Thursday, December 27, 2012

Flow Charts

At times, the leaves on the branches seem to get extra thick.  How am I going to see through all the cluster of names, dates, marriages, wills, deeds, surveys, patents, etc...etc...until there seems little hope.  A flow chart may helpful in these times of troubles.   The following figure is an example of what I mean.

David Jones of Charles City Co., has been one of those times for me.  His life begins in the documents of time around 1635.  Many genealogist have associated his name with many different family groups.   The chart below shows how one can take the date (beginning record), geographic location, and given information to form a "flow chart" of these leaves that seem to be getting in the way.
The reference is Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. I, 1623 - 1666.  [CP I in upper right corner.]  The date 1635 is placed in the upper left, and the number of acres, followed by the name of "David Jones #1." [Using squares and circles.]   Any associated names, places, or information is added as each reference is examined. [ Page number given under CPI.]  Thus, a "flow chart" begins to appear with a variety of information that can be used to link other family groups into the family tree. 

For example, Tappahanna Marsh becomes Weyanoake, where David Jones names "David Jones his creek".  Any future document using any of these names would place them connected to this David Jones.  Others by the same name could then be separated among the clusters of names.  A pattern can them be recognized in which to place associated surnames and individuals of interest.  This flow chart is from 1635 to 1655 and identifies this David Jones to be active at least 20 years. 

Go ahead, get into the flow, the "flow chart" that is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Chronology Cluster

Putting together a family tree is one goal of the genealogy endeavor.  Brick walls often get in the way, and can be frustrating to the tree climber.  When trying to get around some brick walls, a chronology cluster may be helpful.  By this I mean placing your family tree into a chronology that outlines "dates" and "clusters" (groups) the family members into a single view.  The following figures show two methods.
The figure above is taken from my own research showing how one may go about designing such a cluster.  Starting with a blank sheet of graph paper (one of my favorite tools), the dates are placed along the outside margins, top to bottom upon the page.  You can use any sequence of dates, but I usually begin with "50 year" periods. [Assumes a generations is 20 - 40 years.]  Then I place the "known" family members  along the dates that "best fit" these folks. [Using squares and circles.]  Then I connect the family members along this "time line" (Chronology).  It helps to color code distinct family groups, so that a visual picture can be seen.  This also means that if you have an individual out of line, they should become evident.

The above figure takes a more "linear" approach with wider intervals for dates, and keeping the family members in straight lines.  This allows you to add more comments, facts, and information to the family tree as you are trying to put things together.  Again, color coding each family helps keep every group separate as the tree gets bigger and longer.

A chronology cluster I call it...shake some tree branches with it.

For a discussion of "squares" and "circles" see my blog -

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finishing The Task

Genealogy is a way to find our family's past.  The roads we follow to discover this past are often full of curves and bends that seem to block our way.  Family stories give us some direction in this tree climbing process, but they may not always be correct.   My own genealogy experience has followed a lot of family stories told me during my childhood.   One such story was "W.C.". 

The kitchen table was the location of my grandmother's family stories.  She could remember that the first JONES was named W.C.  She did not know what the W.C. stood for, but she was certain that he lived and was buried at the mouth of the Red River.  It would take me some 20 years to find this family cemetery, and discover the "W.C." stood for William Carter.

In 1999, my father and I managed to walk back the road to the ground that contained this cemetery.  It was a rainy day, and my plan to chalk his head stone was dampened by the rain. [My chalk and paper were wet.]  The head stones were buried, and it took a good effort to raise the stones.   The following picture shows me and ground that surrounded our family cemetery.

Lots of grass, lots of dirt, and a cast iron fence kept us company.  After raising the stone, and cleaning its surface, I used my t-shirt to make a impression of this headstone.  This impression now hangs in my library. [Along with several other impressions of grandfather's headstones.]

The following picture shows this headstone as it came up from the ground.

 "Peaceful be thy silent slumber" it reads.  For me, it was finishing the task.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Genealogy Bed And Breakfast

"We close in 5 minuets"...was often heard when I had just gotten everything lined up and ready to go.  "What ... you've got to be kidding me..." would flash through my head.  "I can't leave now...I've only just begun...", but what was a fellow to do?  I may never be able to come this way again, and I have just found what I needed.   How can one keep this from happening...over...and over...and over again.     A genealogy Bed & Breakfast was my answer.  You can come....research all night if needed...and keep going until you've climbed all the branches.   Wow, how does one go about setting up a Bed & Breakfast for the genealogist?

 Some ten years in the making, a Bed & Breakfast dedicated to the JONES surname exist.  It is called "The Golden Lion", named after my families' coat of arms.  It contains my personal research library on the JONES surname [some 52 years of research], a Jones Surname Museum, and all the time that is needed to break down some of those brick walls so common to the surname JONES.  A picture of the B&B is shown, along with information on how to contact us.  A "genealogy" Bed & Breakfast...who would have guessed.

