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I have been working on the Willie Handcart Company history for about 50 years and now I am trying to get my results together in order to publish my materials. I translated Peder Madsen’s Danish journal and have traced the genealogy and fabricated family histories on those who died in route or dropped out along the way. I am also attaching the familysearch. org identification symbols (KWV9-K4N) to their names. This will allow the readers to compare family histories to my findings. This will help families to make correction where they have multitudes of misinformation. In my younger years I was able to visit the library in Salt Lake City but at age 90 it is difficult for me to get there from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As I have been checking my materials I find few of the company members have their original baptism dates on family search which makes it hard to identify them. It has irritated me for years that the early branch records are not available on line in family history centers. It seems to me that they should be the first records available for their descendants to trace their early Church member’s history.
As I was reviewing my materials I discovered that I lacked information on 27 year old Harriet Smith who dropped out in Homestead, Iowa. I know she was from Bristol, England but that is all the information I have about her. There are too many named Harriet on the census record to obtain her correct identity. The branch records may well have the key to her true identity but I do not have access to them. What would you suggest? Don H Smith