Friday, November 2, 2007

FIND ANCESTORS USING CHURCH PROCESSIONING RECORDS

The researcher is aware of the boring appearance of "parish processioning records", particularly in Virginia where vestrymen kept records of the parish boundaries. Such boundaries were always bordered with family names. What does this do for you? I'll tell you. It does nothing unless you visit the area and survey it visually.

One of my families had early land grants in Nansemond County (now Suffolk Co.). The first of the family was John Holland who settled in southern Nansemond County ca 1630 when he received extensive land grants. As a result the entire area became known as "Holland, Virginia". Nansemond County records burned. What a dilemma. I first visited the area in 1960 and much to my surprise was able to compare the early tax records with the processioning. A careful comparison of land parcels and descriptions of various family members from one year to the next discovered who the heirs were! Additionally, as I drove down Kingsale Road I was able to use the processioning records to determine where various Hollands lived. This is because some of the old ante-bellam homes were still standing and the old plantation boundaries were obvious. A careful visutal observation clarified that the of Capt. Henry Holland (early 18th centry) backed up to that of William Holland of the same period whose lands fell into Isle of Wight County. Many things can be ascertained for visual observations of the lay of the land and from speaking with persons who resided in the area.

The Holland/Holande genealogy dating from 1000 to 1988 can be found on http://www.virginiapioneers.com

Jeannette Holland Austin

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