Saturday, June 8, 2019

FINALLY! Proving the father of my 3rd great grandmother, Olive Doten Hart (1805-1887–WHAT DID I FIND?

Olive DOTEN is my paternal 3rd great grandmother.  She was born in May 1805 in Vermont.  My search for Olive’s parents began early in my research, I’d say about 2005. What were her parent’s names?  Since she is married in the 1850 census, and the census records prior to that only have head of household (usually the men), I needed to find out some other way.

In 2000, I began keeping a spreadsheet to keep track of records I had ordered by mail or online.  This was back when we didn’t have so many records available online.  Because of my spreadsheet entry I know that I sent for Olive and her husband, Henry’s death certificates on 4 Apr 2005, from Macomb County, Michigan, I received them on 22 Apr 2005 and I paid $10 each for them.


Yes, I received them, but they were transcribed copies and NOT the original records.  Helpful, but not always accurate, as most of us know.

Here’s her death certificate as received.  We are concentrating on parent’s names so let’s see what the certificate says.  Isaac & Sally DOLERI. 

That precipitated a long search for the surname DOLERI in Vermont, where Olive was born and in surrounding states.  I looked in every record you can think of and found nothing for Isaac or Sally Doleri.  In fact, back when I was looking, there were very few records for that surname.

I called the Macomb County Clerk’s office and asked if they would please send me a copy of the original record.  I, of course, offered to pay for it.  They said they could not release it, and the transcribed copy would have to suffice.  Darn!

Back in 2011 based on evidence from information about the DOTEN family in Monkton, Vermont and the name of her oldest son being Isaac Doten Hart, I changed the focus of my search to the surname DOTEN

In the meantime, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950 came online and later images were added.  OH BOY!!!  DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?  Her parents listed as Isaac & Sally DOTEN.

Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950
Name:    Olive G Hart
[Olive G Doten]
Gender:    Female
Marital Status:    Widowed
Birth Date:    1806
Birth Place:    Vermont
Death Date:    10 Apr 1887
Death Place:    Armada, Macomb, Michigan, USA
Death Age:    81
File Number:    14
Father:    Isaac Doten
Mother:    Sally Doten

And when the image was added online I was finally able to make my own decision as to what was written.  Look closely at the parent’s name in the right column.  Does that say Doleri or Doten?  A transcriber should always look closely at how all the entries were written.  You can see that this person carried the cross mark on his T’s a little to the side on some of the entries.  He does that in several names like the name Walter, Hebblewhite and Milton.  ALWAYS remember to look at other entries on any record you receive. 

IS THIS PROOF THAT ISAAC & SALLY WERE HER PARENTS?  NO, it’s evidence, but not proof.  My search continued.

Fast forward to 2019.  Last weekend while attending SCGS Jamboree, I had some spare time. You can read about my experience here SCGS JAMBOREE 2019 ~ It was a fun time with friends and lots of learning.

I decided to look on Ancestry for Vermont probate records and look for Isaac DOTEN.  I’d done plenty of background research and had plenty of “possible” Isaac Dotens in my Legacy database.   Had I searched for probate records before?  Yes, but it’s been a few years.
I went directly to Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 and entered Isaac Doten with a death date of 1855 plus or minus 5 yrs.  This was based on my research of the Doten family in Vermont.  No records found.  I tried all sorts of combinations of names.  First name only, last name only, no death year.  You get the idea.  NOTHING!

Now I went into the “general” search “all collections” and tried again. Look at what I entered in the search box d?tin.  We have to try everything.

FINALLY, after many tries I’ve come up with some possibles, in the right place, Vermont, with a matching first name of Isaac.

I clicked on the link for Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 (yes, I had just searched that very database and come up empty). Never give up.  This is what I saw.  LOOK!  This Isaac is in Addison, Vermont, which is the exact county where I’ve located so many Isaac Doten’s.

I began going through the pages of this 26 page will packet and OH MY GOSH!!!!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

On page 5 of the record is the list of Isaac Doten’s daughters AND THESE MUST ALL BE THEIR MARRIED NAMES!!!  I had no idea if Olive had siblings or who they might be.  I immediately recognized the name Hannah Burrell.  I’d found a Hannah Burrell, age 69 living with Henry & Olive Hart & their children in the 1860 census in Michigan.  I’d never been able to figure out her connection to the family (if there was one)……..until now.

