How to Find the Parents of ImmigrantsAfter one discovers the immigrant in his family on passenger lists and land records, the next step is to visit the records in the country of embarkation. It is not too complicated because church attendance was required and baptisms, christenings, marriages and mortuary records were kept in the local parish. In London, for example, one should research all parish registers, regardless, in order to have a better understanding the family seat. Each surname should be written down, with its data and carefully identified. In working with the names, each person is a suspect as being a family member. Cataloging this information is best done on a family group sheet. This practice will assist in sorting out the children of each generation and ascertaining what happened to them. Studying the history of the family seat will provide a keener reasoning and rationalization of that era. It is important to know the politics of the ruling monarchy, such as when Henry VIII converted the church to Anglican. The catholic records prior to that era are probably located at the Vatican. Did you know that Pope Clemente II? was in Avon, France and that he did not expose himself publically or hear complaints when Europe was suffering from the Black Plague. One of my ancestors, Sir Thomas de Hollande had secretly married Joan Plantagent, the Fair Maid of Kent, the granddaughter of King Edward I. Afterwards, Thomas, a Knight of the Royal Garter, was sent to fight in the war in France. When he returned, he discovered that King Edward had given Joan in marriage to the Earl of Salisbury. The Catholic Church ruled over such matters, so Thomas presented his petition to the pope. The brief notation which I found was that the petition was not heard by the Pope until several years later. This is because of the plague. Thomas won. He returned to England and his wife was returned to him. These are the sort of things to consider and question for the purpose of seeking more clues. As a climatic to this event, Thomas and Joan had six children, and Thomas died on the battlefield of France. He could have been slain or died of the plague, as this was also common among the knights. The story continues with a rich history. Joan married again, this time to her first cousin, Edward III (the Black Prince) and by him had one son, Richard II. Richard II was unpopular and a weak ruler, and the Holland step-brothers were his loyal defenders. The history of this family continues in the Chancery Records and Church Records for several hundred years. But let us not forget that a rather large population of the peasant class were imprisoned at Fleet's Prison. The prisons had wardens, gate-keepers and these appointments were recorded in local records. The Chancery Courts and other local records should turn up some names of prisoners. When James Oglethorpe was sent to colonize Georgia, the trustees, who were very selective upon whom to send to colonize, interviewed applicants from prisons as well as other areas. Other congregations were invited into the colony and they "brought their records with them." The Saltzburg records (from Austria) are intact in Effingham County, Georgia. Hence, know the history and you will know where to search!
With No Stone UnturnedGenealogical research is far more intensive than anything written in history books. That is because the family historian possesses a strong desire to preserve the actual history and times of his ancestors, and that it not be lost. After the death of a person, a typical practice is to throw "out the unwanted trash" That includes old bibles (where family members were recorded), newspaper articles, and sweet memories kept by the deceased. Frequently, there exists a lifetime of possessions to be disposed of. If we see it in the modern age, doubtless such disposals were common since the beginning of civilization. Local garbage dumps probably own a vast collection of our history. In fact the garbage dump is where excavationists discover many relics. One could visit the countryside of fallen houses and sunken wells and discover relics and old coins buried in the yard and sealed behind walls and floorboards. Remember, coins were a heavy purse to tote. Hence, there is good reason to search for and find the old homeplace and its surrounding community for sunken graves. A slate tombstone eventually broke into and fell to the ground. When a farm is deserted, the land takes over. That means that woods and vines grow over the graves. Old deeds can be used to help find the home place. The tax office has maps of districts, sections and lots. Initially, when an area was settled, the deeds mentioned creeks, rivers and other land features, but tracing the deeds forward (as the tract was bought and sold), one acquires more details. Then, there are the tax digests which provide the amount of acreage, waterways and adjoining neighbors. Frequently, a close examination of the lay of the land with its adjoining creeks, soil impressions, and evidence of building structures, will disclose a picture of boundaries, fields and such. The old wills and estates bequeathe specific tracts (usually denoting the acreage and a location) and personal items being passed down to family members. To locate a plantation, one has to examine its clues. Planters named each plantation. Initially, the first immigrants to America named their plantations after a family estate in England, or other country. They carried the family pride and tradition in their hearts. This should be considered while attempting to locate the old family seat. Next, as acreage was acquired and the plantation or farm was constructed, the old "Smith Place" could mean the person from whom they purchased the land. Thus, this is a clue for a search in the deed records. As planters remarried after the death of their first wife, they assumed possession and control of the widow's properties. For this reason, one should search the deed and marriage records for a Marriage Agreement which will provide more detail. When one visits the court house, no stone should be left unturned. Every possible conceivable record should be examined with curiosity and written down. The court house is where families recorded their daily lives, viz: marriages, land transactions, wills, estates, sales, inventories, receipts.
