Thursday, February 28, 2013

Analyze Lands of Virgnia and Kentucky

Virginians Granted Kentucky Land
Have you ever analyzed your Kentucky ancestors? If you get back far enough, you will find that many came from Virginia. Did you know that Kentucky was part of the Virginia Commonwealth? By following wars and the laws, you may be led to your early Virginian and Kentucky ancestors.

Looking at early Kentucky maps, it becomes apparent that south of the Green River is consistently designated as reserved territory. This is really obvious when researching the Mammoth Cave area in south central Kentucky, which is now a National Park, but at one point this massive set-aside land was the home of about 13 or more churches, residences and many cemeteries (few still remaining). Our research of this Mammoth Caves National Park and a few targeted early residents carried us back to the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War. Yet Kentucky did not become a state until 1792.

War Impact
An often forgotten war in our genealogy research is the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. Perhaps you haven’t traced that far back yet, but it will probably prove to be significant in your Kentucky ancestors’ research. This war between British American and New France colonies left a paper trail since Virginia soldiers’ were awarded land grants in lieu of pay; leaving the researcher a wonderful collection of early Virginia-Kentucky ancestors’ land records. (The same is for Virginia-Ohio ancestors).

What are Bounty Land Warrants?
Our early military-active ancestors were enticed to join war efforts by the promise of “bounty land warrants.” Soldiers were able to first apply for the coveted warrants. If granted, the warrants on file confirmed the soldier and the number of bounty land acres he was entitled to based on his rank and other useful genealogical data is provided. 

Bounty land acres were reserved specifically for the purpose to pay for military service. For Virginia militia, land was set-aside in “Kentucky” for the soldiers (or heirs) to claim. Between about 1773 - 1792, Virginia soldiers, or their heirs, received warrants for bounty land. The land was located in what is Kentucky today. After the Revolutionary War, Kentucky was formed and designated from Virginia. Virginia Revolutionary War soldiers were also offered bounty land in Kentucky and Ohio. At least 4748 bounty land warrants were issued by Virginia to Revolutionary War veterans. The warrants authorized surveys of the soldiers’ land. A soldier was able to surrender his bounty land warrant for a land patent, resulting in ownership of the land.

Where are the Records?
The original warrants are held at the Kentucky Land Office, in Frankfort, KY and have been microfilmed by the Family History Library (FHL): Virginia Grants, 1782-1792. Be sure to also review the Old Kentucky Grants (1793-1856) microfilms held at the FHL. 

A vital resource to our Mammoth Caves area research was the FHL microfilm rolls of the Grants South of the Green River, 1797-1866. The land south of the Green river was also reserved for Virginia soldiers. 

Top research resources:
  1. Kentucky Land Office, Frankfort, KY 
  2. County Tax List,  held at Frankfort, KY also reference ancestry.com
  3. Preemption Receipts and Warrants from the VA Land Commission from the Library of Virginia, Richmond VA.  
  4. Kentucky Land Office Online Database: Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series 
For More Information
The process of Warrants to Patents has been simplified in this article. Much deeper understanding of the law is necessary for a successful search. Here are two places to begin:
Kathleen Brandt
Website: a3genealogy.com
a3genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate Accessible Data

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Research Tips to Tracing American Ancestors Overseas

Ancestor Disappeared?
Consular Records
Did your ancestor travel overseas for work, missionary work, U.S. government work? Was a child of an American citizen born overseas? This occurred frequently with customary long overseas visits. The Department of State records, various records of death notices of US citizens abroad should be scoured for your elusive ancestor.  Don’t dismiss these records as only for those who were naturalized USA citizens and returned to their native land to visit family. Vacationers fell sick, were victims of violence, automobile accidents, or were imprisoned, etc. These records also included deaths that occurred in Canada and the Americas.



What to Expect
In addition to providing genealogical data of family members and kinship, often a passport number is provided. In the case of Spyrus Kansas, Greek born, but naturalized citizen of the USA, the names and addresses of his wife and siblings are provided, along with his passport number and his burial (and re-interment) information with the cause of death.  It even gives information on the family home being attacked by guerilla forces while in Greece. 

