The Rusty Tractor in the Yard

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

As the terrain continues to change on this earth, its impact is visible in local neighbors, towns and cities. As town buildings and old farms are demolished to make way for the new generation, the countryside lies dismally deserted. It is almost as though it is waiting for the original families to return and gin up the tractor. The land which once bore crops and herded animals is plaintively unnourished and the crusty soil rises in the dim early morning light to fly afield in the wind. The indelible impression is that the labors of its residents sank into poverty and dispair. Why didn't someone protect the old tractor from rusting in the yard?

New Records added South Carolina Pioneers - Marriage Settlements 1775-1792 (later dates will also be added) These marriage settlements are essentially prenuptial agreements between persons intending to marry and includes property settlements and distributions. The researcher must realize that the life-span of the participants was shorter and that it was necessary, in order to protect and raise young orphaned children, the mother would remarry soon after the death of her husband. Considering the property and estates of the bereaved widow, potential bridegrooms would begin courtship almost immediately. These agreements contain a wealth of information which is quite useful to the genealogist.

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Internet in the Sky

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

Starlink Satellites.

The Ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation. Electricity plays an important role in the atmoshere and it is where radio signals are sent to distant places of the earth. The terminology is referred to as "skip" or "skywave" propagation. Since the 1920s returning radio waves have reflected off the Earth's surface and into the sky again, allowing greater ranges to be achieved with multiple "hops ."

During the 1940s, however, for those of you who remember, The Nazi movement controlled all of public life, including news and radio stations. This is how they destroyed the freedom of, terrorized, persecuted and killed over 6 million people! Today, although the Internet is a wonderful tool for Americans, there is yet another dangerous risk of people control- this time it is via the Internet

The Thermosphere is some 372 miles up from the Earth. It is used for satellites.

If you have seen a string of bright lights in the sky lately, there are satellites which were launched by Elon Musk on his Xspace project. The plan is to launch some 40,000 satellites into the Thermosphere and provide Internet for all of the Earth. That means that we will be communicating anywhere in the World via the Thermoshere and possibily to out-of-space. At this point, this technology is a good thing and quite promising. For the first time since we launched to the Moon in the 1960s, mankind is moving forward in the most positive manner. Hence, the new term "the cloud" (meaning data storage) and we see advertisements of "clouds" to promote certain companies. The vision of data in the clouds becomes more realistic now. At the present time, Internet data is stored on hard drives and in data warehouses which could be lost to death of the researcher, earthquakes and other earthly disasters. Initially, I thought of the Internet as a good, solid medium to store genealogy records. Initially, there were tons of individual charts and family group sheets. However, throughout the life of the Internet, genealogist notes and records have been taken down for one reason or the other.

One can only imagine that our data is becoming part of a cloud universe in the sky. Something to consider and a darn good reason to keep the Internet out of the hands of politicians and governments!

There are currently over 2000 world satellites orbiting the earth

Most of them were launched by the USA, second greatest number launched by China. Map of Satellites

Keep watching the amazing trail of bright lights in the night sky.

The Great Saga of Our Ancestors

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

The prison ship “Jersey” where Americans were severely tortured for the cause of freedom. Today, in a world where our monuments are being destroyed, there is a great history yet to be told. No history has ever reached as far back into the past as the genealogist who digs deeply, searching every possible clue and time-line. Disrupters will never destroy this pristine record of actual documented dates and events because it is kept by individuals and not found in our schools. During the last forty years or so, the school history books are but a tainted summation of a select few events based moreso upon political bias and opinions than actual truth.

Hence, genealogists have on hand many true accounts and exciting stories of our ancestors! Their intensive research unfolds the adventures of good, hard-working and brave persons who made surprising sacrifices for personal freedom and left us a present of it. Our human histories, bound up in those stories, is impactful and powerful.

Cited below are a couple of items from the Georgia Militia Records (online to members of Georgia Pioneers).

