The Mutable Measuring Stick of Time
33 1/2 years makes a generation. In generations past, because of wars and disease, this was about the life-expectancy of a person. In the 21st century we enjoy good medicine and a better way. "We have come a long way, baby." Because the past was riveted with uncertainty, there are bundles of issues to consider while researching the family history. The researcher must consider the era in which he is working. Consider, up until about the 16th century, documents and old wills were written in Latin. Not only was the language different, but the elegant archaic script poses other problems. Although the dark (seldom fading) India ink written with a feather pen survives even unto this day, it is not always possible to read the words or its meaning. Not without an education into the past. When I was attending school, we were taught cursive writing, however, it did not contain the fancy looping effect of that employed fifty or a hundred years earlier. Although the era of Queen Victoria was during the late 19th century, most people are ignorant that there is a double-loop for (double "s"), and transcribe it as a "p" instead. Although I have read old records dating back to 1400, it is still necessary to employ visual aids. One essential aid is a knowledge of the wording of legal documents, like deeds, wills, bonds, etc. If one knows that wording by heart, then it remains to work out the literal names such as the difference between capital letters and little letters in common names. Ancient writing styles (or early modern) is not taught in schools. In fact, I doubt if the average person can read the written word of the Victorian Age. Also, European children were taught Latin, English and French. Before the coronation of King George, he only spoke German, thus, of necessity he had to learn the English language! Yet, German immigrants populated America during the 17th and 18th centuries settling in German communities for obvious reasons, and there are old wills to be discovered, written in German, with an old-style flourish. So, how ignorant are we? Can we read the correspondence and documents of yester year? Or, do we procrastinate waiting
for someone else to transcribe them for us. I have heard rheteric that Christopher Columbus raped tribal girls when he explored America. Yet, has anyone read his Journal? As it turns out, Columbus was deeply religious, and the journal in his own hand-writing, stated that he felt that God had sent him to find the New World. My question is this? How can such a brave explorer be judged by future reflectionists who had not or could not have read the explorer's journal, written by his own hand in the Spanish language which went untranslated for hundreds of years?
Analyzing Genealogical Findings for Results
Everyone who ever died did not prepare and file for probate a
Last Will and Testament, yet even the poorest of families usually had an administrator appointed for a number of practical reasons. For one thing, they needed the authority to gain access to funds and to sell property. For this reason we must systematically research all the court house papers such as Annual Returns, Inventories, Distributions, Sales, Vouchers and the Minute Books of Inferior Court. Because this is so important in locating relatives, whenever possible, I am adding the indexes to Annual Returns and estates for the various counties to GeorgiaPioneers.com. The first Annual Return for the estate generally pays doctor bills, funerals and miscellaneous expenses of the administrator. Thereafter, in later returns, funds are dispersed to the heirs. You should really review these returns carefully and attempt to identify everyone receiving payment. Receipts are given to administrator. You want to read the vouchers and receipts because this is where you will find the husbands of the daughters. Married women did not directly inherit; their husbands received the goods and signed for them. The Inventories and Sales contain the names of relatives and neighbors who were purchasing items. Also, this is where you will find a general description of parcels of land owned by the decedent and a list of notes owed him.
Chattahoochee County Georgia Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Annual Returns, Appraiements, Inventories, Homesteads
Chattahoochee County was created in 1854 from Marion and Muscogee Counties. It was named for the Chattahoochee River.
Chattahoochee County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Index to Probate Records
- Chattahoochee Wills 1853-1885 (abstracts).
- Chattahoochee County Marriages (Index) 1854 to 1907
- Chattahoochee County Marriages (Index) 1866 to 1876
- Chattahoochee County Marriages from newspapers 1885 to 1886
- Chattahoochee County Inventories, Appraisements, Sales, Homesteads, Book A (1863 to 1883)
- Chattahoochee County Inventories, Appraisements, Sales, Homesteads, Book B (1882 to 1940)
- Chattahoochee County Annual Returns, Book A (1854 to 1858)
- Chattahoochee County Annual Returns, Book B (1858 to 1860)
- Chattahoochee County Annual Returns, Book C (1860 to 1865)
See how easy it is to view Wills, Estates, Inventories, Returns, Sales online