Publisher of Quality Genealogy Materials
Volume 8, Number 16 Mountain Press, P.O. Box 400, Signal Mountain, Tennessee 37377, 1-423-886-6369 August 30, 2016
Publisher's Notes In this article we discuss using surname indexes. I just love heading into a library or courthouse and just browsing various titles for names that might interest me in the index. I have found some interesting information over the years. Hopefully, you will be able to use our surname search on our website to help in your research.
James L. Douthat
The Search is On! In doing genealogical research, many of us take the easy way out. We go to the index of each and every book at hand. In fact, there are times that I go “trolling” in the libraries and/or court houses. By this I just pick any book at hand, look at the index to just see what is there and whether it pertains to me. Sometimes I get a strike and many times I strike out. It is still fun to do and I keep it up on those rare occasions when I find myself in a library not searching for anything in particular. This is not the way to do serious genealogical research, but I feel I have been at this for sixty-five years and I am entitled to a little fun. I have found many things that are not important to my personal research, but is vital to someone else. I copy and share with those I think it might help.
For this reason, Mountain Press posts the surname index for the majority of our books on our website. This effort has taken a great deal of time and effort, but we feel it is important. We have over 2,500 pieces available on our website and most have the surname index. Some of our titles have thousands of surnames listed. In particular, Volunteer Soldiers in the Cherokee Wars has over 11,000 names. The North Carolina Bastardy Bonds has over 5,000 names.
There are several approaches to searching the surnames on our website. You might be looking for information on a particular area/county and you can go to the particular county and browse each of the books listed for the surname you are researching. If you are looking at a CD that includes several titles, we provide links to the individual titles where the surnames are listed.
You can also just type in the surname you are researching in the Surname Search box located on our main page, MountainPress.com. You will get a listing of every time that surname is mentioned in any of our titles. If you are looking for the name “HELMENDOLLAR”, you will find that surname in 6 of our titles. Most of these are in Bland County, Virginia, but it is also listed for Botetourt County as well. Hopefully you have an idea of where your ancestors lived and it will help narrow the search if multiple counties and states are listed.
If you question which volume is the most helpful, feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com and ask for a little more information. We have supplied the given name of hundreds of persons over the years and this helps to narrow down the search. We will warn you that with some of the 25-30 most common names, a given name is used in abundance. I can’t tell you how many “John Smiths” there are out there. We have found as many as a half dozen in one county at the same time. We cannot separate these for you, this is where the fun begins for you as a researcher.
If you are searching by county, just remember that many states have the same county names. I had a call a few years ago from a lady needing information about her ancestor in Tennessee. She said that he was born in Franklin County, Tennessee in 1788 and she could not find anything about him. The surname appeared in our Franklin Co., TN material. I responded there was a small problem with her information. Could she read carefully what she had? Since Tennessee was not a state at the time and Franklin County could not have existed then. She read very carefully, “blank” was born in Franklin Co., Virginia in 1788.” She still did not get the clue! It was Virginia and not Tennessee at the time. Looking a little off center does not bring the right answer.
Mountain Press has been in business since the early 1980s with publishing, but began doing research in the 1950s so we have seen a great number of different situations in the field. Years ago, we felt that adding the surnames to the website was a great avenue to help people with their own research. We hope you will find the surnames useful.
Use our help to your advantage and you will find a real short cut. We are trying to be of service and not just to publish books.
Labor Day Sale
Through September 5th, 10% off all purchases on books, maps and CDs. Just type in LABORDAY in the Coupons and Special Offers Section on the Checkout Page.
If you have any questions or suggestions for future editions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.