This seminar will take you step by step through the process of gathering information on your family to locating your Southern ancestors and their migration to the western territory as well as accessing vital records, passenger records and church records.
Immigration versus Migration
While immigration means for an individual or a family to move to a new country from their country of origin, the word migration denotes the act of moving from one place to another - within a country or across borders, for people or birds, and usually refers not to a single individual or family but a a larger demographic.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Genealogy PowerSearch - Using Google to Find Southern Ancestors
1. Intentionally Specific and General -- All Terms Count 2. Input the terms: rivers and Indian paths westward trails 3. Then input your specific state/location
The one common reason our ancestors moved was due to economics. For example, the gold rush, free land, and business opportunities.
Why is Kim Morgan Lecturing Us Again on County Courthouses, Land Records and Deeds?
Because land records are an especially powerful genealogical resource, especially when used in conjunction with other records for breaching brick walls or in building a case where no one record provides a record of relationship.
Deeds are an important genealogical resource because:
U.S. land deeds often involve more people than other genealogical sources - providing a potential source for information on family members, neighbors, and even friends.
Land deeds help to locate a person in a particular area at a particular time.
Deed books at the county courthouse are only copies of the original land deeds, so land records are especially useful in areas where a courthouse fire has destroyed most of the records prior to a certain date. Because property was valuable, most people would bring their original deeds back to the courthouse following a fire or other catastrophe so that they could be re-recorded.
Deeds can be used to distinguish two men with identical names by locating one or both on a particular piece of property.
Deeds that transfer property by will or estate may name all children and their spouses
Deeds, in conjunction with tax lists, can often help to reconstruct an entire neighborhood - making it easier to find potential migration patterns.
1. Deed versus Grant. When researching land deeds it is important to understand the difference between a grant or patent, and a deed. A grant is the first transfer of a piece of property from some government entity into the hands of an individual, so if your ancestor acquired land by grant or patent then he was the original private land owner. A deed, however, is the transfer of property from one individual to another, and covers pretty much all land transactions following the original grant of land.
2. Most Americans owned at least some land prior to the twentieth century, making individual land records a treasure trove for genealogists. Deeds, legal records for transferring land or property from one individual to another, are the most prevalent and widely used of the U.S. land records, and can provide a fairly reliable method of tracking ancestors when no other record can be found.
3. Deeds are relatively easy to locate and provide information on the family members, social status, occupation, and neighbors. Early land deeds are especially detailed and predate most other record sources, increasing the importance of land records the further back a researcher goes.
Today's seminar is based on websites Sandra Doutre shared with us in February.
You may wish to visit the websites listed below for a digital version of her handouts.
Finding Southern Ancestors - A Case Study: Documenting the Marriage of Nancy (Justice) Wade with a Pension Application .
Each of us has been touched in some way by the experiences, choices and attitudes of our ancestors. The decisions they were often forced to make during the great migrations of the 1800s radically changed our ancestors’ world – and ours.
Study the trail itself. Choose a trail or road with special significance to your heritage and seek information from many sources—books, periodicals, videos, television documentaries, museums and the Internet. Check with local historical societies, museums and libraries along the trail to learn more. You may even want to travel the route yourself to get a feel for your ancestors' experience.
Your family's history, after all, isn't just a record of names and dates. If you're like most Americans, it's also a saga of places. The more you can connect with those places from your past, the better you'll understand how you got here today.