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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Repetitive Family Names

After the American Revolution there still was not a large population of duplicate names in any given place. Therefore, finding a person in one county, then seeing the same name in another county or state, has a strong argument for being the same person. Writing a careful chronology of dates, places and events will help determine whether or not this is true. To prove it, review deed records for each area where the name was discovered, noting where that person resided when he first purchased land and the adjoining boundaries and neighbors. Frequently, when a person first purchased land in an area, the grantee would begin...Franklin Jones of Botetourt County, Virginia to John Smith of Laurens County, South Carolina.... In other words, follow the land records (buying and selling)and tax digests to discover other tracts of land, descriptions, and adjoining neighbors. One thing is for certain. Everyone was on the move searching for new lands. This is the common thread. The eldest son usually inherited the home plantation. Other family members may have remained at the old family seat, but everyone else followed the trail of land grants, lotteries and newly-opened Indian territories. The next step is to draw a map of historical migratory patterns and dates. This requires a little research into where revolutionary war veterans were granted land, when counties were first created and when lands opened up from treaties. Once you have this map, it is easier to understand where your people would likely go.

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogies
Georgia Pioneers

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