Here they are, Olive and her sisters:

Here's a close up of that section in this probate record that nearly made me jump up and down at the conference last weekend.

Are you doing the happy dance with me?  I was pretty excited. I have now OFFICIALLY proven that my Olive Hart was the daughter of Isaac Doten. This record along with other evidence is my proof.  Additionally, I’ve taken my family back another generation AND I have Olive’s sisters to research.  What will I find?  By the way, there was a brother, also named Isaac.  He was the oldest and was the administrator of the will for his father.

How I am connected to Isaac Doten, Sr.
Isaac Doten, Sr. & Sally Follett – my 4th great grandparents
Olive G. Doten & Henry Hart – my 3rd great grandparents
Sarah M. Hart & John C. Gould – my 2nd great grandparents
William V. Gould & Mae E. Thorp – my great grandparents
Harry W. Gould & Marie W. Lindsay – my grandparents
Harry N. Gould & Patricia A. Milne – my parents

Stay tuned for more posts about my Doten line.

If you are related to the Doten family or anyone else named in this post, please contact me.  I need to find more cousins from these lines.  I am on Gedmatch A918842.  If you match, let me know.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Great research story!!!! Well done!!! Never give up!! Those pesky transcribers/indexers/clerks sure mess things up, don't they?

    1. Thanks Randy. I was pretty darned excited on Sunday at the conference when I found this. Just fiddling around on my iPad looking at records on Ancestry. And, yes, it’s very difficult when all we have is a transcribed record or index. We need our own eyes to be able to determine what a record really says. But, every find like this gives us hope for the next one. Woohoo!

  2. I'm not sure you "proved" the relationship by GPS standards, but you have a great piece of evidence. Have you found deeds yet for Isaac Doten or for Hart from Doten? Are there Vermont birth records for Olive that name her parents?

    The marriage record and the probate record are two pieces of evidence that supports the hypothesis that Isaac and Sally Doten are her parents.

    FWIW, I would consider those two records do prove the relationship, but the more you have the better the proof is.

    Missed you today at SDGS.

    Cheers -- Randy

    1. No deeds yet. I am currently researching all the sisters and the one son, and looking for more vital records, probate records etc. Should be fun and I’ve already located a few things. I'll keep you posted. Didn’t feel like driving "down the hill" to the meeting and I was way to involved in my research and blog post to leave the house.
      Smiles and see you soon.

  3. That's so exciting Diane, well done!

  4. Congratulations! I love probate records for this very reason!

    1. I agree Miriam. I’ve found so many valuable connections in probate records.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. This is the most fun of the research into genealogy...getting answers that you don't have to guess about any more!

    1. Isn’t that the truth Barbara? It never gets boring, that’s for sure.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Diane, this is amazing! Definitely time to do a Genealogy Happy Dance. Congratulations on your exciting find!

    1. Thanks Jana. It was a big one for sure.’s lead to more exciting finds, so stay tuned. Woohoo!

  7. Hi Diane, I think we are distant cousins and that you are descended from two Mayflower passengers, Edward DOTY and Francis COOKE. If you would like to chat about this, please email me at Exciting stuff, isn't it? If this turns out to be true, you will end up with thousands of new cousins. Carolyn Lancaster

    1. Carolyn - since we’ve already communicated by email, after you left these comments, I’ll just say, let the journey continue.

  8. Correction: Make that three passengers on the Mayflower - Stephen HOPKINS as well. Carolyn

    1. And wouldn’t that be something else? When all I’ve ever hoped for is one Mayflower passenger connection.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. That was a duplicate comment and only removed for that reason.

  10. I am related to your fourth great grandfather, Isaac Doten. His brother, Silas, was my distant grandfather. Isaac moved to Vermont from Plymouth, MA. Silas and family moved to Maine. If my research is correct, you are also related to about nine Mayflower passengers. Edward Doty, Francis Cooke, Stephen Hopkins, John Alden, Priscilla Mullins (and her parents), and there are a few others, I can’t think of at the moment. I have done quite a bit of research on the family, if you have other questions.

  11. Also, you may reach me at


  12. Congratulations on an excellent find! Finding the original is a necessary step. Human error and omission of details always happens.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.