How to Actually Find AncestorsGenealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
Lots of people ask me how to start finding ancestors. Some think that the DNA test will solve their problems. The DNA test should be regarded more so as entertainment rather than the means to finding ancestors. The reason is, if you are serious about tracing ancestors, the sure means of discovery is to search for them generation-by-generation in the following records:
- Birth and Death records. Usually, these were not kept until after 1900. Old bible records (such as those collected on Georgia Pioneers, are beneficial and one should be on the look-out for them (ask relatives) as the Bible was the source of Family Information for centuries.
- Census. 1790-1840 does not reveal the names of the children. The 1850 census forward provides names, ages, where born, etc.
- County Records, such as old wills, estates, annual returns, receipts, marriages, deeds and tax digests. One can trace ancestors using county records in the US back to 1606 or 1607.
- Passenger Lists. Although we do not have all ship manifests by a long shot, the published immigration records are an excellent guide-line to learning when persons with your surname entered the country, and where. Then search county records.
- Great Britain. The parish records date back to the 1500s in England and provide a wealth of information. In the old days, everyone belonged to a parish where records were kept of births, christenings, baptisms, deaths, and burials. Irish and Scottish records did not survive. They begin ca 1840.
- Germans. Lots of settlers to America came from the German Palatinate. read this article
- American History. Do not forget to learn more about the history of the times of each ancestor. This will help you to know where to look next.
Disappointing DNA Results?Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
Essentially, the current fad of having one's DNA tested is mostly for entertainment purposes. The techniques searches for similarities in the genetic markers between two biological samples. The more closely related two people are, it is likely that they are related. If the police, for example, are searching for such a similarity, it easy to determine if there is not a match. The current trend of testing compares markers (of living persons) around the world. That is how theresults come up with such as "20% Irish" etc. Although it is interesting to determine if one is Cherokee Indian, Irish, Scottish, etc., the genealogist can achieve better results. This is because one traces the ancestors from ports of embarkation to other countries, and examines vital records, cemetery stones, county records (marriages, deeds, tax digests, wills, estates, etc.) The written records serve to prove a more accurate genealogy. Everyone has family stories passed down through the generations. I have discovered that such stories have very little accuracy attached to them. However, you can discover an Irish relative by tracing them from Antrim! Or, Scottish ancestors by tracking them from the Scottish Isles. Also, there are distinct histories of the trails which people ventured down before they settled. In this respect, maps of old wilderness roads, combined with the names of persons who drew land grants and settled among others from the same country, assist to better understand and discover more clues. The Fallacy of DNA Records Did your Find your Ancestors with DNA? Look in the Mirror for DNA Clues
"He was so near me I could have touched him with my hand."DeKalb County was among the first to enroll troops for Confederate service. The first volunteers from Decatur were James L. George, Hardy Randall, L. J. Winn and Beattie Wilson, who went with the Atlanta Greys during the last part of May, 1861. The first company was that of Captain John W. Fowler, called the DeKalb Light Infantry which was mustered into service in Atlanta as part of the 7th Georgia Volunteers. This company left Atlanta for Virginia on the 1st of June, 1861. Those going from DeKalb county in this company were: First Lieutenant, John J. Powell; Second Lieutenant, John M. Hawkins; Third Lieutenant, James L. Wilson; First Sergeant, M. L. Brown; Second Sergeant, D. C. Morgan; Third Sergeant, D. E. Jackson; Fourth Sergeant, John W. Fowler, jr.; Corporals: H. H. Norman, R. F. Davis, C. W. L. Powell; Privates: W. W. Bradbury (afterwards captain), E. M. Chamberlain, W. W. Morgan, W. L. Herron, P. H. Pate, C. E. McCulloch, James W. McCulloch, L. C. Powell, H. G. Woodall, J. S. Woodall, A. W. Mashburn, V. A. Wilson, W. J. Mason, J. V. Austin, W. M. Austin, John Eads, E. A. Davis, Dr. A. S. Mason, John W. Norman, E. L. Morton, Henry Gentry,[Pg 23] W. M. Cochran, J. B. Cochran, James Hunter (promoted captain), W. W. Brimm, William Carroll, C. W. McAllister, J. O. McAllister, and many others from the county, making it a full company. The second company from DeKalb was the Stephens Rifles, captain, L. J. Glenn which became part of Cobbs Legion during August of 1861. Dr. Liddell, Frank Herron, Norman Adams, John McCulloch, John J. McKoy, and some others, went from Decatur in this company. The third company was the Murphey Guards, captain, John Y. Flowers. These soldiers came from the upper part of the county, near Doraville and was named in memory of Hon. Charles Murphey, of DeKalb county, a prominent lawyer and member of Congress who was recently deceased. The company