Friday, June 25, 2010

Armchair genealogy can take you only so far

This blog is FMI--for my information. I am tracking down several lines and there are road blocks for every one of them. That is the reason why I am tracing so many lines at once. I would get so discouraged (I still get frustrated) if I was tracing only one line and kept bumping up against those blocks. By doing several at the same time, I make incremental progress and it keeps me going.

These are the mysteries I am working on. I have the most detailed information on the Koonce line. I can trace it back to our patriarch Solomon who was born in the Carolinas around 1826, possibly as early as 1822. I wish I could go back farther. My second wish is to find out more about Amy, the mother of his first set of children.

My great great grandfather is supposedly Charles Festherston of Dyer, Tennessee. I would like to trace that line back to England. Goodspeed says his people are from there but I can only trace the line back to another Charles Featherstone, born in the early 1700's in Virginia and who died around 1790. There is a will probated in Brunswick County, Virginia. After that, there is only uncorroborated data.

I wish I could figure out why the Cottens changed their name. If I could do that, maybe I could locate my great great grandfather Napoleon's siblings. It could also help me locate their Mississippi slave owner.

The same goes for the Warrens in Tennessee. I am 75% sure that the Warrens had another surname right after the emancipation of 1863. I can only locate them from 1900 on.

There are more mysteries popping up as I continue researching but these are the ones I am concentrating on. I keep hoping when I come back from a hiatus that the information will be easier to locate but this armchair genealogy research can only take you so far. That's why my biggest wish is to have all the time and money it takes to do nothing but concentrate on this research. Genie, did you hear that?


Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Wow just echoed my own desires! "All the time and money it takes to do NOTHING but concentrate on this research" I wish!! I work on multiple lines also and for the same reason...brick walls!

Greta Koehl said...

With regard to your Cotten family, I attended a presentation by Char McCargo Bah last month in which she said that it was common for ex-slave families to change their surname from their original choice, and that sometimes it reflected the fact that the husband and wife had had different slave-owners, or perhaps a change in slave owners at some point. She suggested looking into all the slave-owning families within a certain circumference around the family of interest, and then looking for black families with those names in the area in post-1865 records such as censuses, church records, etc.

Jennifer said...

I'm trying, Greta. It isn't easy but maybe if it was, genealogy wouldn't be so fascinating.

Mavis said...

I'm another that works on mutiple lines but often at the same point on those lines. It definitely helps with the motivation.