Come...stay a while...we are not closing in five minutes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lookup(s) : Tree Climbing Helps

Over the years, a large number of folks have written/e-mailed/called/ and personally appeared seeking help with their tree climbing.  Since the blogs have reached over 80,000 page views, it has become increasing difficult to keep tract of all the incoming request.  A resent blog on my genealogical research collection [ ] has generated some interest.  On this blog site you can "search" the notebooks for particular subjects/topics which may provide some help in brick wall destruction.
The figure above shows a sample page from this blog and identifies the "Search This Blog" tag where you can enter a subject/topic.  A research notebook may contain an item of interest, and the subject/topic can be examined. [ A Lookup !]
The notebooks are physically located in The Joseph Wheeler Jones Memorial Library, Danville, KY.  As pictured above, they are regular sized notebooks, numbered and organized by topics. [Now over 250 of them!]   A "lookup" involves my direct selection and review of content.  It has become necessary to try and establish some order to this process.

A request will need to be done by direct mail.  Please send your question with a self addressed, stamped envelope to The Jones Genealogist, 243 N. Third St., Danville, KY 40422.  A $10 lookup fee needs to be included.  Only one question per envelope.   This fee will cover cost of copies, paper, ink, and indicate a sincere interest in seeking the information.

Brick wall destruction...a lookup may help.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Running Record

Recognizing and organizing certain themes, topics, and subjects can be the secret weapon needed to break down many of those brick walls.  What brings people together as a group at one point in time, or in one place in time, or in one why in time, may help the genealogist to put an end to one of those pesky red brick things standing in the way.

Themes can be something laid down by cultures or social groups which bond them to one another.  Perhaps religion, political party, or social group may remove them from one area and go to another.
For my own family, the Baptist movement in early colonial Virginia helped me follow my family from one area in Virginia, to the wilderness of Kentucky.  They became known as the "Traveling Church" becoming a topic of interest in early Kentucky history.

Perhaps it might be a topic like the "Theory of Divine Right" of kings.  Who did the family fight for or against.  This topic became an important subject during the English Civil War period (1638-1649).  Understanding and organizing this concept helped me recognize, and group together my own JONES family during this period of history.

Likewise, a subject can be anything that might effect thought or consciousness bringing into to action an individual or group of individuals.  What subjects make the group united in action.  Placing Mary, Queen of Scots, on the English throne was one such subject that united a small group of men, including my own family.

Keeping a running record of these themes, topics, and subjects as one goes about their own tree climbing may help solve many questions which seem to get in the way.  For me this was done in a series of notebooks which became the record of discoveries on these items.  Piece by piece, these became the thread to weave a rope over many of those brick walls.

For those interest, I have started a blog on my collection of notebooks.  These list the themes, topics, or subjects that I have collected during the past 52 years of genealogy.  The list can be found at  You can search for topics/subjects using the search space given.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Choose Wisely

Primary documents are often the key to breaking down many brick walls.   They can also raise more questions then answers for the inquiring mind.  Being sure that one understands the historical context of the document will be the solution for many of these questions.

For example during my own research into the life of Cadwallader Jones, there is a primary document which records the following:

"This indenture made the (blank) in the year of our Lord according to the computation used in England One thousand six hundred Eighty & one and in the year of the Reign of or:Soveraigne Lord Charles the second &c. the three and thirtieth..."
                      [ (Old) Rappahannock County Deed Book 1682-1686 pp. 6-10 ]

Okay I thought, the date was blank but the year was given 1681, and the document was recorded to be in the 33 year of the reign of Charles II.  What?  My previous research into the JONES surname had recorded that Charles II only reigned for 24 years [1661-1685].  How could this be the 33rd year of his reign?  [The following table shows the results of my study on the JONES surname for English Monarchs.  Data was obtained from Pinnock's History of England, first published 1856.]

This puzzled me until it became clear that the writers of this primary document of (Old) Rappahannock County did not recognize the Commonwealth period of English history.  This would place the reign of Charles II beginning at the death of his father in 1649.  Thus 1682 would be the 33rd year of his reign when this document was written.  Pinnock documents the reign of Charles II beginning 1660.

There you go I is often the one writing the history that gets to pick the dates.  Choose wisely.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Delight To The Eyes

Since the snake offered Eve the apple, " was a delight to the eyes...", there have been those who wanted to sell you something.  Just what would it take to get you to get on a small boat, cross an unknown sea,  and come to this Nova Britannia?

The above flyer is such an offer.  It is "Offering Most Excellent fruites". [Seems like I've heard that before.]
All you have to do is get on this small boat and plant your life in Virginia.  It goes on to say, "Exciting all fuch as be well affected to further the fame."

