Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Road to Answers

The road to discovering answers about our ancestors is long and winding.  It is a journey which requires years upon years of TIME and PATIENCE. It seems as though relatives are disinterested or cannot remember names or events. And the records requires hours upon hours to locate and study.  Even if we find abstracted records, such as deeds, wills, estates and even marriages, to gain the full picture demands locating the record and reading it for oneself.  All the names surrounding our families must be examined, remembered and researched separately before a picture begans to appear on the page.  One snifts it out, gets a "feel" for that which applies to his ancestors and their times.  We complete family group sheets and pedigrees with names and dates, yet still do not have the story.  For the story of the past includes the history and economy of their times, and their part in it.  When we have those answers, we begin to know our kin and understand them.  Too, given the duplication of names, it is important to make certain that we are dealing in the proper era.  33 1/3 years comprises one generation. In past eras, marriages occurred between 16 and 20 years of age.  Death claimed many women during childbirth, so there were second and third marriages.  It is a good idea to consider that a woman in her 50's was not bearing children.  Researching census records is important, but cannot help you too much before 1850. Thus, everything needs to be double-checked with the county records.  Deeds, Marriages, Wills, Estates, Civil Court and Inferior Court Records, Pensions (yes, there pensions of soldiers and their widows at court houses), Tax Digests.  The search at the court house is tedious, but oh so important to piecing together information.  Anytime that one can save themselves a drive to the court house or archives and hours of research time by paying for a service online, they have saved themselves "money".  It is true that the internet helps genealogists, however, the task is still daunting. Sometimes, I have to sit down, study old and recent research findings, then think it out.  The ancestors took this road for good reason.

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