Dig, Dig, Dig
Sometimes, the answer we genealogists seek is in front of our eyes. More often than not, it's necessary for a befuddled researcher to scratch his or her head and dig more deeply into the puzzle. We gather records on a problem ancestor, push these into a pile to see how convincing the evidence may be, and ask ourselves what it all means.
What we should do as a habit is use the records as an avenue to tell us whom else we should study for clues. Harvest the other names that appear on your ancestor's documents and chase these associates earlier and later in time to see if they reveal secrets that advance your problem.
With that in mind, this website provides historical source materials transcribed from the original, sometimes with annotations to clarify the names or relationships, or even other locations where information can be found. Look at the neighbors and associates of your ancestors; see which families accompany yours on the migratory trail. With more digging and scratching at your ancestor's friends, you'll often discover a relationship by blood or by marriage that untangles a knot.
Each file on this site is a work in progress, with an eventual goal of posting a more polished product. For example, in the case of census transcriptions, I intend to add maiden names of wives and further locations where the same family may be found in other years ... with an final index to ALL names and locations lurking as a later step.
If you can provide more and better information about any ancestor listed, please click to contact me by Email . While I can promise that there are errors in the documents found here, with your help new and better information will be added.
There are records on many families on this site, whether I search them or not. Ancestors I've actively searched appear pedigree-style in a RootsWeb WorldConnect file - please click to visit Ancestors and Friends . The GEDCOM is downloadable, with documentation and notes for the whole family given chronologically, usually under the husband of a family group.
Names in Green on some of the pages
Should you wonder why some of the names on these pages are colored in green, there is a reason. It's my personal slant, for everyone whose name appears in green left some sort of provable record in my favorite place on earth, Campbell County, Tennessee. This applies to ancestors who passed through the region that was to become Campbell Co. in 1806, even if the ancestor came and went prior to county organization.
Much of this website boils down to a migratory study of families who passed through Campbell County, Tennessee, between the end of the 1700's and 1840. My own ancestors fit here, and although they were long gone by the 1850 census, or even before the beginning of Campbell County marriage records in 1838, they "forgot" to leave me a record of several maiden names. Someday ....
Spelling note for the GEDCOM
In my WorldConnect GEDCOM - but not on the webpages containing transcribed original records - the spelling of both surnames and personal names is frequently standardized in the index, although the original spelling used by the ancestor is unchanged in the documentation and notes. For example, the index uses the spelling of surname "Basham" since it is the more common spelling, although some branches of this family use "Bassham." Similarly, a major branch of my family tree has Swedish roots and used the traditional Swedish first name "Ali, " also spelled "Ale" and "Aly." Inevitably, it also came to be spelled "Eli" and "Ely" in some records. For simplicity, the spelling "Ali" appears in the index for each man who used the name, although the spelling seen in his records is preserved in the notes. This was done to differentiate the name "Ali" from other ancestors of British or Hebrew origin who were more likely given the Biblical name "Eli." Similarly, the first name "Doswell" is used throughout the index, although some individuals with this name clearly preferred the spelling "Dauswell."
This standardization of spelling is for merely for ease in finding and grouping similarly-named ancestors through the GEDCOM's index and does NOT assume that the ancestor preferred the spelling that is indexed.
Looking forward to PROGRESS for all of us,
Census Transcriptions (partially annotated)
Visit my GEDCOM Ancestors and Friends
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