Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday's Tip-Gettin' By With Help From Our Friends!~Amie Bowser Tennant

This Tuesday, we have tips from our friend Amie Bowser Tennant, The Genealogy Reporter
Amie shares what she has learned from researching her southern ancestors.

My Southeastern US roots hail from way down in the “hollers” of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. In doing years of research there, I have discovered three tips every southern researcher should know!
Tip One: When the babies were born in the homes of the “hollers,” it would often be several weeks until the mother, father, doctor, or midwife got to town to register the birth of the child with the town clerk. It was also not unheard of to have a midwife or doctor pop by the clerk’s office only once-a-month to drop off the information for the babies born over the last few weeks. Because of these circumstances, you will want to be aware of the following when searching:
On the birth register pages, if it seems the clerk is only recording births once or twice a month, it may indicate the births are recorded by the day the information is brought to the office, not necessarily the date the child was born. Typically, we consider the record created at the time of the event by those with firsthand knowledge to be the most accurate. However, in this case, you will have to evaluate the record set as a whole and make a determination as to its validity.

Tip Two: Marriages for young ladies often happened at a very tender age. Marriage laws were different from state to state and changed over time. If the young lady’s family wanted her to marry, they would sometimes need to give written permission. This permission can be found on either the marriage license or marriage record. Sometimes, these two different records are found on the same page of the marriage book, but that is not always the case. I suggest:

Checking with a knowledgeable person in your targeted area to determine if marriage licenses are held in a separate book from the actual marriage records. You want to check both the license and the marriage record for genealogically relevant data, like the name of a parent giving permission.
Tip Three: Many of the families in the “hollers” claim Native American roots…or at least that’s their story! It really doesn’t matter whether the tradition is true or not for this next tip. It only matters if the family members were trying to convince the government they were Native American. In the 1890s and again in the mid-1900s, the government was making amends to many of the Southeastern tribes who had been forcibly removed from their homelands many years before. To properly allocate money and land to the descendants of those removed, applications were sent out and persons applied. The applications were reviewed and the applicant was found to either be eligible or not. Eligibility was based on whether the applicant could sufficiently prove their descent from someone who appeared on the rolls and censuses of the Native Americans.
The applications, even those denied, are packed full of genealogical data and clues. For example, my great-grandfather Jake Cole filed an application. The name of a previously unknown daughter was found on that list. In fact, I would have never known about her without this application. She was born in 1881 (after the 1880 census was taken) and married before 1900 (when the next census was taken). To take advantage of these application record sets has a bit of a learning curve. For this reason, I suggest:
Reading the following three articles to guide you in locating and searching these applications and more. Click the following titles to read.
I hope these three tips for researching in the South come in handy and lead you to amazing new discoveries in your family history.

Amie Bowser Tennant is The Genealogy Reporter. She is a professional genealogist, nationally known speaker, and internationally known blogger. Amie provides blog and written content for both her website, at www.TheGenealogyReporter.com and many top companies and societies in the genealogy field. Visit her blog for more tips and strategies for family history research.

Thanks for the tips, Amie! 

Do you have southern ancestors? What tips can you share?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,

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