Did you find the "old neighborhood?"
Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
|Jeannette Austin||Feb 5||3|
Sometimes the records are just not good enough. For example, the 1820 and 1830 census records of Georgia appear to be incomplete. Especially when they do not list the names or ages of the children. Too, after viewing the microfilm, one gets the impression that there are illegible entries and missing pages. One reason is that the census taker along county borders may have listed your families in the adjoining county. Counties were split off into smaller counties and for this reason one must consider also researching the parent county. Also, one should discover the name of the publishing newspapers for an area. Macon was a thriving town in Georgia for many years and the newspapers there published data for the surrounding towns and counties. An item which becomes the starting place in search of the date of death is the estate sale published three consecutive weeks in a row.
In Georgia, the 1790, 1800 and 1820 census records are non-existent. They were burned in Washington, D. C. by the British during the War of 1812. Irregardless of the State being researched, the following comments should be taken seriously.
Nevertheless, the tax digests are an excellent resource to help locate families during those years. And more importantly, the tax digests lists are by district (neighborhood). Note: The census records are headed by the district name or number. In scanning the old documents, one should be diligent in writing down everything. A suggestion is all persons having the same surname (because some of those guys are going to be cousins connecting to the same grandparent, great-grandparent, etc.) adjoining neighbors, occupation, adj. land, creeks and rivers. Those persons in the same district were neighbors. That is “the neighborhood”. The neighborhood can also be located in the old district of area cemeteries. For the genealogist who records the names of witnesses from wills, estates, marriages, etc., the door is open discovering more.
The neighborhood is where people worked together, loaned and borrowed building materials and other assets. It is also where marriages occurred between families. So, that makes the names of witnesses suspect for locating them in the marriage records. Don’t know who married the daughters? This is how to rationalize and discover facts.