Finding the Path Across the Genealogy Maze
Have you ever worked one of the maze puzzles in the Altheimer's books? Once inside the maze, the idea is to find a path out. Actually, it is a good exercize for the researcher who spends years attempting to solve complicated genealogies. We expect to find marriage records, for example, but discover that many county records did not begin requiring this filing until the 1900s. But we are inside the maze and must pause to examine all of the possibilities of exit. In seeking the obvious exit, we miss tiny details whih lead to answers. For example, did you realize that the people buried in the old part of a cemetery are "the neighborhood?" It is these tombstones which provide answers. Had you researched the local deed records, wills and estates, you might recognize some of the names. In other words, you are looking at the neighbors, friends and relatives of your ancestors. A closer look at the old section might turn up the husband's of daughters. Look closely and write down everyone's name. Notice when they include a maiden name. Example: Mary Jones Smith. Gosh, Mary's parents are probably buried close by. And an examination of old wills and estates might help identify if Mary Jones belongs to your family. Thus, just as we examine every outlet in the maze, we identify every possible relationship.
How Far Back Can You Remember?
As doing research sharpens the memory, genealogy gives and gives. The genealogist may not remember the name of a friend or neighbor, however, has total recall on the names of ancestors, places and dates. As society embraces memory enhancement exercises such as cross word puzzles and brain teasers, everyone, sooner or later, realizes a certain loss of memory. We even joke about it. The old adage "use it or lose it" is so true of declining memory. Yet, the researcher awakes during the middle of the night with such thoughts as "where was Jane Chambliss in 1850?" Yet, I wonder, as the age of technology swoops us all up, shouldn't we continue to do our own math, use maps for navigation and the remain mentally alert? The children of today do not use a road map to navigate from one place to the next. So, what gets lost? Why, directional skills and the visualization in the mind of maneuvering from one direction into another locale. In Atlanta, for example, if you are intercepting I-285, you need to know your immediate location, whether North, South, East or West. No more. One can use an apt such as Waze and allow audio instruction throughout the trip. The first option of a genealogist is to acquire a county map which provides a visual of the location of old churches, cemeteries, railroads and other landmarks. It is nice to have genealogy records indexed, however, the taste is in the pudding. Thus, the genealogist examines all of the old documents, reads them carefully and writes down names and witnesses. Thus, the skills of digging for information, studying documents and discovering historical truths all contribute to healthy brain cells. The modern world does not require details. But we do.
Is There a "Poison Pill" in Genealogy?
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Remember how Ted Cruz inserted a poison pill in the amnesty bill propounded by Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio? The Bill was ready to present when Cruz (and other republicans) attached a phrase which totally removed citizenship from recipients of amnesty. There is no way that the democrats would accept such an amendment, because their primary reason for amnesty was to gain hispanic voters into the Democratic Party. Therefore, the so-called poison pill killed the Bill! The party is taking another route. At this writing, California is floating a Bill to grant "all illegals" the right to vote. They did a "work-around." Cruz Amendment There are lots of time thst genealogists need to do a "work-around." Take Taliaferro County, Georgia, for example, where court house records were lost. The first surviving book of wills begins during 1875. Yet, Taliaferro County played its necessary role on the pages of Georgia history. Its formation began in 1825 when a flux of settlers came from Wilkes, Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe and Warren Counties. That means that the search has to include those counties in every sense of the word. Every record, viz: deeds, marriages, plats, pensions, wills, estates, tax digests and defaulters, church and cemetery records, and so on, beg to be studied in behalf of the working families. Next comes a compilation of family group sheets for each family surname, whether or not related because, in the long run, later comparisons will help clarify relationships and migrations. So what attention should be given to the surviving Taliaferro records? It is encumbent upon the researcher to also examine those records, because these people are the children and grandchildren of the original settlers. Their documents reveal precious information, such as the location of the old homeplace, family cemeteries, church logs and marriages. Please also compile family group sheets for the more recent generations. In other words, a clear understanding of relationships is desperately needed. Now that you have a bunch of names from records after 1875, you can locate the heirs of these people and learn more from family historians. Yet, another type of poison pill is certain to be included in the mix. And that is the inaccurate family stories and other information coming from relatives. As time goes by, one is usually able to uncover the actual facts concerning the relatives. For instance, the name of the first husband of Aunt Mary or the size of the family homestead (from county records). Most researchers are able to put together a fairly accurate version of the family stories to assist. All in all, it is the poison pills which constitutes the substance of the entire research endeavor, or detective work.
