Friday, October 29, 2010

The Adventures of Preparing for Accreditation

Today I met with my good friend Kelly Summers to go over my four generation project that I plan to use to begin the accreditation process. She gave me some very helpful tips on how to prepare my family group sheets and pedigree charts and present them in the best light for grading purposes. I feel like my four generation project is almost ready to go. It needs just a few modifications and a little bit more research.

The part of the application process I'm not excited about completing is the Experience Chart. It's hard to think back over the years I've been doing genealogy and calculate how much time I have spent in different record types. It sounds like a tedious job but I guess I'm going to do it!

One of the other things I need to do is spend more time researching in the records of Kentucky, West Virginia, and South Carolina. I guess I may be working on another family line of mine that goes back to South Carolina to get more experience there. I left that line a while back because I just got too busy - life happened! Now it's time to return. Anyone have Kentucky or West Virginia ancestors they can share?

If you want to learn more about the accreditation process, I recommend you visit the ICAPGen website. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free Land in Florida

I wrote this blog entry for the Price and Associates blog but I also wanted to share it here because it pertains to Southern States research.

Recently while exploring the roots of a Spaniard who came to the southern United States in the early 1800s I came across a way for settlers to get land that I was unfamiliar with. The “Armed Occupation Act” established in 1842 by the United States Congress. Its main purpose was to help get parts of Eastern Florida settled. It was like a homestead grant in that you had to prove that you were a resident of the state of Florida for at least five years. The settler was required to clear and cultivate at least five acres of the land in the first year and build a house to live in. The owner and his heirs were then required to live there for at least five years. The area to be settled was “south of the line dividing townships numbers nine and ten south, and east of the base line.” All who applied could get a quarter section of land, or 160 acres.

As with a homestead grant you had to provide documents proving that you had met the requirements. These affidavits and letters are kept at the National Archives in Record Group 49. As of this writing I am eagerly awaiting copies of these documents in order to learn more about the Spaniard I mentioned previously.

Copies of the permits are filmed and can be found both at the Florida State Archives and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. The records are called Armed Occupation Act Settlers Records. If you have ancestors who may have lived in Florida you may want to consider checking them out.

Source - A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875
Statutes at Large, 27th Congress, 2nd Session

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Virginia Germans

Recently I worked on a project that involved a family in Augusta County, Virginia. It turns out this family was part of a larger group of Germans who settled in the area from Pennsylvania. They got there around the end of the 1790s, maybe earlier, and ended up staying in the area for several generations.

I was really pleased to find that these German settlers started a church in the area and there I found some wonderful records that actually gave me birth dates for children born in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It made me wish every area had been settled by religious Germans who believed in recording baptism and birth dates for all their children.

Now let me just say however, that it would have been even nicer when the child's baptism was recorded that they ALWAYS recorded the names of both parents. It makes it a little difficult to figure out which children belong to the family you're researching when there were two men in the area with the same first and last name and the only parents' name listed on the baptism was that of the father.

Learning about all the different records available for Virginia is one of the many things I hope to do as I work my way towards the accreditation process. I think I mentioned in a post from some time last year that I hoped to become accredited in the Mid-south region of the United States. After working two and sometimes three jobs at a time for the past year I have finally settled down to one full-time job and hope to pick up where my good intentions left off and continue the process. I think this blog can become a great vehicle for sharing what I learn and so I hope to do that on a more frequent basis. :-)