January 16, 2013
A while back, I compared select tax records against U. S. federal census records for male adult Roberts living in Jackson County, Georgia. The research described in that post is part of my research into the natal family of James R. Roberts, my great-great-great grandfather, whose ancestry is a brick wall I’ve been trying to knock down for years.
Below is an outline of what I’ve gathered to date, so that other Roberts researchers can see how I think part of James’ family might fit together. I want to emphasize that my research is not complete, and much of what follows cannot be considered as proof or even evidence; in other words, this is the direction in which the records accumulated thus far seem to be leading. Please bear that in mind while reading this post.
November 29, 2012
I’m very pleased to announce the publication of an important resource for Georgia researchers. Slave Importation Affidavit Registers for Nine Georgia Counties, 1818 – 1847 contains abstracts of affidavits recorded in distinct volumes or sections of volumes for Camden County, Columbia County, Elbert County, Franklin County, Jackson County, Jasper County, Morgan County, Pulaski County, and Wilkes County.
The registers for Richmond County will be published in a future, stand-alone volume because of the large number of affidavits recorded there.
November 12, 2012
A while back, I posted a comparison of the 1850 federal census’ free population schedule to the 1849 through 1851 tax records for the Roberts family of Jackson County, Georgia. While doing research in the poor school and academy lists for Jackson County, I found the following record naming two children of Shiner [China] Roberts who were school-aged in 1852.
June 14, 2012
I know I’ve talked about Michael Hait a lot in the last couple of posts. While Michael and I have met online and even corresponded a time or two, we had never met in person. He introduced himself Tuesday, and we’ve had several conversations since then centered around, you guessed it, certification and records, in particular records pertaining to slave and/or African American research.
April 28, 2012
Oh, the dreaded brick wall ancestor, the bane of every genealogist’s life! We all have them, those ancestors who refuse to cooperate and instead prefer to lurk just out of reach of our inquisitive minds. Luckily for us (not so much for the lurking ancestors), there are plenty of tricks to help researchers break down those brick walls. Here are four useful techniques:
April 2, 2012
James R. Roberts (1828 – 1891) was my great-great-great-grandfather. His ancestry is a brick wall I’ve been chipping away at for several years. So far, I’ve identified at least two and possibly three siblings, but I still don’t know who his parents were.
One of the first records sets used to research 19th century ancestors in the US is the federal decennial censuses. James was married in 1853 in Jackson Co., GA, and all indications point to him living there for the remainder of his life. His brother, William, was enumerated in Jackson County from 1850 through 1880, and James was enumerated there in 1860, 1870, and 1880, but I have never been able to find him in the 1850 free population schedule. This bothers me quite a bit. If only I could find him in 1850, I often think, then perhaps I would find the evidence I need to link him to his parents. But there he is not, no matter how often I look or how thoroughly I search.
Fortunately, Georgia researchers have other records to draw from, including the many extant county tax records. Jackson County has a rich set of tax digests extending from the county’s earliest days through most of the 19th century with very few gaps. I had a little time last week, so I hopped on down to the courthouse in Jefferson, Jackson County’s county seat, and spent the afternoon reading those digests. I focused on the years 1849, 1850, and 1851, because those years’ tax records act as a substitute and supplement for the 1850 federal census.
November 3, 2011
James Barr was a Revolutionary War veteran who lived the latter portion of his life in Jackson Co., GA. He wrote his last will and testament in 1835.
first I Give to my Wife Mary all my Property both Real & Personal During her Life then to be Divided as follows (to wit)
To My Son James Henson Barr the Plantation wheron I now Live & a negro man Edom & one Cow
The Ballance of My Property to be Sold & Eaqully [sic] Divided between all my Children including James Henson Barr I hereby appoint Mary Barr[,] James Henson Barr & Boley Wilson my Exeutors [sic]
The will was witnessed by James Montgomery, John Cuningham, and Samuel Hay, and was proven 1 March 1841 by the oaths of John Cuningham and James Montgomery.
Two curious paragraphs were inserted in the official record between the copy of the will and the notation where it was proven.
We the Jury find in Favour of applicant & than [sic] was Proof of attestations by only Two Witnesses…
And Decree that the administrators or objectors Pay the Cost of Suit…
There is likely further information in the court minutes on why all three witnesses could not prove the will.
This is a good example of a will not providing the expected information, in this case the names of all of James Barr’s children. One of my ancestors was supposedly a child of this James Barr but was not named in his will. A thorough search through other estate records may yield proof of this connection, as may other records sets such as the court minutes referenced above or land records.
April 5, 2010
A while back, I wrote about pinpointing my priority surnames in order to provide a better focus to my personal research. I have had a bit of luck learning more about a few of those ancestors, and wanted to share a little of what I’ve found.
February 20, 2010
In August, I will be attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies‘ annual conference, held this year in Knoxville, TN. While I am looking forward to this event in general, I am especially excited about visiting the East Tennessee Historical Society, home to the McClung Historical Collection, a virtual cornucopia of manuscript collections, rare books, city directories, newspapers, and microfilm. The primary focus of the collection is, of course, the eastern Tennessee counties, but other areas of Tennessee and other states are also represented.
I am currently compiling a list of my eastern Tennessee families so that I can plan my on-site research. Included will be:
- Mansfield and Harriet (Black) Anderson, who moved from Blount and Sevier Counties (TN) into Macon Co., NC
- Miranda (Fletcher) Curtis and several of her children, who moved from Macon Co., NC, to Monroe Co., TN
- Samuel Hopper, who possibly lived for a short time in Claiborne and Giles Counties, TN
- Various children of William Morgan, who died in 1809 in Jackson Co., GA
The FGS 2010 Conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier.” The conference runs from August 18 to August 21. For more information, see the FGS conference web site.
April 12, 2009
I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.