Saturday, July 25, 2009

Good Genealogy Luck

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has a regular feature called Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. His installment this week asks the reader: "When have you had a dose of good genealogy luck?"

That was an easy question for me, as it would be for many folks in these parts. My genealogical luck comes from the mere fact of where I live. Where I live, so have most all my ancestors lived for the past 172 years or so.

Six generations of my ancestors have lived within 8 to 10 miles from where I have lived my entire life (with the exception of dorm life at college) – all within the same county. Within 8 miles of where I live, are the graves of four grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 gg grandparents, and even some ggg grandparents. In order to obtain family records of my Mississippi ancestors such as wills, deeds, marriages and the like since the 1830s, it’s a six mile trip to the county courthouse (and it’s nice to live in a “non-burned” county – most all records are extant since the county formation). And for information about extended cousins and their families, a trip to the neighborhood store usually suffices as more than likely I will run into several cousins while shopping for groceries.

I guess I have been lucky my ancestors stayed put for long periods of time. For the most part, from the early 1600s to early 1700s staying put in Virginia. From the early 1700s to the early 1800s in North Carolina and since the early 1800s moving down into Tennessee and Alabama before settling in Mississippi during the 1830s. And we’ve practically stayed put here ever since. Ancestors staying put sure makes it easier with researching their lives.


Tracy said...

That is great that you live in a non-burned courthouse area and your ancestor's info is there. I wish I were so lucky, haha...
With you living in Itawamba Co, I thought I would ask you something. Ok, I my great grandparents were Will and Ethel Herron. They both passed away and are buried here in Lamar Co. Alabama. Ok, my brick wall in my genealogy research is the father of Will Herron which was Jonathan Herron. I haven't been able to find anything on him really, haven't been able to prove who his parents were or anything. I do know that Jonathan Herron and my GG grandmother Margaret Hood Herron were married in Itawamba Co., I wonder if I may be able to find anything that could help me out on him at the courthouse there. Every courthouse I've gone to has had fires so I haven't searched, don't really know what's available there, etc. On the marriage records I found on Ancestry for them the spellings of their names were Jonothan Herring and Margaret Hood married 5 Aug. 1874 in Itawamba Co. I can't tell you the hours I have spent searching, I have other family members also who have searched like crazy for something on this Jonathan. I have always heard my great grandfather (Will Herron) was half indian. I know that Margaret Hood wasn't indian and have heard one story from a distant relative that the Hood family took Jonathan in but because he was indian they made him sleep/live out in their barn.
Jonathan Herron was buried in Lamar Co. AL also, and according to his headstone his birthdate was 11 Oct. 1841 and his death date was 13 Sept. 1906.
Also the trouble I have is things I have found on my great grandfather (Will Herron), Herron has been spelled a million different ways, that makes it tuff.
I just don't know ........ sorry for such a long post just thought you may have some tip that could help me get somewhere with this. I have about decided the only way I am gonna learn anything on this Herron family is start asking anyone and everyone who may offer advice for my searching.

Bob Franks said...

Tracy, I noticed in the 1870 Itawamba County census there are two Herrin families living in the Clay community of Itawamba County (between Fulton and Tremont) - the William Herrin (age 34, b. AL) family and the Sam Herrin (age 30, b. AL) family. In the 1880 census there is a Herron family in the Clay community - John (age 48, b. AL) and wife Nancy and daughter Sarah.

In the 1860 Itawamba census there is a William Herron family and Francis Herron family. Also living in the household of Isaac Sparks is a Susan Herron and Arner (male) Herron, age 17, both born in AL.

I strongly suspect Margaret Hood belonged to the Joshua Hood family. That was a big family in Itawamba County. I will take a look in the courthouse for the Herron-Hood marriage license and scan it for you.

Anonymous said...

Bob, this has nothing to do with any family by name; however, since you have told us that Itawamba County records are intact, yet you did not say when records began being kept. My "burning" question has to do with the history of events in Itawamba as it pertains to say the Civil War era. Were there any battles fought in this part of the state? I know there was a big battle I believe just west of the Tupelo area - we visited this site in 2003, and we were at the battle field around Corinth back in the fall of 2000.

I know that the men, young and old, rushed to do their part by volunteering to defend the south. My maternal GGgrandfather, 1st Lt. George B. Dyer died at Ft. Donelson, TN Feb. 15, 1862 and several Wiginton/Wigginton family members also died and even more fought. According to the historical "tablet" erected at my paternal GGGgrandparents (John Stone & Annie Lyle Stone)grave at Shottsvile Methodist Church Cemetery, states they had 15 grandsons fighting with the division of 8 & 7 for the Union and Confederacy. and I forget which side had the larger number and after this many years, it doesn't really matter. This says the Stone family was very divided and I hope that they did not cause injury or death to one another because of the division.bettye

Bob Franks said...

Bettye, records began being kept when the county was organized - 1836. Unfortunately not all records are extant. The deeds and marriage records seem to be all there in the courthouse. A lot of the court records are extant. Early Board of Police minutes are not complete.

Probably the largest battle nearest Itawamba was the Battle of Brice's Crossroads - north of Tupelo, west of Baldwin (not far from the old Itawamba-Pontotoc-Tippah county lines). Then there was the battle of Harrisburg (Battle of Tupelo) just west of the old Itawamba-Ponototoc county line. Then lots of battles a little far distant - Battle of Iuka, Battle of Corinth, Battle of Okolona, etc. etc.

The Civil War era in northeast Mississippi is very intersting to me.