4 Big Things Genealogists Need to RememberBy Jeannette Holland Austin
Your ancestor may not have left a last will and testament, however, the estate may be recorded at the court house. After a death, an administrator was appointed, inventory made, and other records began to accumulate. Of most important note is the Annual Return which was filed every year until the last heir was paid. The first return records payments to funeral directors and miscellaneous expense leading to the funeral. Postage is even purchased where relatives from other areas were contacted. If you think is trivial, take note of were the letter was sent. This is your First Big Clue of other places to search. The name listed on the annual returns and the amounts should be carefully gone over because they were neighbors who owed your ancestor debts, or relatives being reimbursed for a number of interesting items. Eventually, there is a substantial amount listed beside a name. That is the Second Big Clue. This is a payment to an heir. All heirs are not paid at once or listed on the same page. There is property to be sold which is not necessarily the home place, rather additional farms, and is listed on the inventory of the estate, the acreage and the name of the county. That is the Third Big Clue where to search next. One continues year after year with the examination of the Annual Returns. Surnames other than that of the ancestor appear on each page. That is the Fourth Big Clue. Each name should be carefully examined and determined whether or not it was a friend, or an in-law. To learn the latter, go to the county records and determine if that person was married to one of the daughters. Married daughters could not inherit in her name: it has to go to their husband who was responsible for her legal affairs!
Critical Help for the GenealogistWhen researching probate records, do you also search the "vouchers?" This search is singly more important than anything else because the vouchers are "receipts"s; from heirs and other interested persons. Every male name should be examined in the marriage records to determine how or if he was related to one or more of the daughters. While visiting the family burial plot, it is wise to write down the names of adjoining plots, in the event those names appear later. One may not always find a book of vouchers because sometimes miscellaneous records were contained in folders and designated as "Loose Estates." No stone should be left unturned for anything and everything concerning the demise of your ancestor.
Genealogists Search Many StatesAll of a person's ancestors did not reside in one State. After coming to this country, they moved around with great regularity. That is because land was so important to survival. The habit of allowing fields to remain fallow for two years or more was helpful, but not enough. A good rich, loamy soil was required to sustain generations of families. In Virginia, it was tobacco which quickly depleted the soil, and soon as ther American Revolution, families were on the move. Genealogists, look to the land grants of these soldiers (for service) and subsent land lotteries in Georgia. Many families drew and won land in the lotteries, according to the number of persons in the family. That is why it is important to examine Tax Digests, which list the number of acres and the county. We trace the movement of our ancestors through deed records, tax digests, land grants and lotteries. As families moved along, it becomes necessary to examine the county records everywhere that they resided. This is where marriage records were recorded, deeds given, and estates probated. Also, a close examination of local cemeteries and churches is indicated. Why? Because burial records and church registers also tell the story. Georgia Pioneers has a vast collection of county records and includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It is easy to search from one state to the next using the same portal.
The Palmer-Marsh House in BathThe Georgian two-story frame house was constructed ca 1744. It was the residence of Colonel Robert Palmer, a surveyor and later customs officer in Bath. It has the unusual feature of a double brick chimney seventeen feet wide at its base and four feet thick, with two windows in the brick wall between the flues.
Blackbeard in BeaufortWhen Spain threatened the colonists from St. Augustine, Florida (about 1740), pirates pilfered the shores of the Atlantic ocean. One in particular was William Teach, known as "Blackbeard." Teach was born ca 1668 in Bristol, England and died on 22 November 1718 on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. He was seen in the Carolina ports of Beaufort and Charleston. He was captain of the vessel "Queen Anne's Revenge." When he sailed into Charleston South Carolina during May of 1718, he blockaded the harbor and plundered nine ships. Also, he took prisoners and demanded that the city provide him with medical supplies. When they agreed, he sent a party ashore. When his men returned with the supplies, Teach released his prisoners. While in Charleston, Teach learned that Woodes Rogers had orders to
rid the Caribbean of its pirates. So he sailed north for the Beaufort Inlet of North Carolina, called "Topsail". Upon reaching the inlet, Queen Anne's Revenge struck a sandbar and was badly damaged. In the process of attempting to save that vessel, the ship, Adventure was also lost. He then captured a Spanish sloop and made his path through the inlet. One of Bonnet's men later testified that Teach intentionally ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground. About that time, a royal pardon was offered to all pirates who would surrender before September 5th of that year. But it was for crimes committed before January 5th. His actions in Charleston were still up for grabs. Teach sent William Bonnet to Bath, North Carolina to test it. Bonnet was pardoned and planned to return to Topsail to collect Revenge before sailing for St. Thomas. When he arrived, Teach was gone. The Sea Chest The Fate of Israel Hands, the Pirate The Pirate Treasures of Elizabeth City The Tacksman
Beaufort County Genealogy, Wills, EstatesIndians were in the territory by the 1650s, two Indian tribes, the Secotan Confederation and the Pomouik Nation (called Pamlico). The first white settlers were traders who resided along the Pamlico River, some of whom took Indian wives and learned the language. The area was named Pamtecough County in 1705. The name was changed in 1712. The town of Bath was the first county seat.
Beaufort County Wills and other County Records Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers.
- Williams, Thomas, LWT dated 1793
- Index to Wills 1720 to 1842
Images of Beaufort County Wills 1720 to 1775
Abbott, William Adams, Anna Adams, James Adams, John Alderson, John Allen, Timothy Becton, Richard Belote, Hillery Bright, John Bright, Richard Buckingham, Stephen Campain, Joseph Campen, Joram Cannon, Sarah Chauncy, Walley Clement, Thomas Conlanike, Michael Conner, Phillip Cooper, Daniel Coyler, Cornelius Crawford, Ann Crawford, Charles Davis, John Delvent, John Doe, Edward Eckols, John Evitts, Walter Flannikin, James Floyd, Griffin Forman, Willis Fortner, James Fripp, John Fulinton, Andrew Harfoot, Robert Harrison, Thomas Herinton, James Hollon, Richard Horton, Jesse Sr. Jacken, David Jackson, John Jasper, John Jewell, Thomas Jones, Josias Jones, Walter Jordan, John Joyner, Israel Keech, John Kelley, Matthew Leigh, James Lewis, Griffith Lockey, Cele Mays, William McKeel, Thomas McMath, Robert McNaire, Charles Mills, John Sr. Newton, Francis Odean, Charles Odean, Elizabeth Odean, John Palmer, John Pearce, Edmond Perkins, James Peyton, Benjamin Peyton, Eleanor Phillips, William Pindar, William Pritchett, James Pritchett, Peter Rigney, Hanah Rigney, James Roe, Sarah Shute, Phillip Slade, James Slade, Joseph Smith, Charles Squire, John Taylor, Samuel Tindel, John Tripp, John Underwood, Thomas Wall, James Wallis, Jonathan Welch, Mathew Whitehurst, Josias Williams, Thomas