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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Actual Documents and Easier Resources Online on Georgia Pioneers.com

Where to read old Wills online!
It is best not to link your ancestor to any genealogy program which contains a charted ancestry.  FamilySearch.org, for instance, allows members to do this.  Although at first glance this appears to be an easy way to have the lineage traced back further in time, it is a mistake to link.  Such programs which do use the chart to link generations together, create genealogies which are merely computer-generated. You do not want this.  A computer generation attempts to eliminate multiple entries of the same person.  For example, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, when the Ancestral File first got online, I noticed that all of the ancestor files submitted by members and non-members alike contained numerous errors.  Although the hand-written family group sheets contained sources or references for the material submitted, those sources did not materialize on the computerized material.  Of those old records, you could not (and still cannot) see where the person got their information.  The Ancestral File is a good resource, however, its material should be used as a guideline to discovering actual facts.  What is a fact, genealogy-wise?  It is old bible records, church and parish registers, and all information discovered at the county court house, viz: last wills and testaments, probate, estates of every sort, marriages, deeds, civil and superior court cases, land grants, pensions, and so forth.  Also, the adjoining counties because people are not (and were not) restricted to own land or transact business mere in the county where they resided.

Such records represent sources of factual truths.  One must gather all information possible and make comparisons with the data.  Census records contain important errors, such as places of birth, number of years married, proper names of children, and so forth.  After speaking to relatives and gathering tombstone information, the census record is one of the first places to search.  What I am saying here is that computer-generated charts actually raise the level of errors.  For example, if John Smith had a daughter named Mary, aged 2 years in 1850,  and someone else gave her year of birth as 1847, then you will doubtless see that the computer treated this as two entries.  Now, John Smith has 2 daughters by the name of Mary.  Many people, in the interest of furthering their tree, accept other people's work. I do not.  However, I will use the Ancestral File has a guideline to establishing actual facts. Therefore, using the birth and death entries, I go to those counties and states and do my research in the court houses. As a point of fact, a last will  and testament is usually filed of record and probated within 3 days of a person's death.  The reason is that the relatives need to put the probate in process in order to have the authority to act for the deceased person.  If you want to know where your ancestor came from or where he went, you must search all  of the deed records as a matter of course.  This is part of discovery.  As for marriages, parsons were not always required to file their licenses and marriage ceremonies with the county court house.  Therefore, until laws established this process (usually after 1900), few marriage records (per population) exist.  Hence, one must search old newspapers where marriages and obituaries are found.  This is a very tedious process.  A database dating from the earliest Georgia newspapers in 1740 to about 1935 is available to members of Georgia Pioneers
Also, it is easy to discover whether or not your ancestor had a last will and testament or estate on Georgia Pioneers   Simply click on a county on the homepage, and you will see a list of records available (to members) as well as names.  This part is free.  All that you do is click on the county and find out!  It is very difficult to read the old indexes.  We have made this very easy for you.  All indexes are (typed) links to the actual documents in the court houses.  Can it get any better than that?
FREE help with finding your ancestors! Become a member of the Pioneer Families Community, and enjoy the benefits of a network of genealogy experts: including access to all eight websites, books written by renowned Georgia genealogist Jeannette Holland Austin, and personal help with your research for any family in GA, NC, SC, or VA. A full year of membership with all these benefits (and access to 1.5 tetrabytes of genealogical data) for less than $13 a month, compared with up to $45 a month at ancestry.com
  1. GeorgiaPioneers.com
  2. KentuckyPioneers.com
  3. NorthCarolinaPioneers.com
  4. SouthCarolinaPioneers.net
  5. VirginiaPioneers.net
  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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