Married in Europe
Women were often naturalized by marriage; and travelled on a joint passport. See Passports Applications for Genealogy.  In doing so, American citizens (by marriage) like that of Germaine Jackson’s death states she was a [USA] native by marriage, but born in Paris.  The good news for the researcher is that for clarification, her marriage date, and address of her French family and origin are provided.

Death at Sea
It’s no surprise that many died at sea. There are 333 records of Titanic casualties; limited to the bodies found. Obviously sea voyage continued to the destination, and the deaths were reported to the Dept. of State, upon arrival as was William Morris’s death. Morris of New York was  traveling to Brussels in 1903.

Foreign Death Certificates
Often research leads us to locating a foreign death certificate. Know that foreign death certificates are most often written in the foreign language where the death occurred. For forensic genealogical searches of heir, estates, and dual citizenships, these foreign death certificates are a place to begin your search, but are usually not accepted for USA insurance or estates and may be denied for Dual Citizenship records. (This is only applicable for foreign consulates that still require ancestor death certificates.)   

Foreign Service Post Records
If your ancestor served the USA on an assigned foreign diplomatic or other government post, records can be located in Record Group (RG) 84: Foreign Service Post Records of the US Department of State.  Textural records of the death (plus births and marriages) from 1788-1962 of US citizens may be found in the Records of Diplomatic Posts (RG 84.2) and Records of Consular Posts, RG84.3.

Locating the Records
Although ancestry.com has digitized the Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835 -1974, researchers must know that the original National Archive death records are archived in four reference collections: 
  • Record of Death Notices of United States Citizens Abroad, 1835 – 1855 
  • Death Notices of United States Citizens Abroad, 1857 – 1922  
  • Death Reports in the State Department Central Decimal File, 1910-1963 
  • Reports of the Deaths of American Citizens, 1963-1974
For More Information

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
a3genealogy.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finding Slave Marriages

Forgotten Historical Records 
There are records of slaves dated as early as the settlement of the Americas, but rarely can we trace these ancestors since last names are usually not given. Slaves did not always take their last owners names, and they often changed their names during Reconstruction Era as was permitted by law. Read also Ex-Slave Alias. So where else can you search for hints of your ex-slave ancestor? The answer is early Marriage Records.

Did They Legalize Their Marriages?
Marriage records of recently freed ex-slaves are often tucked under the more commonly researched books. After emancipation, African Americans were to legalize their marriages. Slave marriages, commonly jumping over a broom, or by a roaming preacher, were not recognized after the Civil War. (Of course it bought them few rights before the Civil War: sometimes a master allowed them joint residency).

But after the Civil War, when the right was granted, many African Americans rushed to get their marriages legalized, but not all. Those who did not legalize their marriage often regretted it. Without the formal civil marriage documents widows attempting to obtain Civil War Pensions using their slave-union were most often denied, even with children in tow and depositions of the slave marriage confirmed.

Freedmen's Bureau of Marriage Records 
Of course there are Freedmen's Bureau of Marriage Records but in rural America marriages were rarely recorded with the Bureau, but at local courthouses. At a3Genealogy we are attempting to capture and index these smaller hidden collections. For more information on the Freedmen's Bureau of marriage records visit Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records

What to Expect
In the Saline County Colored Marriages Book, 1865-1870 not only were the marriages and parties named, but also names of children born under the slave marriage. The bride's surname may be a "hint" to a slave master, but of course more research is needed.

Current Funded Projects, Just in time for Valentine's Day
The Slave Marriage Book Project was launched 13 Feb 2013 on Kickstarter.com to scan, index and e-publish the names listed in the Colored Marriages of Saline County, MO. 1865-1870.

Kathleen Brandt,
a3genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers
a3genealogy@gmail.com

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Confederate Records for Free, Slave, White and Black

Confederate: Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond VA
Confederate Hospital Records
Many Confederate records were destroyed, often on purpose, so when we discover a useful resource for genealogical research of Confederate ancestors, we do a happy dance. Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records holds the captured or surrendered “Rebel Archives, ”but it’s the Records of (Confederate) Hospitals, RG 109.8.4, that provides additional information on our individual ancestors that served the Confederacy.

