By Jeannette Holland Austin
Octonia Mill was located .4 of a mile NW of Route 637 and 1.7 miles NW of the intersection of Route 1001 in Greene County, Virginia. There is a real issue trying to zero in on those ancestors who migrated into the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains of Virginia. For one thing, the boundaries frequently changed, especially as part of the region went into Kentucky and West Virginia. People lived far apart and curvy mountain trails and runs were prevalent. Here is how I found the elusive Edward Franklyn of Augusta/Orange/Botetourt/Greene Counties. That same region where he resided fell into four different counties, Greene being the last county. An excellent vehicle to research are deed records, including land grants, because land was so important to early settlers that documents were recorded at the court house. Another source are Minute Records and Orders of the Court. In this example, I found an order to clear a road from Piney Mountain Run, " Edward Franklyn being also surveyor of the lower part of the said road from Octonia Mill to the said Piney Mountain. (1736)" Octonia stone was gathered in the region and milled. The work order stated that "your petitioner (John Cleveland) lives four miles above the Piney Mountain Run and Laurence Franklyn and William Franklyn lived higher." Using this information as well as the exact location of the site of Octonia Mill, one can just about locate the old Franklyn home site. What does this information do for you? It provide the names of four counties where to search records. The very large Augusta County was populated in those days by Germans and Scotch-Irish. The Germans came primarily from Berks and Burk Counties while other immigrants were from Philadelphia County. But people were steadily moving westward, therefore, the task is tedious. A later deed from Orange County, dated in 1789, was where Edward Franklin and Sarah, his wife, sold to Zachariah Burnley 500 acres of land "devised to me by my father Edward Franklin on the land on which he lived and died and is now bounded by the lands of Zachariah Burnley, William Tomberlin and Alexander Marr." Another, deed from Pheby Franklin, agreed to deed 100 acres devised to her by her father to Zachariah Burnley.
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