Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nose to the Ground

Griffin Jones, Sr. was left dangling from the court records of Caroline Co., VA starting 1736. On one side of these records, there were Thorntons, Taliaferros, Youngs, Wares, McPhersons, Buckners, Smiths, and all sorts of other folks. Early on, there seemed to be a concentration of Taliaferros, and Griffin was connected to land of the Thorntons. Using "Ping Pong" genealogy, taking the Taliaferros and Thontons to the other side of the net, would open a whole, new set of adventures. [see post "Ping Pong Genealogy" Friday, 17 December, 2010.]

Early on, the prime land lay below the falls of the Rappahannock River. One of the largest grants was made 1666, to Robert Taliaferro and Lawrence Smith along what became called Snow Creek. An adjoining tract was issued to a John Bucker. A Francis and Anthony Thornton took up land at the head waters of Mattipony River just west of the Smith-Taliaferro land. All belonging to the cluster of names which were connected in some way to Griffin Jones, Sr., and ultimate to Griffin Jones, Jr. The problem of course was how to put these folks together, and where to look.

Caroline Co. was formed 1728 out of Essex Co...but, Spotsylvania Co., was also formed out of Essex Co., 1721. Essex and Richmond Cos. were both formed out of Rappahannock Co. in 1692. Thus any early land grants could be in Rappahannock (before 1692), Essex or Richmond Cos.(before 1721-1728), Spotsyvania and Caroline Cos. after 1728! What a mess!

It is usually around this time that even the most motivated genealogist decides to punt. It is here that genealogy often become geography, for it is using maps [often historical maps] that will frequently help identify the important landmarks given in the documents of the time. Making maps will help the genealogist keep their "genealogy nose" to the ground. [Any one who has ever had a Beagle will know what I mean.] More to come.

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