The Never-Ending Genealogy Trail

By Jeannette Holland Austin

Sometimes the best deals are hidden. One might think that after more than fifty years of personal and professional research, scanning records and posting info on the web to help others, that the trail would end. Yet, here I find myself helping new members of Georgia Pioneers resolve some of their most difficult research issues. The time and effort that I invest on my end far out-weights the price of a subscription or the true cost of hiring a professional genealogist. Just about every researcher faces brick walls! One which I have borne since 1962 is locating my Smith and Franklin ancestors before the American Revolution. Ironically, I discovered both families as adventurers in Western Virginia and North Carolina. They were among those persons who accept land grants to colonize the West during the early 1700s. The home place of the Smiths became the State of Franklin while the Franklin family settled on the James River Mountain. Both families lost daughters to marauding Indians who took them as slaves. Both families went back East and fought in the Revolutionary War. Researching these families consumed most of my productive life, but oh what treasures I found! And that is how my great-grandmother Franklin met and married Alexander Smith. What I am saying is that there is always a fascinating story connected to the ones you cannot find.