Jeannette Holland Austin Profile
Twiggs County Families
Adams Fisher Tarver Twiggs
Memories of Past Victories Belong to Those Who Find their Ancestors
Genealogists have some pretty unique experiences. There are times when I can almost see the past in its full regalia, the battlefield, and redcoats led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton nicknamed "the butcher" because he cut down an American regiment under a bag of surrender. And I can imagine what it must have been like to arise early in the morning and dress for war, serving only three months at a time because the crops also had to be planted and harvested. Life had to go on in the New World apart from our English cousins. We fought those with whom we'd shared our daily chores, and, in the end, won because ours was a cause against tyranny and the old ways. We won our freedom. Those persons fighting the battle were my ancestors. I share their DNA and personal traits. And, churning within me is that same desire to preserve and protect my inalienable rights and freedoms. After all, we are so much a part "of them". So now here comes "the butcher" dressed in his fancy English uniform and brags about his conquests. Although I was not there, I feel a certain antagonism for his arrogant cruelties and gloat because Lord Cornwallis was too ashamed to present his own sword of surrender. My ancestors were not the famous guys, such as General George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but they were there, getting the job done. That makes the great victories of the war, my accomplishments because I am part of that genetical makeup that made the whole thing happen. So, how does one discover the battles in which the ancestors served? There are several answers. First, examine the application for a pension and note his description of his battles. Next, is to find his bounty land. The Colonel under whom he served would have signed a certificate awarding specific parcels of land in certain counties. The name of that Colonel is important, because he led the ancestors into battle. In other words, if you follow the battles of say, Colonel Lee, you will have a better knowledge of when and where your ancestor served and the history surrounding his battles. Such details help to complete the scene of an exciting drama. Now, your ancestor's participation in the war becomes more important to you. The sacrifice of the patriots caused them to lose so much afterwards. They had to begin again. And they did so by accepting land grants for their service and starting a new life somewhere else. In other words, it was the patriots who began constructing America into the great country that it is today. In order that the reseach not be for ought, children need to hear the stories of past days from the lips of family members, and genealogists can share the personal details like no one else! That is how the past becomes real.
Jeannette Holland Austin
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Twiggs County Wills, Estates, Marriages, Maps
Twiggs County was created in 1809 from Wilkinson County and was named for General John Twiggs, a prominent leader in the Revolutionary War and the Indian Wars. Parts of the county was added to Bibb County in 1833, 1842, 1849, 1851, 1875, 1876 and 1877. Neighbouring counties are: Wilkinson, Bleckly, Houston,Bibb and Jones. The Ocmulgee river borders the county on the west. The county seat was first in Marion, named after General Francis Marion but in 1868 it was moved to Jeffersonville 6 miles east of Marion. The first settlers were named in White's Historical Collections of Georgia as follows: Arthur Fort, Ezekial Wimberly, William Perry, Henry Wall, William Crocker, General Tarver, Ira Peck, John Fulton, John Everitt, D. Williams, Joel Denson, S. Jones, Willis Hodgins, Milton Wilder, Josiah Murphy, Davis Lowery, C. Johnson, C. A. Thorpe, John Davis, C. W. Melton, B. Ray, S. Harrell, T. Harrington, H. Sullivan, Others were General Ezekial Wimberly, Colonel James W. Fannin, Thaddeus Oliver, General Hartwell H. Tarver, Robert L. Perryman, Robert A. Everett, Stephen F. Miller, Governor James M. Smith, Judge A.T. MacIntyre, Dr. James E. Dickey, General Philip Cook, Honorable Dudley N. Hughes, J. A. Barclay, S. J. Bond, Wesley Binn, Victoria Bryant, Daniel Bullard, John Cribb, Joshua Chance, George Chapman Sr., John H. Denson. The court house of Twiggs County was destroyed by fire February 7, 1901, thus destroying the early wills and other records. County seat: Jeffersonville.
The court house of Twiggs County was destroyed by fire February 7, 1901, thus destroying the early wills and other records.
Twiggs County Databases Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers Maps
- Map of Marion, founded 1810. Twiggs County
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Marriages 1894-1989
Images of Twiggs County Wills (all of them) 1872-1904
- Will Bk I, 1875-1956
- Divisions of Estates, 1898-1954
- Inventories and Appraisements, 1892-1926
- Annual Returns, 1894-1911
- Estate Records 1898-1954
- Inventories, Appraisements, 1892-1926
- 12-Months Support, 1917-1924
Testators: Asbill, Elisha (1849); Barclay, J. A.; Cribb, John;Dawson, Elizabeth; Everett, Elizabeth;Faulk, William;Hughes, Hayden; Lowe, John;Moss, Anderson;Perry, Martha;Phillips, H. H.; Sims, Nancy;Solomon, Sarah;Solomon (bond);Solomon, W. L.
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