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Friday, August 16, 2013

Wills provide hidden clues for genealogists

Lots of books of abstracted wills are out there which are very helpful to genealogists in quickly determining relationships.  I have to tell you that the 17th, 18th and even 19th century documents are difficult to read. One needs to be familiar with colonial letters and the terminology in deeds, wills, guardianships, bonds, and so on. Irrespective of the fine job which has been accomplished by so many in the publishing of abstracted county wills, there are still errors. Sometimes it is simply a matter of interpretation.  A genealogist who has spent years researching a particular family is more familiar with circumstances than the abstracter and would probably make corrections.  It is always best to view the original document as there exists many tiny details which need to be explored by the researcher. From my personal viewpoint, on the difficult genealogies, it is extremely important that I become more familiar with every possible clue. After all, it is the clues which unravel the puzzle. Is it not? Old wills are digitized and available for viewing on Georgia Pioneers

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  1. GeorgiaPioneers.com
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  6. Genealogy-Books.com
  7. GaGraduates.com (Graduates database from ca 1830 to 1925)
  8. SoutheasternGenealogy.com (Digitized Wills in counties of: Carter 1794-1830; Jefferson 1802-1810;Johnson 1839-1900;Unicoi 1878-1887; Washington 1779-1800)

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