Georgia Pioneers


Home of 8 Genealogy Websites! Ancestors in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia!


Dig up your Roots and See What is There

digging Digging up your roots is a lifetime job of your local family genealogist. And digging means researching tons of records. There never seems to be enough information. Census records only go back to 1790 and then contain limited data. Anyone who has researched before 1850 realizes that a real digging is indicated. That brings us to the next stop: the county court house where relatives and ancestors resided. Every smidget of information must be researched, from marriages, to deeds, to estates and old wills. You need to find the location of the home place (in the deeds) and search for graves. Also, to learn where that person came from originally. Also found in county records. This is field work, tedious and time-consuming. That brings us to what information is available on the internet. Except for the websites listed below who is digitizing old wills and estates, do not expect to find county records. But not all genealogy websites survive. These have been around since 2003, growing, building, working to make research easier. Why not give it a try?

Clay County


Map of Clay County


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Bibles are Lost to us Now

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin

There are certain standardized references which we have lost. I am thinking of the family bible. When I was growing up during the 1940s it seemed as though everyone had a large family bible displayed in their home. In addition to the recording of Births, Deaths and Marriages there were cut-outs from old newspapers, usually pertaining to funerals of the relatives. I managed to collect a fair number of bible records (copied them) from persons who kept them during the 1930s and published them as follows: North Carolina-South Carolina Bible Records; Virginia Bible Records; Alabama Bible Records and Georgia Bible Records. All of these have been converted to databases and are available to members of Georgia Pioneers (home of 8 genealogy websites)

The Tradition of Naming the Children

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin

The ancestors named their children after relatives. A common method was to name the first child after the parents and/or grandparents of the couple, taking the first names. I had an ancestor who named his child George Thomas. I found the grandfather "Thomas" however, for a long while, the name "George" eluded me. It simply did not fit with any of the other family names. Finally, I discovered that it was the first name of the grandfather of the wife. In fact, George was used each generation during the 17th and 18th centuries. Everytime I found another "George," he was the father of another forebearer. The names of the other children were usually taken from more recent family members, such as brothers, sisters, or cousins. Sometimes a family surname was given the child as his first name. The naming of children is not written in stone, however. Yet, when the research gets tough, it is time to start thinking of certain as clues in the ancestry. I used this method when an ancestor named one of his children " Ramsey. " Decided to research all the Ramseys of that county. Turned up a Henry Ramsey who died in Henry County, Georgia, but who also lived in Abbeville County, SC and served in the Revolutionary War. He also had a daughter who married one of my distant ancestors. Never could prove it, but it looked like he probably married the other daughter because she is the one who named her child "Ramsey." This Ramsey followed the trail of my family from Abbeville ito Georgia. Hmmm. This sort of digging is more tedious than other methods, yet sometimes reveals some pretty good clues.

The Revolutionary War Soldier in your Family



Clay County Wills, Estates, Marriages

Clay County Court House Clay County was formed 1854 from Early and Randolph Counties. County History: Clay County was created from portions of Early and Randolph counties It was named for Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky. Clay, who died in June 1852. The county seat is Ft. Gaines, Georgia, and it the court house building was constructed around 1871 or 1872. The earliest settlers were: William Ford, David Runnels, Joseph McMichael, John Davis, WIlliam M. Pratt, Cullen Alexander, and John H. Jones.

Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Index to Will Book A, 1852 to 1922.
  • Index to Inventories, Appraisements, Sales, Book A, 1859 to 1873.
  • Index to Clay County Annual Returns, 1875 to 1902.

Marriages

  • Marriages 1842 to 1892.
  • Index 1871 to 1877.
  • Index 1877 to 1888.

Online Images of Wills (1852 to 1870)

Testators: Bennett, James;Boyt, Leroy;Chambers, James;Davis, Esau;Davis, John; Dill, Elizabeth;Ford, William;Gray, Joshua; Harrison, Henry;Henderson, Mary;Holmes, James;Holmes, Richard;Hudwell, Robert;Ingram, James;Jones, John;McMichael, Joseph; Morris, John;Naramore, Sylvester;Pratt, William; Suttini, John;Thompson, Susan;Toney, William;Towson, Thomas;Wakefield, Orren

Remember the Day?

Remember...
  • When no one locked their doors?
  • We sat on the front porch counting different makes of cars? In those days models like the Cadillac coupe de ville were more glamorous.
  • Everyone had a front porch and we were invited to sip lemonade and chit chat?
  • When we acquainted ourselves with neighbors by walking the streets?
  • Saturday morning cartoons and newsreels?
  • Driveways were too narrow for anything but the Model-Ts?
  • Streets were made of cobblestone and bricks?
  • Trolleys and street car lines were draped across overhead power lines?
  • We dressed in front of coal furnaces?
  • Winter sleeping meant a stack of quilts?
  • It was too hot to sleep in summers?
  • You punched a button to turn on a single overhead light bulb?
  • Turning out lights after leaving a room to conserve electricity?