John M. Poythress, 2903
Glen Hill Ct., Louisville, KY 40222
firstname.lastname@example.org writes, "James M. Poythress of Screven Co., GA
immigrated to Gadsden Co., FL and patents land in 1827 in Tallahassee Land
Office. His son, John Price Poythress married and produced long and
traceable descendents from Gadsden Co., FL. Who were the parents of James
P. Poythress of Screven County, Georgia?
If you have any information on this family, please contact Mr. Poythress.
Some of the questions that come up when genealogists gather are pretty
basic. Perhaps the most common is, "We don't spell our name that way."
We've talked about this before, but we can never emphasize enough that
there are three to thirty ways to spell most any surname. Phonetic
spelling produces some odd variations and "anglicizing" of names made even
more changes. Simply put, investigate every spelling possible.
Sometimes folks will say, "I don't have time to study and I'm not
interested in history and geography. I only want to do genealogy."
Oops. Historians do not have to be genealogists, but genealogists must be
historians. The good news is that most of the time you learn history
without even trying...sort of by osmosis as you read and research your own
County histories have wonderful clues as to your family. County boundary
line changes may create problems with records unless you understand when
and how they changed. For example, if a county was formed in 1842, it will
not have the 1840 census.
Sometimes we hear, "I only want my direct lines. I don't want to know
about anybody but my own folks."
You need collateral and allied family lines to furnish the knowledge about
families that your direct line ancestral research just can't provide.
What are "collateral lines?"
These are the brothers and sisters of your grandparents, great
grandparents, etc. Make a family group sheet with the surname, and then
add all of the brothers and sisters of that family (including your own
grandparent). Keep this with your research materials and add information
about the people on it as you discover bits of information about them. Do
this for every one of the four grandparents and eight great-grandparents
on any given line.
What are "allied families?"
Allied families are the names of families your collaterals married. Every
once in awhile, you'll find a prominent person that generated many
articles and maybe even a book containing family information. You can
check biographical sources as well as general records for these people.
Finding information on allied and collateral lines is very similar to your
direct line research, except you will cover a broader base of information.
You can look in death certificates and obituaries. You'll find brothers
and sisters listed and who they married. Sometimes, these sources will
give addresses (for that time period) and are wonderful clues as to where
your family was then - and might be today.
Check county histories for those other places. Find out who settled the
area and who started the churches. Who were the early office holders in
the community? You might even find early marriage lists or the names of
judges and juries of the early courts. Look for biographies. Look for
estate distributors (probate packages) on the ancestor in question. At the
very least, you should get a list of names of those receiving legacies.
We'll continue this just a little bit next time.
Remember, your family history is the most precious legacy you can leave to
Remember, it is very likely that The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in
Moultrie has information about YOUR family! The Odom Library is open 8:30
til 5:30 Monday through Saturday and you are welcome to come and begin
your own search for your own roots. Ann Glass, Irene Godwin and Catherine
Bryant are always glad to help you begin this exciting adventure.