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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Searching in the Weeds for the Ancestors

Searching in the Weeds for the Ancestors

As we trace further back in time and attempt to fill the gaps for want of records, logic and reasoning is employed. Now is the time to get out the history books. But where is the written history of long ago? Archaeologists rely upon hiergyphics written upon the walls of the tombs of the Pharaohs for information. However, the life-styles of everyone else is a conjecture of old data. The example I am thinking of is how they built the pyramids. One supposition is that the workers dragged those boulders across the desert. Yet, a visit to the Atlanta Civic Center to view the wealth from the tomb of Tutankhamun was an eye-opener. In plain view was a small replica of a perfect set of "gears." It follow that surely they used mechanisms with gears to lift heavy loads! In recent years, iron has been discovered in the earliest Egyptian and Chinese dynasties. Also, it appears that brass plates were used to preserve valuable records. These plates have been discovered in China as well as middle-eastern deserts Because of the difficulty of writing on brass, words were abbreviated and condensed, all writing being familiar to that generation. Hmmm, seems our ancestors could read and write after all. Before some of the more recent discoveries emerged, mankind was painted in the history books as being dumb and uneducated. What I am saying here is that our old history books are wrong, wrong, wrong! The researcher already has a taste of errors in history books when reviewing items such as correspondence kept by colonial municipalities and pension records. 

Families are important to us, so we are interested in facts. Sometimes we make mistakes because of the similarity of names. Parents continued family traditions with the use of family names, even if it was the same name over and over again. It is as though they are telling us something. But if John Henry is found in 300 years of family history, we have to sort things out. The first thing which I seek to learn is the birth and death date of my John Henry. It must be exact as possible, because his cousins will also have that name. Next, the deed records and tax digests. Because that cousin of the same name might be in the same neighborhood, I want to understand which deeds and transactions belonged to my ancestor. The deeds and tax records are useful in determining when the land was purchased, sold or divided between the heirs. Sometimes other members of the family later show up in the same location.  Names of Edgefield Co. SC Ancestors

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