was uniformed by the people of the county, a large share being contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Milton A. Candler, and Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Mason. Mrs. Candler, whose maiden name was Eliza Murphey, the only child of Charles Murphey, gave the banner, upon which was inscribed, "The God of Jacob is with us." The Fourth Company was The Bartow Avengers, Captain William Wright, from the lower part of the county around South River. The Fifth Company, Captain Rankin, was from Stone Mountain. During September of 1861, these three last mentioned companies went into the 38th Georgia Regiment and belonged with the Virginia Army. The Sixth Company, Captain E. L. Morton, entered service the last of August, 1861, in the 36th Georgia Regiment, and was with the Western Army under Johnston. The Seventh Company, the Fowler Guards, Captain Clay, went into the 42nd Georgia Regiment in the early part of 1862, and was also in the Western Army. There were several companies that were made up to go to the camp of instruction near Decatur. Moses L. Brown was Captain of one, and L. D. Belisle of another. Besides the companies already named, all of which went into the infantry, there were many soldiers from DeKalb that went into the Cavalry and Artillery service of the regular army. In the year 1863, when Georgia was threatened by Rosecrans coming into the State on its northern border, special troops were raised for its defense under the commands of Major General Howell Cobb and General Henry R. Jackson. There was a Company A of Cavalry troops included in the 10th Georgia Regiment State Guards, Jacksons Brigade under Colonels John J. Glenn and Lieutenant-Colonel J. N. Glenn. Milton A. Candler had command. These troops served through 1863 and 1864. In April, 1863, Paul P. Winn, now a Presbyterian minister, then a mere youth, went into the army in the 45th Georgia Regiment, commanded by Col. Thomas J. Simmons. Other Decatur boys went into the service from other sections. The eighteen year old John C. Kirkpatrick entered service from Augusta with the Oglethorpe Infantry along with his cousin, William Dabney, later a Presbyterian minister in Virginia, and his friend, Frank Stone. This was in 1862, and John remained in the service until the close of the war, having been in severe battles under Cleburnes Division, including Jonesboro. In this engagement were other Decatur boys in other commands. Mr. John B. Swanton, but seventeen years old, was in that battle, and says that by his side stood, when mortally wounded, Franklin Williams, the brother of Mr. Hiram J. Williams. Says Mr. Swanton: "He was so near me I could have touched him with my hand." Three sons of Mrs. Martha Morgan, and cousins of DeWitt Morgan, were all in the service, Henry, Daniel, and Joseph Morgan. Jesse Chewning and Samuel Mann were in the 64th Georgia. Josiah J. Willard, the only son of Mr. Levi Willard, while a sprightly, active youth, was near-sighted. He had a position in the commissary department at Camp Randolph, near Decatur, and went with it to Macon, July 11th, 1864, and remained there until the place surrendered after the fall of Richmond. He, also, is mentioned in other sketches. There were also several companies of old men and boys who went into the State service when the last call for troops was made by the Confederate government. Source: Life in Dixie During the War by Mary A. H. Gay (1892). Fort McAllister during the Civil War Spencer Repeating Rifle What Northerners Thought of Southerners in 1864 Where to Find the Forgotten Heroes in your Family Search for the Confederate Supply Train The Evacuation of Atlanta Battle of the Pen Lots of Paulding County Boys Fought for the Confederacy Returning from War to Clinton, Georgia The Battle of Chickamauga as Told by a Union Soldier The Night Jefferson Spent under an Oak Tree
Protecting the Work of a LifetimeGenealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
After the close of the War Between the States, the South was without the means of paying a labor force on the farm. Too, many lost their homes to back taxes. As a result, by 1900, many families had removed to the cities in search of work. A series of shot-gun houses were built in Atlanta, and seldom painted. The wood work inside the old Victorian homes in Atlanta's first neighborhoods were stained with brown hues. and walls decorated with subdued colors of flowery wallpaper. There was one over head light in each room, often having a long string. Also, homes typically had one bath room which featured a bare bones sink, tub, toilet and a piece of furniture for a medicine cabinet. The era of the 1930s bore a poorly depressed economy when vital records were coming into being. It was an era when people gathered around the kitchen table and read the family bible and that this bible served as an important family record of births, marriages and deaths, replete with newspaper clippings. Twas a quaint method of keeping family records, yet lost to this generation. For those of us keeping a family pedigree chart on a genealogy website, beware! Despite the security measures being taken today, it is still incredibly easy to grab data. These precious records could also be lost to foreign governments who hack our data without giving it a thought, bankruptcy, sellouts, etc. Like the old days, we should keep a paper copy for ourselves and protect the work of a lifetime.
