We recently attended a workshop at Willard Library in Evansville about genealogy. Willard Library had guest speaker, J. Mark Lowe, come and speak about four different problem areas in genealogical research. This workshop was well work the time that we spent at Willard. Not only was Mr. Lowe an informative speaker, but he also had a sense of humor that made the day enjoyable. We came away with some tips that we would like to share.
Mr. Lowe said to not concentrate so much on names. He told us to concentrate on finding out what they did for a living, if they owned properties and what kind of taxes they paid. This will help determine identifying factors for your search. When you check the census records, be sure to look at the other boxes because they will have their occupation listed and the value of their real estate if they owned any. Also when searching, if you can, compare areas. Typically your ancestors moved into an area that was similar to where they came from. For example, if they were used to growing a certain type of crop in a certain area then they would move into an area where that same crop could grow and be profitable.
Circuit riders were traveling clergy that rode around a specific area and provided counseling and performed marriages. They were called traveling clergy or saddlebag preachers because they rode the route on horseback. When trying to locate marriage certificates or licenses, keep in mind that the circuit riders did not take the records to the clerks in the county they were married in but were carried with the circuit rider until he went home and then filed in his home county. This will then alter the record of the county your great-great-great grandparents’ marriage was recorded. Also, the counties had different boundaries than what they do today, and the following database has an atlas of the historical county boundaries. <www.newberry.org/ahcbp/state_index.html>
We enjoyed our day of genealogical education, and we recommend that if you ever get the opportunity to see or hear Mr. Lowe speak…do so. You can see a list of his upcoming workshops on his website if you would like to see him in person. <kytnresearch.com>
Lots of Luck,
Candy and Leslie