jamestown, early virginia immigrants, virginia company

Unprecedented Biographical Dictionary of Early Virginia Immigrants

Martha McCartney uses recent historical scholarship as she sets the stage in her remarkable book, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary. We’re focusing on this unprecedented trove of information, formatted as an easy to use biographical dictionary of early Virginia immigrants, and sharing an excerpt from the book. 

Soon after the fateful landing of 1607, thousands of immigrants flocked to Jamestown and surrounding areas on both sides of the James and York rivers, where they struggled to maintain a foothold. This book, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary, brings together a remarkable variety of primary sources concerning every significant detail known about colony’s earliest European inhabitants. Moreover, maps provided here identify the sites at which Virginia’s earliest plantations were located and enable genealogists and students of colonial history to link most of the more than 5,500 people included in this volume to the cultural landscape.

From the earliest records relating to Virginia, we learn the basics about many of these original colonists: their origins, the names of the ships they sailed on, the names of the “hundreds” and “plantations” they inhabited, the names of their spouses and children, their occupations and their position in the colony, their relationships with fellow colonists and Indian neighbors, their living conditions as far as can be ascertained from documentary sources, their ownership of land, the dates and circumstances of their death, and a host of  fascinating details about their personal lives – all gathered together in the handy format of a biographical dictionary. In all, Ms. McCartney’s biographical dictionary provides annotated sketches of more than 5,500 persons linking the majority of them to a specific locality (a “hundred” or plantation) and a precise timeframe between 1607 and 1635. Continue reading…

A collection of Public Domain images of the Five Civilized Tribes

Federal Records of the Five Civilized Tribes

The following excerpt is from the book, Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes, by Rachal Mills Lennon. This body of work has been the best-selling guide to a very difficult area of research for over a decade.

Ms. Lennon, M.A., CG, specializes in resolving difficult Southern research problems and reconstructing obscure lives, especially those of Native American, African American, and yeoman white families.

A Board-certified genealogist since 1985, Lennon holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama in architectural history, historic preservation and history, with emphasis on the Southern frontier. She is the author, editor, and compiler of six books, as well as award-winning problem-solving essays and case studies published in national-level peer-reviewed journals.

Federal Records of the Five Civilized Tribes

Historical Background

The history and culture of the American South are unique, owing chiefly to the intermingling of the races and the diverse ethnic backgrounds of countless families. Modern Southerners proudly boast traditions–real or not–of Native American ancestry. Odds are, these traditions lead directly back to the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. The Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians dominated a broad swath of territory from North Carolina to Mississippi before their forced removal westward. Long hailed for their adaptability to “white” ways (hence the designation “civilized”), these nations have gained near honorific status among Southeastern genealogists.

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DeKalb County, Alabama Grantor and Grantee Deed Indices

Dekalb County, Alabama, in the northeastern part of that state, was established in 1836 from the Cherokee Cession of the preceding year. For a number of years, Dorothy Smith Duff has been systematically transcribing or indexing the earliest records of DeKalb County. Her previous efforts have resulted in an index to marriages and collections of probate and will and estate records. These new works at hand index DeKalb County, Alabama, deed records for the period 1835-1895.  Both of these volumes refer to about 15,000 deed transactions. The Grantee Deed Index lists the names of the grantee in alphabetical order, the name of the corresponding grantor, and the volume and page number (on the microfilm) where the transaction was recorded. The Grantor Deed Index is arranged alphabetically by grantor and gives the name of the corresponding grantee followed by the citations. Both new books are essential in any collection of DeKalb County source records.

Image credit: DeKalb County Courthouse, via Wikimedia Commons.


New Release for September – A New Series of Native American Records

CHOCTAW BY BLOOD. Enrollment Cards, 1898-1914. Volume V, by Jeff Bowen. Volume V in a new series of Native American records from Mr. Jeff Bowen enumerates the sometimes contentious enrollment of Choctaw tribesmen by the Dawes Commission. The results of these proceedings are contained in 6100 Choctaw enrollment cards (National Archive Microfilm M-1186, Rolls 39-46), which list householders’ ages, sex, degree of blood, the parties’ relationship to head of household, county,  Dawes Roll Number, and date of enrollment by the Secretary of Interior.  Mr. Bowen’s transcriptions also give the enrollee’s parents’ names as well as miscellaneous notes pertaining to the enrollee’s circumstances, when required. The fifth volume in this series is now available. Together, all five volumes identify more than 17,000 persons.

Image credit: A Choctaw woman, via Wikimedia Commons.


Battle of King’s Mountain & Its Heroes

The Battle of King’s Mountain is today an important part of Revolutionary War history and genealogy. Fought on October 7, 1780, an estimated 500,000 tourists visit the battlefield every year. A number of the battle’s participants would become civilian leaders of the young nation. For example, Colonels John Sevier and Isaac Shelby would go on to become governors of their native Tennessee and Kentucky respectively. Towns and roads in Western North Carolina are today named after other heroes of the conflict such as Charles McDowell (McDowell County) and Morganton, county seat of Burke County, named after Daniel Morgan.

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