Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Genealogy Blurbs

In addition to searching North Carolina county records, census, military, bibles, land grants, cemeteries, etc., there is a world of information available to the dedicated researcher. What I am talking about are those one-liners. That is, blurbs about your ancestor found in genealogies, dictionaries, witnesses to deeds, wills and other documents, and so on. These blurbs added up to solving the puzzle. Example: witnesses and sureties to marriages and estate bonds were usually relatives or neighbors. The names of neighbors are important because it helps zero in on where they lived and who they married. Compare the names from one document to the next. From 1600 to 1900, it was a smaller world. The likelihood of duplicates within the same county works to our favor, except for common surnames like Smith, Brown, Jones, and first names like John, William, etc. In these difficult tracings where the daughters' marriages are unknown, I try and identify the witnesses as a possibility for husbands.

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
North Carolina Pioneers

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