Goshen Methodist Church The first settlement after Savannah was Ebenezer, a village founded by Saltzburgers who came to America to escape persecution by the Catholic Church. Mr. Van Zant from Switzerland was the founder of the first site of the village which proved to be unsuitable; the site later removed further north. Effingham County was created in 1777 from the parishes of St. Matthew and St. Philip which were established in 1758. Effingham County was named after Lord Effingham who resigned his position of Colonel. in the British Army to serve in America. Earliest Settlers: David Ambrose, Henry Cook, Samuel Dasher, William Downs, Emanuel Dugger, John W. Exley, Micajah Futrell,John K. Heidt, Joshua Glover, Jesse Hurst, John Ihly, Christopher Bailey, Thomas Blitch, and others.
Peter Gruber and Neights were Forced Out of Austria by the Catholic ArchbishopThe Catholic archbishop of Austria ordered all protestants out of the country in 1722. They had two weeks to pack up and leave. Several hundred Austrians roamed about Europe searching for homes. When General James Oglethorpe learned of the persecution, he welcomed these people into Georgia. However, by then, the numbers of homeless was diminished as they situated themselves around Europe, with only about 100 people remaining to emigrate. Maria Kraher emigrated to Georgia from Austria with her first husband, Hans Mosshammer. After he died, she was married to Peter Gruber in Ebenezer, Georgia, and after his death, married a third husband, Charles Floerl. Peter Gruber was born in Taxenbach, Berchtesgaden, Germany. Later on, the name was changed to Groover, especially as descendants moved into Bulloch County.
Origins of Some of the Early Settlers to Effingham CountyThomas Wylly was born in Tortola in 1762, an island located in the British Virgin Islands. This is the small island which was noticed by Christopher Columbus when he was in the Virgin Islands in behalf of Spain. The Spanish made several attempts to settle the islands, but pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were actually the first permanent residents. During the 16th century when the Dutch lost control of the area, the British established a permanent plantation colony on Tortola and the surrounding islands. Settlers then developed large plantations for the sugar cane industry. His parents died and he was transported to the Georgia colony while still a young boy by his uncle. This explains his rank promotions during the Revolutionary War. He joined the 4th Georgia Battalion and was appointed Second Lieutenant. Later was made Deputy Quarter Master under his uncle Richard Wylly who raised him. He fought in the Battles of Medway as Church and Briar Creek and was on the outskirts when the British seiged Savannah. He saw General Screven of the Georgia Militia killed and Captain Strouder as well. He acted as a spy for General Moultrie. Ironically, after the Revolutionary War, Tortola was a destination for Loyalists who escaped from being hanged. Passenger Lists of other emigrants to Ebenezer are available to members of Georgia Pioneers
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Effingham County Marriages, Baptisms, Immigrants, Births, Colonial Records, Wills, EstatesEffingham was created on February 5, 1777 from the colonial parishes of St. Matthew and St. Phillip. The county was named after Lord Effingtham, an English champion of colonial rights. Its first settlers were from Austria who had suffered religious persecution under the Catholic Church and was given two weeks to remove themselves from the country. They spent two or three years trying to obtain passage from England to America and succeeded when General Oglethorpe heard of their plight and had them brought to the colony of Georgia. Many of the original records at the Effingham County Court House remain intact. When tracing families in this county please refer to the Colonial Records of Georgia by Candler as well as the Saltzburgher books found in most regional libraties.
Effingham Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Effingham County Wills
- Effingham County Wills 1826-1845 (abstracts)
Effingham County Probate Records
- Index to Effingham County Wills, Vol. 3, 1829-1858.
- Index to Effingham County Wills, Vol. 4, 1866-1898.
- Index to Effingham County Inventories and Appraisements, Vol. 3, 1827-1865.
- Effingham County Marriages 1757-1845.
- Saltzburgher Marriages 1754-1769, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Marriages 1769-1778, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Births and Baptisms 1756-1761, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Births and Baptisms 1761-1766, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Births and Baptisms 1766-1770, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Births and Baptisms 1768-1787, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Saltzburgher Births and Baptisms 1773-1777, New Jerusalem Church (Images in the original handwriting).
- Ebenezer Town Map.
- Auspurg Emigrants.
- Kaufbeuern Emigrants.
- Kemten Emigrants.
- Leutkirch Emigrants.
- Liebrach Emigrants.
- Lindau Emigrants.
- Lindaus Emigrants.
- Memmingen Emigrants.
- Nordlinger Emigrants.
- Constitution and By-Laws of The Georgia Saltzburger Society 1734-1925.
- Exley, James J., deceased, Partition of Lands (1899).
Traced Genealogies of Effingham County Families
Special Collections. Follow Georgia Genealogy Collections