Records and Blurbs Jeannette Holland Austin
In addition to searching county records, census, military, bibles, land grants, cemeteries, etc., there is a world of information available to the dedicated researcher. What I am talking about are those one-liners. That is, blurbs about your ancestor found in genealogies, dictionaries, witnesses to deeds, wills and other documents, and so on. These blurbs added up to solving the puzzle. Example: witnesses and suretites to marriages and estate bons were usually relatives or neighbors. The names of neighbors are important because it helps zero in on where they lived and who they married. Compare the names from one document to the next. From 1600 to 1900, it was a smaller world. The likelihood of duplicates within the same county works to our favor, except for common surnames like Smith, Brown, Jones, and first names like John, William, etc. In these difficult tracings where the daughters' marriages are unknown, I try and identify the witnesses as a possibility for husbands. Also, to see if those witnesses' names also appeared in deed records of my ancestors as neighbors, or if they appeared on the same page in tax digests.
Finding School Graduates Help the Genealogist!
Left-to-Right:(Bottom Row) Cordie Daniel, LaGrange; Tommie Bridges, Senoia; Evis Davis, Newton. (Top Row): Ida Collins, Acworth; Leone Awtry, Acworth; Mary Crowder, Stinson. Class of 1900, Southern Female Academy, LaGrange, Georgia.
Georgia's school children usually attended the nearest academy, which was not always located in the county where they resided. Daughters were in their teens went sent to further their education and usually graduated at the age of fifteen years. Sons also attended the academies before being sent to colleges or universities. Frequently, they went out-of-state. I discovered where one of my ancestors resided, John Collins of Cobb County, Revolutionary War Soldier, by finding his great-granddaughter, Ida Collins, in an old school photograph published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1900. Now that I knew she was from Acworth, I went there and poking around the cemeteries discovered where John Collins was buried. The census records and county records had failed to unravel family members. That one picture pulled it all together for me. Georgia Pioneers has a database of School Graduates (grammar, high school, college, academies, universities) dating from 1840s to 1900. Many individual and class photographs were included, plus whatever was published in the newspapers about the graduation. If you have not seen it, click on "School Graduates" in the Library.
Jeannette Holland Austin
, Georgia Author of Genealogy Books
Georgia County Records (digital images) wills, estates, marriages
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