On September 8, 1779, John Murray, Esquire of Christ Church Parish while en route to St. Augustine, Florida was taken prisoner onboard the “Languedoe”, a French Man of War commanded by Comte D’Estaign (d. 1794). Count D’Estaign, on his way back to France, had decided to oblige General Washington by helping to recapture Savannah. Comte d’Estaign was commander of the first French fleet sent in support of the American colonists during the American Revolution. Savannah was under seige by the British. Unfortunately, a recapture was unsuccessful. Online Resource for members of Georgia Pioneers: John Murray capture; Internet Link: 1779 Seige of Savannah

In 1781, John McDaniel joined the British Army in Savannah, much to the surprise of his wife, Mary. He soon died of smallpox and left his wife with three small children. That left her at the mercy of the American soldiers. She asked to be able to keep the few cattle and hogs she had been sold. Her story is told on page 39 of the records of the Georgia Militia (online link for members of Georgia Pioneers. McDaniel was likely buried in the Colonial Cemetery (established in 1750) on Abercorn Street.

During this time period, there were vessels delivering passengers having smallpox. As passengers were deported, some were found dead on the streets.

I reseached an interesting family awhile back. The folk lore was that a child was found near his dead parents on the streets of Savannah. They had arrived on a ship, deported, and died of smallpox. The child was taken to Ebenezer, Georgia (Effingham County), where there is a record of the child baptised by the Germans. I searched all of the early records for that surname and found a family who had been onboard a ship from Maryland around the same time period. They were not the parents, but I had a place of origin. Savannah was the port land for most emigrants. All of county records for Chatham County survived. Chatham County Records Online Also, the colonial records survived and are available in Candler’s Colonial Records of Georgia. One should read the Savannah Gazette, from page to page where death notices and local news is scattered. Also, some of the old newspapers published Ship Arrivals. Finding the actual passenger list is remote, but something may turn up about the vessel. Savannah was a busy port city.

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Assembling the Facts

By Jeannette Holland Austin

Hopewell Mounds in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Genealogists assemble all the factual history of an era in order to better track the ancestors and their engagements.

The long struggle to find information concerning our ancestors continues to reign, even in the face of Internet genealogy, local libraries and archives. It seems that just about everyone has an ancestor or two which they cannot find. The importance of public records, written biographies and genealogies, family bible records, tombstones and monuments is prevalent to every genealogist. The Mayans kept written records on Maya Stelae which are tall, sculptured stone shafts with lower stones referred to as altars. Although an intensive effort was underway in the 1970s, much is still lacking in intrepretation. Monument inscriptions is a useful means of recording history. I once discovered the names of my second great-grandfather's children by reading a monument in front of the Gwinnett County, Georgia Court House. It gave the names of those persons in the local militia who were killed in an Indian fight.

Oh, but we have lost so much! Brigham Young University has worked on intrepreting crumbled up remnants of the Dead Sea Scrolls for many years, while developing a technology which will virtually restore the inscription. I have read many questions on inquiriing about the content and purpose of the census. In 1790, the United States took the first census. Only the name of the head of the family was listed. By 1850, the census included the names, ages, and birthplace of everyone. Subsequent census records included more detail, such as the number of born children who were born. So, it is not strange to me that over the years the additional information was added to the census. It was very nice when I read the 1850 Census and discovered that one of my ancestors was born in Scotland. So, adding whether one is a citizen or not on the 2020 census is but one more step to helping someone in the future find information essential to locating the ancestors. Immigration records are difficult to find. Countless ships sank in the seas. Ship Manifests were delayed for months and often not always delivered at all to the port master. In America, we have records datiing back to the early part of the 17th century, but we need to learn something of colonial handwriting before venturing there. Yet, English records dating to 1500s are even more difficult to read. Especially, with the use of Latin expressions. Generally, the use of a 17th-century handwriting guide helps. If we can train ourselves to read certain surnames, that is a beginning. 17th century handwriting

There is a great deal of conversation today about historical events. Archeologists are uncovering forgotten sites with the use of new technology. The results are edifying. The DNA evidence of old bones and writing on monuments offers data not available when the history books were written. For example, copper swords found in the Great Lakes area dating back 2000 years as well as other artifacts, proves that Indians resided in a rich copper zone and used ores for many practical purposes.* Actually, truth is discovered moreso at the actual time of its occurrance. Not years later. Do you recall the day and year when your grandmother died? Did you remember the first year after she was buried, the second? How about twenty years later? Oh, don't we wish that we remembered the stories shared by our grandmothers. But, despite what grandmother told us, her memory was not too good either.

