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Genealogy Gazette

Volume 2, Number 3
Mountain Press, P.O. Box 400, Signal Mountain, Tennessee 37377, 1-423-886-6369
Mar 2010


Third Edition of 2010 - Genealogy Gazette

This month, we are discussing one way to keep track of all your research. During the remainder of March, we will be offering a free copy of the Research Check List with each order. In order to receive the Research Check List, please just add "research" in the coupon code section at the bottom of the Checkout page. A note will then appear at the bottom of the page which says, "A Research Check List has been added to your order". If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me at jimd@mountainpress.com.

Thank you,
James L. Douthat
Mountain Press


It seems that as I get older my mind runs on a single track and narrow gauge at that. I first noticed this back in the early stages of my research while I was still in college. I had a time keeping up with what I had found and what I was looking for each person in my research. Of course, this was before computers, before copy machines and for me before microfilm readers. You see I’ve been at it a long time, over fifty years. The solution I came to early on was to develop a “Research Check List”. I learned to keep this on each person in the file. I was able to have a bunch of them mimeographed to have on hand. Yes, I said mimeographed since we did not have copiers. There were five different types of information that I wanted to trace out for each individual and each is listed below.

Number 1 - FAMILY RECORDS: This would include the following items: Family Bibles - Family Traditions/Oral Traditions - Journals, Diaries, Letters - Scrapbooks/Memorabilia - Photographs/Albums - Military Files - Citizenship Papers - Account Books - Birth Certificates - Marriage Certificates - Death Certificates - Adoption Papers - Divorce Papers - School Records i.e. Elementary, High School, College, or Private School - Insurance Papers.

Number 2 - VITAL STATISTICS: Including: Birth Record/Court House - Death Records/Court House - Marriage Records/Court House or Church Records, i.e.. In older records such as banns, permission forms, bonds, license, returns by ministers, etc. - Divorce Records - Adoption Records - Land Records/ check Grantee/Grantor Index in Court House - Patents/ Grants Records - Deeds - Surveys - Wills - Inventories/Settlement - Guardianship.

Number 3 - COURT RECORDS: There are many files in the Court House records that most do not ever check. These are just some of those where interesting facts might be found: Dockets - Minutes - Orders/Decrees - Sheriff/Police - Jury - Justice of Peace.

Number 4 - CENSUS: Not every census will apply to every individual so select the ones that might be of interest: 1790 - 1800 - 1810 - 1820 - 1830 - 1840 - 1850 - 1860 - 1870 - 1880 - 1890 [yes some have survived and especially the summaries have been published] - 1900 - 1910 - 1920 - 1930 - Indexes like the Soundex for some later Census - Mortality Schedules for 1850 - 1860 - 1870 and 1880 - Agriculture Schedules for 1850 - 1860 - 1870 and 1880 - Revolutionary War Records - Military Service Records - Civil War Service Records - Pension Records - Bounty Awards - Discharge Records - Muster Rolls.

Number 5 - MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS: These are the records most often misplaced as they are not in any formal system or organization. Printed Sources as Family Histories or Local Histories - Genealogical Periodicals - Tax Records - Immigration Records - Cemetery Records - Church Records - Newspapers - Legal Notices from Newspapers - City directories - WPA Projects [Differs from State to State] - Mortuary Records - Library or Newspaper Morgues - Local Mill/Store Account Books.

Not all information is of equal weight, but each little fact is a piece of the puzzle which when finished gives you a good picture of the person in question. Since 90% of the families did not leave a family biography, you have to fill in the blanks. Each little piece of the puzzle gives a little more of their personality other than “hatch/match/dispatch” of the individual. Far too many researchers want just the birth, marriage and death dates, but this does not tell us much of a story. If you keep track of your research, you will not go back over and over the same information each time you set out on your journey into the past. There is so precious little time, we need to constantly be plowing new ground and discovering new pieces to the puzzle.

Happy Hunting!


Hardesty, 62 pages, 8.5"x11", Soft Cover, Full Name Index, Reprinted 2010, WV-0104, $14.50

Established June 20, 1863, West Virginia withdrew from the State of Virginia at a critical time in the history of the United States and chose to become a state of their own. It was the only state to be formed by succeeding from a Confederate State and one of two formed during the Civil War. In this brief history of the state, the background of many atrocities are recounted that showed the struggle with nature, Native American and other colonist to find land and a place in history.

Click here for examples and surnames.



93 Pages, 8.5"x11", Full Name Index, Soft Cover, Reprinted 2006, MO-0517, $20.00

Cape Girardeau, located on the Mississippi River in the southeastern portion of the state was created in 1812 as one of the original counties in the state. In this volume the researcher will find the following records:

  • Original Marriage Book 1805-1825
  • Marriage Book A 1825-1838
  • Wills & Administrations Register A 1807-1829
  • Wills & Administrations Register B 1829-1836
  • Guardian Bonds & Records of Apprentice 1821-1827

Click here for examples and surnames.



Early Spotsylvania County, Virginia Records

54 Pages, 8.5"x11", Full Name Index, Soft Cover, 2010, VA-0715, $12.50

Spotsylvania County was created on May 1st 1721 from the upper portion of King and Queen, King William and Essex counties. It was named in honor of Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1710-1722.

These records include:

  • Early Marriage Licenses 1722 - 1755
  • 1783 Slave Owners
  • 1782 Tax List
  • 1787 Tax List

Click here for examples and surnames.


If you have any questions or suggestions for future editions, please email us at jimd@mountainpress.com.


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