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Did you Find Ancestors with DNA?
DNA testing is an interesting challenge these days for genealogists. I think that most people start out believing that it will help them find ancestors. However, in order for this to happen, one needs the DNA of those ancestors! While genetic testing is helful among living persons, it is unrealistic to think that the DNA of those who lived say 100 years ago is included in the DNA storage vaults. Think of it this
way. In the recent past, the bones of Richard III were dug up in a parking lot in England and a DNA sample was taken. The results were interesting because analysis revealed that the DNA
passed down on the maternal side matched that of living relatives, while the genetic data on the male side does not. This poses the question of illegitimacy in the Plantagent or Tudor
lineage, even suggesting that Queen Elizabeth is not a legitimate heir to the throne!
The Path to Discovery of Truth is Independent Research
In this day and age, when media cannot be wholly trusted, one is compelled to do independent research. I have always worked within the framework of digging for old documents, such as county wills and estates, as well as immigration records, census, church, cemeteries, and the like. This is what genealogist do. My previous research disclosed that some genealogists working on the same lineage had the notion that William Franklin enlisted in the Revolutionary War while in Botetourt County, Virginia. Discovering the actual truth came from his name being listed on the 1774 muster roll of Capt. Love's Militia Company in Botetourt County. Since the revolutionary war did not begin until 1776, I decided to see what was happening in the Alleghany Mountains during that time period. Here is what I found. During October of 1774, Botetourt County sent two militia companies down the Mississippi River to the Falls of Ohio to fight the waring Shawnee and other tribes. When they arrived, the Shawnee were ready to fight and the result was a bloody battle of dead and wounded on both sides. Although Lord Dunmore had order all of the Virginia militia out, the two companies of Botetourt militia were the first to arrive and as they crossed the falls (into Indiana) the Shawnee awaited battle. Franklin was listed as "wounded" and "released" two days later. This was not the revolutionary war, rather Lord Dunmore's War of one day in 1774 which resulted in a treaty from the Shawnee and several other tribes relinquishing lands in the Virginia mountains. After further investigation, it was learned that common problem during that time was that Indians scalped white men and took their women into slavery, But there was more truth to be discovered. Six years later, Franklin left Botetourt County and went to North Carolina where he joined the revolutionary war forces of General Lighthorse Harry Lee. Given that Franklin was awarded over 1000 acres of land in Warren County, Georgia for his service further established his full participation in all of the battles from then until the end of the war. A simple fact provided the truth. That is, he was with General Lee until the end, and it was the general who signed his certificate. Had I accepted the work of other probing genealogists, I would have never found the actual reality of his service as an Indian fighter and patriot.
To establish facts for elusive ancestors when the records are seemingly void of information is tough. One solution is to research around the facts and thus eliminate persons in that generation. We need to know who is who and add them to a family group sheet irregardless of whether or not they are directly related. This process documents a family and eliminates them. First, locate your ancestor's surname in nearby counties and states. Then search court house records, viz: deeds, wills, tax records, estates, etc. and establish the facts for each person. Next, complete a family group sheet on that family, noting the sources you used. Proceed accordingly on all questionable families, thus identifying each person of the era and location. Third, examine each family group sheet. Look for nicknames. For example, Betsy, b. ca 1757 could be your Elizabeth, b. 1759. Fourth, once everyone is identified you probably have a number of loose persons for whom you need to discover more information. Try to trace that person so that he may be either identified or eliminated; use marriage records, estates, etc. In the earliest pioneering days the eldest son inherited the farm while others went into other acceptable occupations such as physicians, ministers, etc. This took them away from the home place. In other words, erase confusion by identifying and eliminating all families in prescribed areas having your same.
How do you think of the Past?
When you cozy up under the covers at night, how do you think of our ancestors? The family is about you in almost every aspect of daily life churning activity, making life bitter and sweet. And as your generation swishes by, amid the clamor and distractions, dodging roadblocks and unexpected challenges, will your perience be one of satisfaction and declared goals accomplished? The roadblocks, though different, were all done before, in other generations, as families struggled through it all. Perhaps the whole experience in this world is but one continuous play, with different characters tackling the issues of each generation. How people in past generations dealt with family issues, hardships and even war is admirable. Admirable, because as they faced reality head-on, a clear path of honesty and patriotism was paved for future generations to resolve its issues and maintain the freedoms for which our ancestors fought. As pioneer families from all over Europe settled opon the American soil, their society was one of doing business with individuals of good character, and everything was built upon that foundation. It is a lesson well taught and a formidable guide to strengthen the backbone of this generation. Our ancestors left us many exciting stories which are worth retelling to our children. So that they will remember. I love visiting old homesites because it provides a vision of the old days. There is something soul-binding of simplier times. Trace your families in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia
Bulloch County Wills, Estates, Marriages
Bulloch County was created from Bryan and Screven countiesin 1796 by an act of the General Assembly. It was named for Archibald Bulloch, the first provisional governor of Georgia (1776-1777). Portions of Bulloch County were used to create Jenkins County (1905), Candler County (1914), and Evans County (1914). Researchers of Bulloch County should also research Chatham County.
Online Probate Records available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- Wills 1854-1861 (abstracts)
- Marriages 1796-1850
- Minutes of Upper Black Creek Church, Brooklet, 1832 members
- Ordinarys of the Probate Court of Bulloch County
- Sheriffs of Bulloch County
- Clerks of the Court of Ordinary of Bulloch County
Indexes to Probate Records
- Inventories and Appraisemwents 1795-1900
- Annual Returns (1795-1900)
- Marriages (1795-1900)
- Miscellaneous Estate Records (1795-1900)
- Receipts from the Heirs and other principals to the Estates
Images of Miscellanous Wills and Estates
- Deloach, John. LWT 1888
- Wright, William, Estate, 1843
Traced Genealogies ofBulloch County Families