Sunday, March 20, 2022

Researching Colonial Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina


Image from The Lost State of Franklin

Why Can’t I Find My Records?
As we research the John Nichols family born about 1708, Virginia, the Wiley J. Morris family born 1807, presumably in Rutherford, NC, the Thomas Morris and  the 1770 Williams Eaves families of Tryon in the State of Franklin the a3Genealogy Research Teams once again discovered that the records needed did not exist.  

This has been a three part project as we ferret out relevant records for the time frame.

Step 1:  Learn the formation of counties, dates of statehood, and the locations of settlements for your county and state of interest

Step 2:  Find the records that may exist.  Timelines are useful in helping us identify the “correct ancestors” and their whereabouts. I mean, really?  How many John Nichols were there in early 1700 Virginia. Might I say, we have not yet exhausted them, I’m sure.  So where do you begin?

Step 3:  Does DNA support your findings for these common-named ancestors?

Step 1

For each state we have created a similar map as below. However, know we use such a map for each of the contiguous states. This allows us to note “sightings” of our person of interest, counties of interest and documents found. Let it be known that some of the blank counties in the chart are noted because the chart must encompass the counties impacted by formations of new counties This is capturing the migratory path of our person of interest who settled in Halifax County, VA in 1752.   

Virginia Formation Map for Nichols

Step 2 
So, what records existed in VA during this 1634 - 1746 time period? For our internal projects, the following chart is much more comprehensive by county not state.  

The same process is followed with North and South Carolina for our Morris and Eaves colonial projects. This project includes the State of Franklin (1785-1788). Use link to learn more.  Know that due to common names within family units and communities, many negative hours of research hours have accumulated.  But, the alternative is placing the wrong Thomas Morris, or the wrong John Nichols in the family trees.

 Can DNA Help?
As touted within the genealogy community, DNA is a great tool to support the papertrail; or, the papertrail should support the DNA test results. 

The Eaves project was born out of a y-DNA contradiction. Our Eaves client proves to be of a Morris bloodline and a relatively close cousin of the descendants of Wiley J. Morris.  A family bible solidly identifies Wiley J Morris, born 1807, and it is supported by the DNA results. 

We are keeping a close eye on the Nichols y-DNA tests results and Nichols/Nicholls project on FamilyTreeDNA in hopes to find  a smoking gun. In the meantime, there are many more paper records to scour to positively identify the parents of John Nichols, 1708. 

Be Historically Correct

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate Accessible Answers

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Kathleen, hope you’re well. Wanted to share that I am also looking for and researching NICHOLS, focusing on my enslaved and formerly enslaved, Black American Nichols ancestors. They were in border states, but somehow trace back to somewhere in Virginia. Let’s be in touch soon.