How to Find the Parents of Immigrants
After 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 Unturned
Genealogical 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.
Putnam County Wills, Estates, Marriages, Church and Military RecordsPutnam County was created from Baldwin County on Dec. 10, 1807 by an Act of the General Assembly and was named for American Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam.
Putnam County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Abstracts of Putnam County Wills
Images of Wills 1822 to 1831
- Wills 1808-1822
Names of Testators: Abercrombie, Wilie; Allen, John; Allen, John (2); Allen, William; Ashurst, Robert; Averea, Arthur; Bailey, Green; Bigbee, James; Bird, Pue; Blunt, Edward; Bradley, Charles; Burt, Jesse; Cooper, Martha; Copeland, Richard; Crews, Etheldred; Crouch, Shadrach; Cullafer, Henry; Curry, Polly; Denham, Charles; Dickey, Patrick; Dixon, Nicholas; Duncan, Mathew; Edmondson, Patience; Espey, James; Fretwell, John; Gaither, Brice; Gant, Brittain; Gee, Peter; Gray, Thomas; Harris, Eli; Harris, Stephen; Harwell, John ;Hearn, Jonathan ;Hearn, Phoebe; Hill, John; Holland, Elizabeth; Holt, Singleton; Hudson, Charles; James, Elias; Johnson, Martha; Keaton, Jesse ; Kendrick, Martha; Killebrew, Robert; Kimbrough, Thomas; Little, Jesse; Lunsford, Nancy; Maddox, Joseph; Manning, Adam; McCoy, Archibald; McGhee, James; McGhee, James Jr.; Moreland, John ; Napier, Tabatha Dixon; Pace, Stephen ;Park, Thomas; Perry, Green; Posey, John Hamilton; Price, Zemulia; Read, Asa; Rees, Eliner; Rees, William; Richards, William; Robey, Timothy; Rosser, David; Scott, Francis; Singleton, Hezekiah; Skaggs, Charles; Smith, Dorothy; Smith, Joel; Spivey, Henry; Stembridge, William; Stephens, Abraham; Stewart, James; Stone, William; Sturdivant, John ;Turner, Henry ;Turner, John ;Watkins, Charity; Welborn, Thomas; White, Micajah; Williams, Mabel; Williams, Stephen; Wooldridge, Martha
Indexes to Probate Records
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1808 to 1820
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1820 to 1825
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1824 to 1833
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1836 to 1848
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1849 tp 1859
- Annual Returns, Appraisements, Vouchers 1857 to 1874
- Will Bk C, 1857-1888.
- Clements, Jesse, estate (1822).
- Head, Thomas, LWT (1848), transcript.
- Crooked Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Members 1807, 1820, 1824-1826.
- Putnam County Muster Roll of Brown Rifles, C. S. A.
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