Some of the Oldest Faded Documents are Readable over the InternetIdeally, one should belong to all of the online websites. Because this is impractical, the advance knowledge of the content of websites are virtually important to the researcher. For this reason, my websites lists all available data to the possible subscriber before hand. Click on "databases" But it gets better, if you click on "counties" there is a complete list of all of the names of testators (of wills and estates). Although there are some books indexes of wills and estates, they are not always complete. While digitizing wills for the States of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, I discovered items not indexed. The reason is probably because of old colonial-style writing, faded ink, torn pages and wear and tear over the ages. By the time the court house books were microfilmed during the 1950s, they were already in a state of decay. However, with the improved technology of today for imaging, microfilming and internet visibility, there is a better chance of actually reading some of the faded pages. With a little bit of study, one can usually interpret the worst documents. That is why I microfilm all possible visuals. The old colonial handwriting is best interpreted by a print-out of the document. Then a close study using a colonial handwriting-guide. First, resolve what the surname looks like in colonial handwriting. Then, other standard language. The beginning of old Wills begin with "In the Name of God, Amen" With that information, one can work out the letters. Eventually, one understands the characters and solves the puzzle. Do you hear what I am saying? Some of the oldest, most tattered records can be read today with reasonable effort. One does not have to join, in order to view the names in county wills and estates for the following States: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Note: } Although you do not have to join to see the names of testators in each county, Members have access to all genealogy databases for those States. JOIN HERE
How to Search for Illegitimate FamiliesWhat if your someone in your family did not marry, yet had children? You possibly know the first name, but not the surname. Let us say that John Smith and Mary had seven children listed on the 1850 Census yet you never found a marriage record. Further, members of your family hinted that the children were illegitimate. And you followed the trail of the census, deed records, for the places they resided, wills and estates where there was scant information. Here is a problem to be resolved. John Smith left Virginia in 1812 with several children. First, the War of 1812 militia records were examined at the National Archives which indicated that John Smith served in a militia company located at an outpost on the border of Jasper County, known as Fort Defiance. There was a promise of a land grant for those who signed up for the War of 1812 after the service of five years. Tracking John Smith was difficult, however, the last record was in Clarke County on the 1825 Tax Digests. Also, appearing the tax records (as well as census records) were several people of the appropriate age to have been his children. One, in particular, was Archibald Smith who assigned certain names to his children. These names all appeared to contain a surname. It was almost as though Archibald was leaving a subtle trail of clues of kin people which he chose not to forget. For example, the first son was named William Edward Smith. Archibald had married a daughter of Edward Jenkins. Thus, the tradition of naming the first son after the parents fit. William (for William Smith) and Edward (for Edward Jenkins). The remaining children had obvious surnames, such as Harrison Ramsey Smith. There was a Harrison Smith who resided near Archibald Smith in 1840. The Ramsey portion was baffling. However, there was a Henry Ramsey, Revolutionary War Soldier from Abbeville County, South Carolina in Henry County, Georgia. He made no mentiion of Mary Smith in his last will and testament. However, while several children were born in Virginia, two of Mary's children were born in South Carolina! A further examination of the records in Abbeville County revealed that some of the relatives of John Smith were also in that county. The next step was to research a Moses Smith also on the 1825 Clarke County tax digest. And, later an Edward William Smith who resided in the abandoned home of John Smith in the 1840s who removed to Carroll County and was listed as a gold miner. Because the naming of Mary's children used surnames of real people in the area, assembling all of these pieces on individual family group sheets began to paint a picture of subtle relationships of all of these families. Finally, when all of the movements of each family was known, it was obvious that Mary Ramsey was the unwed mother of the children of Archibald Smith. In this instance, a factual record never emerged as absolute proof of the assumptions made here. The history of the times, the migratory trails, census and tax records, deeds and the examination of old estate and wills of all of the families concerned combine to piece together the puzzling lives of illegitimate children.
Baker County Wills and EstatesBaker County was created on Dec. 12, 1825 by an act of the General Assembly and was formed from the entire eastern portion of Early County. Early Settlers: Henry Brown, A. S. Cook, John Fennell, C. Galloway, J. A. Gassett, Amos Grant, H. Hall, Fred Metts, C. F. Norris, Elijah Pearce and Thomas Robinson.
Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
- Inventories (1868 to 1875
- Inventories (1875 to 1918)
- Sale Bills (1874 to 1915)
- 12-months Support (1882 to 1924)
- Homestead Records (1883 to 1942
- Annual Returns and Vouchers (1872 to 1920)
- Wills (1868 to 1918)
- Wills (1868 to 1962)
Online Images of Baker County Wills (1868 to 1919)Names of Testators: Allen, Louisa;Atkison, John;Bailey, Benjamin;Bailey, William;Baker, Georgia;Ball, Sallie;Butler, William;Fleming, Thomas;Gallaway,Cornelius;George, James;Hall, Ella;Hall, H. H.;Hall, Warren;Hay, Olivia;Holt, Taft;Ivey, Elizabeth;Ivy, Anne;Jackson, Martha;Jones, Harriett;Jones, Reuben;Kerney, John;Kidd, Cornelia;Livingston, W. C.;Lyons, George;Mackey, Gus;Mathis, Henry;Mathis, L. J.;McRainey, M. A.;Nesbitt, Thomas;Norris, Charlie;Odum, Andrew;Odum, Purd;Perry, John;Rhodes, R. M.;Russell, Otto;Stamper, M. W.;Tanner, John;Thomas, Crawford;Thomas, Patsy;Weathersby, Helen;Williams, Dennis;Williams, W. D.;Young, Ashley;Young, Mary
Images of old Georgia Newspapers
Jeannette Holland Austin Profile