In the case of "strays" I can extract information that may be helpful to someone who would not know to look where the information is stored. In the case below, the family lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, but sold land in Gallatin Co., Illinois....unless the family kept a record of this transaction, how would they know to look in Gallatin Co., Illinois, for genealogical information?
The strays also provide an opportunity for me to exercise my sleuthing skills and develop information about these people about whom I have no prior knowledge.
It's fodder for my "In Deeds" blog.
With that said, I found below extracted deed -- the name "Britton Wainwright" was unique, so should be easier to trace than say, John Johnson (one of the actual names I research in the Gallatin Co. area). It also provides other leads and references for interested researchers.
Gallatin Co., Illinois, Deeds
Book "N", Page 290
3 November 1846
Britton Wainwright, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio
William Wainwright of same
40 acres - land in Gallatin Co., IL
NE 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 23 Town 10 South of Range _ E
....part that was conveyed by David Guard of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, 24 December 1841 (L-328) to Thomas B. Smith of Cincinnati and same conveyed to Britton Wainwright by Thomas B. Smith and wife 19 January 1844 (M-480) Gallatin Co.
The deed was recorded in 1846, so I started with the 1850 census and found Britton Wainwright.
On 1 May 1847, Britton Wainwright married Mary Elizabeth Darby in Hamilton Co., Ohio (per IGI).
1850 OH Hamilton, Mill Creek
Mary Wainwright, 22, f, b. England
Britton ", 31, b. Ohio
Catherine, 2 ?/12, b. Ohio
Also with them was a Darby family, including Joseph, who was born in England
In 1860 the family was found in Indiana:
1860 IN Census, Floyd Co., New Albany
Wainright(s), Britton, 40, b. Ohio
", Mary E., 33, b. England
", Ruth C., 12, b. Ohio
", Rachel A., 9, b. Ohio
", Thomas D., 1, b. Indiana
In 1870, Mary and the children were back in Hamilton Co., Ohio:
1870 OH Hamilton Co.
Wainwright, Mary, 43, nurse, b. Eng
", Ruth C., 22, teacher, b. OH
", Rachel, 19, dressmaker, b. OH
", Thomas, 12, in school, b. IN
1880 Census Ohio, Hamilton Co., Cincinnati
Mary E WAINWRIGHT Self W W 53 ENG Professional Nurse ENG ENG
Thomas WAINWRIGHT Son S W 21 IN Grocer OH ENG
Rachel WAINWRIGHT Dau S W 28 OH Dressmaker OH ENG
In 1900, Mary Wainwright is living alone, in Hamilton Co., Ohio, and is a widow. She was born in England in May in 18_ _, and was 73 years old. In 1910, Mary was living as a boarder in Clermont Co., Ohio. Her death record was found here:
Name: Mary Elizabeth Wainwright
Death date: 25 May 1912
Death place: Wayne Twp., Clermont Co., Ohio
Birth date: 16 May 1827
Birth place: Selby, England
Age at death: 85 years 9 days
Marital status: Widowed
Race or color: Caucasian
Occupation: Retired Nurse
Burial date: 28 May 1912
Burial place: Ky.
Cemetery name: Evergreen Cem.
Father name: Johnathon Darby
Father birth place: England
Mother name: Catherine Bickerbike
Mother birth place: England
Reference number: fn 25869
Collection: Ohio Deaths 1908-1953
She was buried in Kentucky? [Evergreen Cemetery]
The informant was Edith J. Hodges of Blanchester, Ohio [She was living with Edith in 1910, as was her husband, Emory, and Emory's father, Ephraim Hodge(s)]
There was a Thomas Wainwright who lived in Washington, D.C. His widow, Caroline, was living in Cook Co., Illinois, in 1910. Was the Thomas Wainwright (1849 - 1908) buried in Washington, D.C., Britton & Mary (Darby) Wainwright's son? The birthdate is 10 years off, but was the stone hard to read?
I've spent enought time on this project, but there's still more nuggets to mine.