As soon as you realize that the person giving you genealogy advice is not currently, successfully doing what it is they are dispensing advice about–STOP reading or listening. STOP!
If you want fiction, read Stephen King. If you want unqualified and unresearched opinions, you can get them free–from your brother-in-law. There is an unmistakable authenticity with advice from genealogists who actually have searched the documents and fit the evidence together. You want authentic advice. Adapted from “Final Thoughts, This Month, on B.S.” Dan Kennedy No BS Marketing Newletter (Aug 2011): 17.
Real world results based on successful experience in the records themselves–not just reading a textbook or a book review of someone’s ideas of what might work–this is how to trace hard-to-find ancestors.
I want to share a new resource for Tennessee research–a 3-volume work by Doug Drake, Jack Masters, with Bill Puryear and David H. Wright. Volume 1: Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas, 1779-1804. Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Down Roots. Gallatin, Tennessee: Warioto Press, 2009. http://www.cumberlandpioneers.com Includes 94 7.5-minute topographic maps with numbered land blocks superimposed in black and red using MapTechInc. software developed in 2001.
Volumes 2-3: Supplements 1 and 2 with every-name indexes. North Carolina land warrants, surveys, and surveyor plats identified by land number.
How did I miss these books? First, I discovered Volume 2 on the Virginia shelves, not with the Tennessee books. Volume 1 was shelved in the oversize section because it is a beautiful, full-color oversize book. Volume 3 was in the Tennessee section, just in the wrong place–three volumes all in different places. When I found volume 2, I went looking for the rest. Including looking in the Family History Library Catalog. The supplements are also on CD-Rom loaded on the computer desktops at the Library–in case you want a digital version of all the descriptions and maps.
Special features include: timelines for the Chickamauga War, 1777-1795; 435 pioneer casualties, 1780-1795 supplying year killed, name, where killed, source and map references, and whether the person was a signer of the Cumberland Compact; locations of stations, forts, traces, 1788; North Carolina land grants in Tennessee; disposition of the signers of the Cumberland Compact, 244 total men with citations of deeds, location of settlements, location of lands; early Black history–all this and more crammed in 3 well-designed volumes.
An important question answered–Can a minor own land? From the Cumberland Compact:
“all young men over the age of 16 years and able to perform militia duty shall be considered as having a full right to enter for and obtain in their own name as if they were of full age, and in that case not be reckoned in the family of his father, mother, or master…” Volume 1, p. 20.
I carefully studied all three volumes, seeking ancestors of interest to my clients who lived in Middle Tennessee–perhaps this new access to every name in the surveys will lead to new breakthroughs in counties that have suffered much record loss.
One surprise among many–the exact routes of migration are traced for each of the major groups coming into middle Tennessee. For example, Isaac Lindsay who brought 4 men and himself in 1767, left Knox County KY, followed the Cumberland River west through Kentucky and into Tennessee as it dipped down to French Lick (Nashville) through Stone’s settlement.
Look for these volumes in the library where you do your genealogy research or search them the next time you come to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Or I will be glad to search them for you.
And add them to your “must-read and study list” for Tennessee ancestors. Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS The difference between me and some speakers who give book reports–I read the book(s) and do the research in the specific record category cited. I read especially the footnotes and bibliographies for sources I have not yet checked. Or for indexes to records I am already familiar with. I have found enough information in these three volumes to keep me busy for a full day at the FHL. Stay tuned for further details.