Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tracking the Old Home Place #genealogy #virginiapioneers.net

Why Tracking the Old Home Place is Essential to Finding the Past

Nottoway RiverIt is essential for the genealogist to locate the exact spot of the old home place, if possible. Generally speaking, the early settlers located along river beds, such as the Nottoway River in Virginia. This may sound difficult, but not if one focuses upon the adjoining farms and the names of the neighbors, then does what is called a "title search" at the court house. That is to say, trace a certain property back to the first owner (or land grant), and then forward to later owners. What this does is identify the original tract of land which contained vague descriptions to more detailed data, such as local streams, ponds, types of forest land and names in the neighborhood. It also locates some interesting situations, such as deeds of gift when the owner transfers title to his children or other kin. A comparison in the tax digests and old last wills and testaments where land bequests were granted, will help confirm data. John Ellis owned 600 acres in Amelia County, which lands adjoined Hardaway Wade, Finney and Samuel Smith. Part of this land bordered on the corner of Hampton Wade near Jacks branch. Also, there were 138 acres of land on both sides of the Nottoway River, which included the mill. This description of the location of the plantation was written by John Ellis and incorporated into his last will and testament in 1762. The genealogist can usually achieve some success in finding the home place simply by reviewing the tax digests and observing adjoining neighbors and waterways. The earliest deeds (if they survived) were quite vague in the use of chains and measures. Another popular marker were slashes upon certain trees, creeks, forests and the like. Also, a visit to the site is quite beneficial and rewarding in locating old churches, communities and cemeteries, especially if one takes a county map along which contains a legend. View old Virginia Wills & Estates 

County and Probate Records to Help you Find your Virginia Ancestors

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