Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clues in the Trail

Scanning census records are basic to all genealogical research. The details lead us to further clues. It is important to note the State of birth for the parents and children. Example: Some of the children may have been born in North Carolina, while others were born in Georgia and Alabama. These places of birth represent the ancestors' migratory trail and his last known date (of residence) in a specific place. Do these years sound familiar? How do they match up to land grants, land lotteries and Indian removals? If the dates are close to the drawing of land lotteries, search the land lottery books. Were the Alabama and Mississippi births after 1833? If so, they took the conventional trail through Georgia's western counties, then through Chambers County, Alabama. Did any of the daughters disappear from one census record to the next? Each step which the parents took has to be examined to establish a chart of the migratory trail. Don't forget to research deeds and tax digests. The deeds provide land locations which are needed to search cemeteries in the area while tax digests reveal the location of other parcels of land which may have been land grants or drawn in land lotteries.

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
Virginia Pioneers

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