Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Whitsett's

I've finally finished organizing the office. Yay! It's beautiful. I keep walking by the office door and looking in to admire the cleared gleaming desk. Of course it won't last, but I'm enjoying the moment. As a reward I've been digging into a new family line of research. It's my father's side. The Whitsett's.

Sometimes deciding to research a person or family can have emotional attachments to it. Maybe these emotional attachments are warm and fuzzy, sometimes not, or sometimes a mixed bag. I suppose mine are a mixed bag. I didn't know my dad, so researching this line is an interesting experience so far. Not too different than researching for a client. I didn't start out knowing much other than a few scraps of information. So far I've made great progress in very little time.

Ironically, the Whitsett line settled in Tennessee, the state I live in. Even more fortuitous they lived about 40 minutes south of where I presently live. Weird, right? On my way down to FGS a month ago I drove around that area looking for several cemeteries. It is country. No, really, it is. These people lived in the sticks!

The research up to this point has been pretty easy. I've gotten death certificates, looked up obituaries in newspapers, and found marriage records. The combination of these three items have confirmed relationships, produced other relationships, and have allowed me to go back three or four generations in a day. Most of the obituaries have stated the parents with the mother's maiden name, spouse, children, and some siblings. It is truly the honeymoon period of research and sadly it is about to end. I'm on the verge of getting into the early 1800's and late 1700's where these types of records are either nonexistent or few and far between. The ancestors and the paper trail will also start heading out of Tennessee, into the Carolinas and Virginia. A typical migration pattern.

However, while I chase these ancestors through time and across state lines, I'll be looking at other records. Land records, military records, court records and who know what else! Life, as you know, is more than birth/marriage/death dates. It's what you do in between that makes the story, and tells about your character.

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