How a Historical Past Reveals What Happens Today

You have doubtless heard the expression that "nothing is new under the sun?" Understanding today involves knowing yesterday. The modern age has suffered a re-writing of school history books. This is unfortunate, because the writers were not present at the events, nor alive. That means that the modern version of the past is "opinion" or "propaganda". That leaves the task to us of teaching historical subjects to our children. But this easy for genealogists who researches every detail of the ancestor's lifestyle and the surrounding events, such as immigration and wars. He reads pensions from the Civil War and Revolutionary War, and learns of the movement of troops and details of battle. He appreciates that muskets, sabres and rifles were used to defend the families during war and against the Indians at frontier forts. He follows the ancestors as they took up land grants, drew in the land lotteries, land bounties to settle mountain lands, the movement westward and battles with Indians. He reads civil war diaries and the diaries of white women taken as Indian slaves in the Allegheny Mountains and dragged into villages further westward. And, as the history of each family is discovered, the genealogist shares the factual information with others. More of these stories need to be passed along in families. Lest we forget!

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How Reliable are Memories of Things Past?

The genealogist know all about memory, especially from interviewing relatives. Sometimes the memory of an event is actually better than the event itself. That is because as time passes and we have the privilege of embellishing upon it in a happier way it becomes more elusive. That is one of the reasons that people do not have perfect recall. Can you remember the date of your grandmother's death? Or Mother? Since birth, we are processing family information into our memory banks, yet recalling it seems to fade into oblivion. We are more accurate in our recall effort shortly after the event occurred. As time passes, we lose credibility. In the same respect, writing about the historical past is not "second-hand", however, more like "gossip!" If we were not there (at the time), how can our version be wholly accurate? How do we know if Thomas Jefferson slept with slaves? Did we see it? Is there a substantial record which proves it? If we were not there, we cannot draw conclusions. The quest of the historian, then, is to take his date from facts. That is, old written documents. Another imposition has been taken with Christopher Columbus. The story is that he imposed himself upon island people. Yet, the only first-hand information comes from the explorer himself, who "kept a log" of his travels. This log, now translated, written in his own hand-writing, describes a deeply religious Catholic who believed that he was on a mission for God. And then today we have women claiming that a politician "improperly touched them " 40 years ago! Since, the first complainer has broken down in tears, claiming that she does not remember the details of what happened. Thus, should we shuffle aside our interviews with relatives, or compare their memories with actual records?

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New Additions to Virginia Pioneers

Genealogy Research

Montgomery County Marriage Bonds as follows:

1777-1788; 1804-1811; 1812-1818; 1819-1825; 1831-1854

Also available are the images of wills and estates from 1796-1823

To members of GeorgiaPioneers et al (8 genealogy websites view here

This is a very historical county; much of the population served in the Revolutionary War

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