Does Tighter Security = Tighter Security?Are you annoyed that password errors are causing you to get locked out of sites across the Internet? The reason for it is to tighten security and to prevent the bad guys from breaking through and causing havoc. The attackers are foreign governments, professional hackers, and teenagers! Yes, teenagers! The millennial started out using the computer in the first grade and are quite adept with technical knowledge. They understand about the algorithms and how data is stolen. Meanwhile, websites are burdened with the cost of purchasing more security. almost as quickly as it is invented. And the penalty for the user is another layer of password security which currently includes the telephone number. How many of you receive unwanted text messages from advertisers? Is the phone number really an adequate layers of security? I guarantee you that the thieves will not desist, and that there will be even more invasive measures implemented. Some years ago, I discontinued using the popular shopping cart on Georgia Pioneers when I discovered " holes" in the program through which a person could find entry into the website. No credit cards or customer information of any sort is ever published to Georgia Pioneers. Instead, separate, well-protected banking entities are used, Authorize.net and Pay Pal. For the same security issue, I removed a popular blogging program from the website and instead went to Google's brain child, blogger.com which has never been hacked. We elected not to have an inter-active pedigree chart system because of the errors which are created by the researcher and passed on to others as it is shared. That leaves nothing but pure genealogical data, such as digitized wills, estates, marriages, obituaries, traced families, pension records, special collections, etc. for Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Confederate HospitalsThe people of Decatur took food baskets to the Fair Ground Hospital and the Empire Hospital. The baskets were filled with biscuits, rusk, broiled and friend chicken, ground coffee and blackberry wine. Also, the good citizens dispatched pails of fresh water to bathe the faces, hands and arms of the soldiers. Additionally, volunteers comforted the soldiers has they lay painfully in their beds.
Oakland CemeteryIf you wish to discover the first families in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery is the place to look. It was founded in 1850 and is the final resting place of those who built Atlanta. The beautiful tombs and vaults set in a garden atmosphere are but a memory of days long since past. The cemetery was closed to burials sometime before 1890, however, people who owned lots were buried there afterwards. Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind is such a person. The book History of Fulton County lists the early residents of Atlanta in their various political capacities. It is fun to recognize some of the names in this cemetery. In essence, if your family resided near downtown Atlanta in the old days, best do a walk-through.
Archaeological Dig at the Lyon Farm on the South RiverThe Alliance and The Georgia Historic Preservation Division hosted dozens of volunteers during public archaeology days to dig on the Lyon Farm, supposed to be one of the oldest homesteads in DeKalb County. It was built ca 1820 or later.
Tweets by georgiapioneers
DeKalb County Wills, Estates, Deeds, Church Records, CemeteriesDeKalb County was created in 1822 after the Muskogee (Creeks) Indians ceded the lands by treaty and was taken from Henry, Gwinnett and Fayette Counties. It was named for Baron Johann DeKalb, a German hero of the American Revolution. In 1853 Fulton County was created from the northern portion of DeKalb County. Many of the settlers to DeKalb County were in search of new lands and were farmers. When researching DeKalb County, Henry (the parent County) and Fulton Counties should also be researched. Unfortunately, the estate records do not begin until 1840. If you have an ancestor who resided within the boundaries of the present-day Atlanta, those records will be found in DeKalb County. Remember, the journey from Atlanta to present-day Decatur to file a deed, will, or other record was quite a trip.
DeKalb County Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- DeKalb County County Marriages 1885-1886 from newspapers
- Map of DeKalb County County
DeKalb County WillsDeKalb County Probate Records by Jeannette Holland Austin comprizes the content of these records.
- DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1841-1869
- DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1870-1889
- DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1890-1919
- DeKalb County Appr. & Returns 1852-1858
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Deed Book L 1846-1852
- Index to Deed Book M 1850-1853
- Index to Deed Book N 1852-1854
- Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1842-1852
- Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1852-1859
- Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1858-1863
- Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1863-1868
- Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1868-1884
- 1846 to 1846, Book H
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
- Adair, Thomas O., estate
- Adair, William, deed dated 1849
- Adams, W. D., estate
- Akin, Martha, estate
- Allen, William, estate
- Anderson, William C., estate
- Argoe, Robert, estate
- Armstrong, John, estate
- Collier, John, Annual Return of Estate
- Evans, John, deed dated 1850
- Holland, Edmund W. (deeds) 1851, 1852
- Jordan, Solomon, deed dated 1851
- Leitch, Arthur, Estate
- Perkinson, Dempsey, LWT (1876)
- Plaster, Benjamin, Sr.
- Smith, David, LWT (1853)
- Spain, William S., Inventory and Appraisement of Estate.
- Sprayberry, Benjamin, LWT (1848).
- Sprayberry, Brice, LWT (1876).
- Sprayberry, W. H. E., LWT (1911).
- Waits, Sarah, LWT (1869)
- Utoy Baptist Church, Ft. McPherson, Georgia (members)
- Index to Burials in the Decatur Cemetery
DeKalb County Families
Collier Durham Gober Goldsmith Grogan Hyde Jordan Mangum Marbut Pounds Prince Reeves