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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Sir William Gooch Settled Western Virginia #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

We can Thank Sir William Gooch (1681-1751) for Settling the West

Sir William GoochSir William Gooch is rarely mentioned in the historical accounts of Virginia, however, he played a major role in opening up Western Virginia for colonization. He was given the task of Royal Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1727 and for the next two years focused on protecting the West from Native Americans and French encroachment. Every Spring the West was invaded by the Iroquois who attacked the Indian tribes along the war-trails leading southward. His idea of using the Shenandoah Valley as a buffer for the Colonials from Indian attacks began with the hiring of Conrad Weisner to negotiate with the Indians tribes in that region. Weisner came to Pennsylvania with his family from the palatinate and was sent to live among the Mohawk Indians of that region. This is where Weisner learned tribal languages. He accepted the offer of Sir Gooch and spent 1736 and 1737 negotiating with the Indians in the Shenandoah Valley.



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

How Good is our Memory? #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

How Good is our Memory?

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin

The experts say that we cannot recall anything before the age of 8 years. That is, unless it was a traumatic or emotional experience. The emotions play the role of retaining memory. My daughter fell off a horse when she was two years old and vividly remembers it today. But she did not remember that her father put her in the saddle of a black stallion! That was my memory. I remembered the circumference of the play yard behind our home as being a large baseball-shaped diamond. However, it never was diamond-shaped, or marked as such. That was where we played baseball. After returning to the old home place some forty years later, I discovered that the backyard was a mere narrow strip of land. My memory of it was as I wanted it to be. It will forever be that way. So, when we go and visit relatives and attempt to get information, we must accept that it is not particularly factual. That part of the research hangs on our digging through the records.
 . . . more . . .



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Virginia Marriage Records Online #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

Virginia Marriage Records Online

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin 

A select number of Virginia Marriages are available to members of Virginia Pioneers dating from 1699. See this list.



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Town Anamnesis #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

The Town Anamnesis

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin

Occasionally one can locate an old church record in the countryside. Very few of such records were microfilmed and placed in a library or archives somewhere, however, there is no need to give up the search. Local people residing in or near old farming towns collect some interesting stuff about the old folks. There is usually a "town historian" lurking in the shadows and most everyone seems to know the identity of that person. It is always worth a visit because these historians will remember you later and even send you information! Once, when I was in Holland, Virginia (Suffolk), I introduced myself to a distant relative who worked at the post office. He gave me tons of family information which I later included in the Holland book (now online at Georgia Pioneers). Several years later when I returned and was walking down the street, he yelled "There's Jeannette Austin!" Hearing my named called in the little town made me feel that this little town was also my home. And it is, because my ancestors acquired it through extensive land grants dating from about 1660!   . . . more . . .



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

About Church Processioning #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

How Church Processioning Lines Help Define Old Homes and Plantations

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin

In order to avoid resurveying, the 1662 Virginia Assembly passed an Act to resolve boundary disputes. The Act required that landowners "goe in procession" once every four years. This process required people to walk and renew the property lines between themselves and their neighbors. And parish vestries also walked the lines of its boundaries. The results are usually found in the parish registers. When the records of Nansemond County were lost, I used surviving tax digests and procession lines of the parish to confirm where my ancestors resided. However, simply reading the processioning does not help. A visit to the actual site is so clarifying! The reason is, old fields, pastures, fences, markings on old trees, barns, silos, fallen-down houses, ante-bellum homes, the curvature of the road all represent a picture of the past. Just like today, when are homes are defined by individual driveways and landscaping, the shape of the landscapes of yesterday yet remains. Once one parcel is identified, one can follow property lines by using the land patents, tax digests and parish processioning records!  . . . more . . .



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Destruction of Home and Hearth #vagenealogy #virginiapioneersnet

The Destruction of Home and Hearth after the Wars

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin St. John's Episcopal Church

Did you know that during the Revolutionary War that tombstones in local cemeteries were vandalized? In Virginia, St. John's Episcopal Church in the village of Chuckatuck was thoroughly vandalized after the war, and tombstones of Loyalists removed! The church has stood for some 375 years and served as one of three parish houses in old Nansemond County. Englishmen were required to attend church, pay tithing (in tobacco), work on roads, and perform other church services. Virginians were industrious sorts, more interested in their tobacco crops than community worship service. In fact, they spent more money on the out buildings and crops than they did the actual manor house. This could provide one reason for the vandalizing, plus the cruelties imposed by the British and dire economic effects during British occupation. Whatever the reason much is lost. But so much more worse than the war as being a reason to vandalize, are the hateful groups of protesters today who know nothing of the past and destroy the monumental records of former generations. . . . more . . .



Index to Virginia Wills and Estates. See Names

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