A Good Place To Start
The Confederate Congress passed the “Act to better provide for the sick and wounded of the Army in Hospitals” on 27 September 1862.  However hospital records are dated as early as 1861: Record Group 109.8.4, Records of (Confederate) Hospitals.  Although not complete, you may find your Confederate ancestor listed or named correspondence and documentations included in the Records of the Medical Department, Confederate War Departments, 1861-1865.
  
If your ancestor was hospitalized in the Richmond Virginia area, there were many beds. The records of each of the area hospitals should be checked but the Chimborazo Hospital  in Richmond, VA was the largest, with an 8000 patient capacity; and Winder Hospital, with a capacity of 5000 patients, also in Richmond.

If you find your ancestor in a nearby Confederate Cemetery, be sure to check the records of the closest hospital. For example: the Shelby Springs Confederate Cemetery listings has 105 graves listed on Find A Grave, many of the veterans interred here were patients at the Shelby Springs Confederate Hospital.

What to Expect
Besides listings of patients, and officers, the researcher may also find their Civil War Confederate veteran in the collection of hospital musters, lists of medical officers, lists of patients, soldier discharges, and more in Record Group 109.8.1 and Record Group 109.8.2. A bonus, should it be located, is the “Soldier’s Furlough Passes.” These records can be located in RG 109.8.2 Records of Medical Directors.  Again, not complete, but the passes provide the dates of when a solder was furloughed from the hospital and furlough information directed to the soldier.

As for vocabulary on these records, know that muster rolls were personnel lists and records to include the wage amounts.

African American Confederate Ancestors
There are few records that record the black that serviced the Confederate military. However, the collection of medical records gives an account of African Americans that served in a medical facility as a civilian employee. Civilian employees may have been cooks, laundresses, etc. The recording of black Civilian workers varied between medical facilities. Know that not all hospitals recorded their black civilians or slaves. However, if available the African American records can be found in the hospital muster and clothing rolls, 1861-1865, RG 109.8.1. Most of the muster lists provide the employee, the name of owner and the date of service, and type of service. Even slaves who were placed at medical facilities are listed, but only by first name. As usual, to conduct your slave research, a slave master must be known, but they are named on these records.

In Richmond hospitals there are five (5) Confederate volumes targeting the African American workers.  These volumes are not indexed, but available:
  • List of colored employees, General Hospital No. 21, 1862-1863 (Vol. 14)
  • Lists of employees and accounts for food purchased, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 307) 
  • Record book, Chimborazo Hospital No. 1, 1862-1865 (Vol. 310)
  • Lists of employees, Chimborazo Hospital No. 2, 1862-1865 (Vol. 85)  
  • Jackson Hospital, lists of employees, Division Nos. 1-4, 1863-1864 (Vol. 187) 
Locations of Hospitals
A listing of these Confederate States assigned hospitals with salvaged records is below.
Alabama
Fort Morgan Hospital, 1862-64
Ross General Hospital (Mobile), 1861- 65
Shelby Springs General Hospital, 1864-65
Arkansas
Rock Hotel Hospital (Little Rock), 1862-63
Georgia
Walker General Hospital (Columbus), 1864-65
General Hospital No. 1 (Savannah), 1862-64
Additional hospitals at Dalton, 1862-63, and Macon, 1862-65
Kentucky
Bowling Green Hospital, KY, 1861-62
Louisiana
            Shreveport General Hospital, LA, 1864-65
Mississippi
Lauderdale Springs General Hospital, 1862- 63,
Way and Yandell Hospitals (Meridian), 1865
St. Mary's Hospital (West Point), 1864-65
New Mexico
Fort Fillmore, 1861-62
Dona Anna, 1861-62
North Carolina
General Hospital No. 7, 1861-65
Pettigrew Hospital (Raleigh), 1861-65
Military Prison Hospital (Salisbury), 1864-65
General Hospitals No. 4 and 5 (Wilmington) 1862-65
Additional hospitals 1863-65
Charlotte, Fort Fisher, Goldsboro, Greensboro, and Wilson,
Tennessee
 Overton General Hospital, Memphis, TN, 1861-62; 
Texas
General Hospitals at Franklin and El Paso, TX, 1862, and Galveston and Houston, TX, 1861-65
Virginia
General Hospitals No. 1-27, 1861-65
Chimborazo Hospital, 1861-65
 Howard's Grove Hospital, 1862-65
Jackson Hospital, 1861-65
Camp Winder General Hospital, 1861-65
Danville, 1862-65
Orange and Farmville, 1861-65
Petersburg, 1861-65
Williamsburg, 1861-64

