Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tracing Virginia Genealogy? All is not Lost! There are more genealogies to be discovered!

Chelmsford Cathedral in England
The transcription of old passenger lists into Virginia is by no means complete.  At best, we have a hand-full of books published on the subject, mostly by Genealogical Publishing Company  But do not give up yet!  You have them already, you simply do not realize it.  There are important resources which must be dug out. and studied.  So much information is gleaned from the last wills and testaments, estates, inventories, vouchers, sales, administrations, etc. of persons who emigrated to Virginia.  Did you know that? In those days, the estate was a virtual record of one's life, because, in the New Country, he had to forge his own economy.  This required industry, hard labour and the accelerated costs of importing goods. Oftentime, people indentured themselves in order to get to the colonies and spent years working themselves out of debt.  Therefore, when a man died, his estate represented all of his affairs, business and personal, from personal notes he'd given for money to borrowing for crops.  Everyone who ultimately succeeded was an entrepreneur who suffered great hard-ships. The first homes had oil paper for windows.  Imported glass, planks, nails and other goods was expensive and labourers (or indentures) had to be housed and fed throughout their period of obligation. Therefore, the Virginian, was a true Adventurer! To learn more about his life, we read the old Virginia wills and deeds of his transactions with neighbors and relatives.  These old wills tell of the estate which he left behind in England, names cousins, siblings, parents, etc.  To find more pertinent information and kinships, a study of the named relatives and friends is indicated. This means reading some English history. There were wars and famines which help put the story together. Also, neighborhood churches (such as in London) was a reflection of the histories of families who resided close by and attended church.  That is where you will find their records.  Every surname that is yours should be written down for further study.

Need more time to sort things out? A good deal for genealogists needing to read old Virginia Wills and other helpful family data. 6 months subscription to Virginia Pioneers for $54.00. Subscribe to Virginia and view wills and other documents online

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