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Genealogy Gazette

Volume 1, Number 2
Mountain Press, P.O. Box 400, Signal Mountain, Tennessee 37377, 1-423-886-6369
Oct 09


Second Edition of the Genealogy Gazette
Thank you for all the great comments about our first edition of the Genealogy Gazette last month. If you have any comments or suggestions for future editions, please email me at We also have two new books listed on the right hand side for those researching Louisiana or Missouri.

Thank you,
James L. Douthat
Mountain Press

Is It a Brick Wall?

Black Hole of Genealogy

In a study of outer space scientists have discovered “black holes” which are places in space where matter disappears. This is where our great-grandfather ended up, or so it seems. Some of our ancestors just disappear into thin air. We keep looking but cannot find them. Case in point - John Anderson, born May 5, 1750 the son of William and Elizabeth [Reid] Anderson of Augusta County, Virginia. John moved about 1773 to the real outback of society to the head of Carter’s Valley in what is now Scott County, Virginia. At this time, the state, county and city boundaries were not clearly established. Augusta County, Virginia went from the Shenandoah Valley to the Mississippi River and north into present day Wisconsin. Scott County did not exist for quite a few more years. After participation in Lord Dunmore’s War at Point Pleasant, now in West Virginia, he married Rebecca Maxwell. He served in the American Revolutionary War and was a Captain in the local militia. Now here comes the problem - where did he live?

In his papers at the time of his death, John had commissions from four different governors who were over four different states: Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia appointed him sheriff; Governor Alexander Martin of North Carolina issued another commission; Governor John Sevier, of the State of Franklin and Governor William Blount of the Territory South of the River Ohio still another commission. So now, where are the records for this man? For the researcher, unfortunately, the records for John Anderson are found in each of the four state papers.

There are a number of places in the United States where this sort of thing occurs. Take for example, if one travels north on Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, you go out of Virginia, through West Virginia and Maryland and into Pennsylvania in just a few minutes and few miles. This was one of those major immigration routes for people in the period of 1750-1850. Traveling up the rivers towards their headwaters, you go through this area on several rivers.

The solution: Study the history of a particular area to see where this area was at various periods of history. Notice the boundaries at each of the time frames. Then study the waterways - rivers, creeks, streams and mountain ranges. These landmarks change very little where artificially boundaries of States, counties, etc change frequently. Look at the deeds and you can find the land marks given in most cases. In fact, the deed books can differentiate between persons of the same name in a local area - one on Cripple Creek and another on Sulphur Springs River, for example.

Good luck with your research!

Clark County, Missouri Records

105 Pages, 8.5"x11", Full Name Index, Softcover, MO-0557, $22.50

The county was organized in 1836 and named after William Clark, leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and later a Governor of Missouri Territory. This county is located on the border of the State of Iowa, the DeMoines River and the Mississippi River in the northeastern corner of the state.

Includes a brief description of Clark County; Marriage Book “A” 1837-1854; Abstracts of Wills, Bonds & Administrations Book “A” 1837-1854; Civil War Discharge Papers; Death Register 1883-1892

Click here for examples and surnames.


Sabine Parish, Louisiana Historical and Biographical Memoirs

32 Pages, 8.5"x11", Full Name Index, Softcover, LA-0007, $7.50

The county was formed in 1843 from parts of Caddo Parish and Natchitoches Parish and today sits on the Mississippi River which forms its western boundary. This volume gives a brief history of the parish with names of those who made the area what it is today. In the biographical sketches, the information came from the families themselves and therefore, should be more accurate than some other sources.

Click here for examples and surnames.


If you have any questions or suggestions for future editions, please email us at