Jeannette Holland Austin

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Jeannette Holland Austin
  • Author of over 100 genealogy books, owner of the following websites:
  • GeorgiaPioneers.com
  • KentuckyPioneers.com
  • NorthCarolinaPioneers.com
  • SouthCarolinaPioneers.net
  • VirginiaPioneers.net
  • SoutheasternGenealogy.com
  • Genealogy-Books.com

The Unique Records of Georgia Pioneers Not Found Elsewhere

I entered my first genealogy website on the Internet in 1993. It was a collection of traced genealogies and Georgia county records. Tracing the families requires years of intensive research and the amassing of huge collections. I learned to scan everything (documents) possible. It was an expensive, but worthwhile project. My collection is uniquely different from anything that is found online.

Today, the collection amounts to billions of records!

The reason is that certain records are not found elsewhere. I had to dig for them, at old churches, antique shops, library sales, etc. I discovered baptismal, births, deaths, and memorials in communities where the church was no longer functional. I found old plantation journals and certain lost county records in antique shops.

Personal visits to small towns and local historians always produced something unique, like old bible records.

While courthouses in the 1960s still maintained the oldest records inside of a vault referred to as " the record room" there were problems for the personal researcher. In Georgia and Kentucky, I discovered a good deal of county records that were not indexed. I scanned and indexed the originals.

Over the years certain county records were taken into the custody of local historical societies.

The problems continued as many records were too faded to read. This issue has only recently been resolved with the best microfilm product on the market, the Scan Pro. The Scan Pro brings the old ink to the surface and makes it readable. That means that the oldest records written in India Ink dating from the early 1600s are now mostly readable.

Although initially, the clerk retained original documents inside of filing cabinets, this preservation was lost because of cold storage. The clerk copied all documents in his own handwriting in a book. Sometimes he omitted words or names, or worse, the handwriting was illegible to later generations.

Personal research today is quite different than formerly. Most courthouses have "off-site" storage for the old records. Further, this generation of clerks do not seem to know the location of the oldest documents, or, common names, such as deeds, wills, estates, tax digests, etc.