Genealogists formerly “abstracted” old county records. Even though the abstracts are helpful, the actual document is preferred for real accuracy. Thus, written documents such as old wills, estates and deeds found in the county clerk’s offices which were recorded during the lifetime of our ancestors is the most important resource for discerning truth from error.

*Searching for Indian Tribes ; Creek Indians ; Mayans and Creeks; Hopewell Mounds National Park; Pinson Mounds in Tennessee

New Additions to Georgia Pioneers


Grainger Co. Inventories & Wills 1833-1839; 1839-1847; 1847-1852

Hawkins Co. Wills 1797-1826; 1864-1878;1885-1910

Davidson Co. Wills, Estates, Deeds 1784-1792; 1792-1804; Wills 1805-1809; Wills 1809-1816

Roane Co. Wills & Estates 1802-1824; 1828-1837; 1838-1842 1842-1846

Montgomery County Wills, Estates, Deeds 1796-1821; 1817-1821; Wills & Estates 1810-1818

Blount County Wills 1795-1869; 1896-1922; 1923-1934

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How "the Covenanters"? Affect Genealogy

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

1763 Proclamation Map.

In tracing the immigrants, we discover that certain groups of Scottish persons were Presbyterians. During the 17th century, “the Covenanters”, as they were called, were a vital part of the protestant history which erupted in Europe. Their point of reference was the Covenant between God and the Israelites in the Old Testament. The National Covenant dated in 1638 was a pledge to maintain chosen forms of worship. After the signing, the Scottish Assembly abolished Episcopacy and in 1639-1640 fought to maintain their religious liberty. During December of 1646 they fought in the English Civil War wherein Charles I first surrendered and later agreed to the Solemn League and Covenant which attained military assistance from the Scots. They also fought for King Charles II, who signed the covenant in June 1650. In both campaigns, however, the Scots were defeated by the English.

By the mid-1700s the Scottish population were drifting towards Antrim, Ireland (later known as Scotch-Irish) and commencing the vast immigration to America. The nearest port city was Belfast.

Learning the European history of the Scots and Irish peoples is essential in order to discern where to search next. Because of the religious wars, few records survived in those regions. But the trail of immigration presents a rather clear picture. The popular port cities during this period were Philadelphia, Wilmiington and Charleston. Upon arrival, the ultimate destination was the mountain range which spanned Virginia and North Carolina. Emigrants sought free land and opportunity. You might be surprised to learn that those families who ultimately ended up in the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia and later Kentucky and Tennessee, found themselves in the midst of battles with the Indians, massacres, looting, and even kidnapped daughters. These circumstances drove certain families back East, and by 1780 (when the Revolutionary War commenced its Southern Campaign), there was opportunity for land grants in the East. Typically, a soldier signed up for 3 months. If he served for that term, he was entitled to 287-1/2 acres of land. In examining the number of acreage received, the genealogist can determine “how long” the soldier served. For example, one of my ancestors received a total of 1150 acres in Washington County. That means that he served 4 terms (of 3 months each); actually to the end of the war. The records of Washington County did not survive; there is no tombstone or evidence of his homeplace in Davisboro, Georgia, but the proof is in the pudding!

There was an enticement for free land. The bounty grants during the War of 1812 offered between 1818-1858 was 160 acres of land, but one must serve the full five years. The name of the game was always “fertile land” upon which to build a home and livelihood. That is why we search land lotteries, land and bounty grants. Lots of the militia fought in both wars; during 1812 naval defenses were erected along shore-lines. Yet, the war with the Indians were also afoot, from Georgia to Alabama, and the militia was used extensively. If you wish to learn where your ancestor was during these battles, members of Georgia Pioneers search online Be sure and write down every family name as these guys will turn up latter on your family group sheets! It also a good idea to search for muster rolls, as small details such as “wounded” or “killed” can help locate other family members.

New Additions: Tennessee: Knox County Settlements and Administrators 1792-1824. Note: More Tennessee records are being added weekly! It is a slow process.

Where to Find Muster Rolls

Georgia Military Records (members only)

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