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Friday, February 1, 2013

Using U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Part II


Black History Month
Yes it’s black history month, but family researchers with slave ancestors or those descendant of slave masters must tap slave and free-colored records year round. Why? Because these collections hold our history; a great part of the US history. So, here’s the highlight on slave and free-colored research using the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

Using Serial Set to Research Slaves and Slave Holders
The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, filled with genealogical tips, hints, and treasures, is not getting its fair share of attention by genealogists or other historical researchers. I can’t think of one reason why this free-resource is not being perused on a regular basis. It’s full of what we love – gossip, scandal, court cases and names of both supportive and vile neighbors. It covers topics on women, African Americans, Native Americans, students, soldiers, sailors, pensioners, landowners, and inventors. Is this not the genealogists’ dream?  And as already mentioned – it’s free (with a library card).

If you use the keyword  “slaves” there are 659 occurrences  Some of these documents give us social history and legal proceedings void of ancestors’ names and may be deemed less than helpful to the researcher. But, the collection also includes claims for slaves killed in the military – especially useful if you are stuck in the War of 1812 era, pension appeals, land disputes, and even emancipation information like that of  Jane Hall (above).
Emancipation Papers: Francis Hall and Others.
Maryland slave Jane Hall, born 1799 ran away from her master in 1820 and subsequently was manumitted (as were her heirs) by Alexander Claxton in 1821. (Francis Hall, 55th Congress, 1st Session, Senate, Rpt No. 123).
Pension: Richard Jackson 22 Jul 1890 
Many pensions were settled at the congressional level and the US Serial Set has detailed accounts of the requests, proposals and appeals.  Richard Jackson, a slave and teamster for the Union Army was shot, captured and imprisoned, attempted an escape, shot again. The account is pretty detailed, and it also gives his slave master’s name as Dr. Charles J. Manning. (Serial Set-ID:2815 House of Representatives, Report No 2784, 51st Congress, 1st Session).
LandOn the Application of a Cherokee Indian Woman to Sell a Reservation of Land Which Was Made to Her Husband, Who was Adjudged to be a Runaway Slave. 
 A difficult research project is the intermarrying of Native Americans and African Americans residing in the southeast. A report dated 8 Feb 1831 documents Sally Johnson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Jackson County, Alabama married a runaway slave Peter Johnson. Peter was “reclaimed by his master.” The legality of selling of Peter’s 650 acres of reservation land was in question. (Serial Set: A3P033 Publ. land No. 892, 21st Congress, 2nd Session). 

Runaway Slave NamesBenjamin Oden; 7 April 1834. 
Slave Frederick ran away from his master, Benjamin Oden in Maryland,1814. He enlisted in the military as alias William Williams and died in 1815.  Military men were entitled to bounty land and the master wanted to claim the bounty land that would have been given to William Williams, as if he were a free man. This one report gave us the name of slave, freeman alias and master. (Serial Set-ID 262; Benjamin Oden, Rep No 392, 23rd Congress, 1st Session, House of Representative). 
Accessing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set
If you aren’t familiar with the Serial Set, be sure to read U.S. Congressional Serial Set for Genealogists, Part I. The Serial Set is an online resource available via your local library that subscribes to HeritageQuest Online; and, it’s accessible remotely using your home computer with a library card.

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, Accessible Answers

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Kathleen Brandt
a3genealogy@gmail.com
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