another Jens Torkelson born in March 1839, probably on the 25th and who emigrated from Norway in 1858?  Probably pretty low.  It would be “nailed” however if I found that Halvor was related to my Jens and I knew how.

For a client report, this seems to go beyond what I have been hired to do and so I have decided to just declare this a loose end and point out what I have found out about Halvor.  I expect that someone in the future may look into this more closely.

Your thoughts about “what is enough proof” would be welcomed.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  analyzed Jens, researched the birth location of Halvor with the very much appreciated help of the Norway listserve, attended two art show/holiday parties with a friend and gone to yoga!  Whew!  You would think I had my holiday shopping done (you would be wrong!).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s