It was printed in London, in a shop near St. Pauls Church which was the center of the printing business 1609.  Just stop by my shop [Samuel Machan] at the sign of the "Bul-head".   An apple from the bull, an interesting combination.  This sailing ship would certainly be a delight to the eyes...say the spin doctors of the day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Into The Same Boat

For what would you give your life?  This existence as we know it.  For some it may be their family.  For others it may be their country.  An idea perhaps... a belief... or issue that is priority for ones life, may head the list.  We would probably choose not to think about it, but our ancestors often did.

Asking what did our ancestors give their life for, will often help us understand their life, and at times help us get around some of those brick walls.  It was not until I started asking these types of questions to my ancestors, that I got help getting the connections across the big pond.

My genealogy research had led me to the shores of Virginia.  The folks there had made their way across this big pond prior to 1650.   How in the world do you climb out the correct branch across all this water?   Why did they come?  What forces or events made them risk their lives on this difficult and trying adventure. [ I am sure that not all would have considered it an adventure!]

I had also spent years on the other side of the pond looking for connections.  A common bond, a common life event, a common experience that might put some of these folks into the same boat.

The English Civil War was such an event. [1638-1660 depending on who's side you read.]  This complex, social, political, religious, cultural series of events cost many their lives and fortunes.  It was this time in my family that they were basically forced to leave their get on those boats...and cross the great pond.  It was a good thing for me that not all gave their life.

What about your ancestors?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Migration Patterns

  For roughly the first 100 years,  the colonies remained a coastal civilization.  It was Virginia and Maryland that were the first to begin a slow but steady migration westward.  Understanding this migration pattern will often help the genealogist to get around (or over) some of those brick walls.

Roads were being made by chopping out underbrush and small trees in a swath ten to thirty feet wide.  Many times, the largest trees were left standing even in the path just cleared.  Small streams could be bridged with logs, but only fords or ferries on the main traveled routes allowed a passage over the rivers.  Just imagine what fun in wet, wet weather!

The drawing above is my attempt to try and understand the early migration patter into my families' home.  Thick, heavy forest; tall mountains ranges; and fierce ethic groups opposed  to this western expansion, all produced obstacles to this migration.  How folks arrived to a particular area, will often give a direction of origin to the genealogist seeking to climb out a branch of the family tree.

For example, if a family member settled along the Ohio River, it was a good bet that they came down this migration route, thus being from PA or VA.  If they came through "the gap", it would be most likely they came from NC, or VA.  Maryland had both routes available.  In this way, a genealogist may be able to pick a "first" or "second" way to begin their tree climbing.  Finding the migration/immigration route may be a way around some brick walls.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recognizing Resources

Tree climbing will often take you in many directions.  Out this branch...out that branch...and sometimes falling out of the tree.  Getting up and starting again can be a challenge.  Recognizing resources can be a help when a few of the branches seem impossible.

These resources may come from a variety of locations.  People, places, and things, may be some of them.  A library, a court house, a book store, or any number of things may help.  For me, a University Library was always most helpful.  Special collections, reference rooms, archives, etc...etc... may open many doors.  Every state has at least one university library ready to help. [Parking always seems to be a problem!]

What have been your resources?  Please post a comment to help share your own experiences.  Falling out of long as you haven't broken anything...dust yourself off and look for some resources.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keeping Things Simple

There seems to be a great deal of commotion about what is needed to actually do genealogy.  What computer program, what computer software...what latest program, what type of laptop, i-phone, and all the gadgets...what's the cost, and what's the start-up time...all seem to be part of the present day equation for "doing genealogy".   Well, keeping things simple has been one of my approaches.

To do genealogy is to "think", and to "thank".  Who am I, and where did I come from usually, starts things off.  Who were those before me who left their mark upon my flesh and bones.  That random combination of Y and X chromosomes that survived down through the ages helped form me.  A "thank you" to those folks who came before and lead the way, with a name added, is one factor to keep the generations connected.

For me, doing genealogy is as simple as a three ring notebook, blank paper, and a pencil.  Nothing fancy, just functional to provide a record of my tree climbing.  The picture shows some of my notebooks.  One inch, to 1/2 inch, to heavy duty, to any thing that will hold my hunt.  Easy to store, easy to find, and easy to use.  Nothing to plug into except my brain.  Keeping things simple...a goal of genealogy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keeping Things Straight

Stacks and stacks of papers, family trees, research information, documents, records...on, and on it goes.   After so many years things seem to pile up, and you begin to spend more time looking for that information than obtaining new information.   Keeping things straight or organized will help.

I have started a new blog titled: The Jones Genealogist Research Notebooks.  This has been my method to help me keep things straight.  After 50 years of tree climbing, there are a few things I would like to be able to find, and use, if needed connecting loose ends, or getting around the next brick wall.  This has been a series of notebooks organized by topic/subject.   They are grouped generally by subject and numbered in sequence.  I have also developed a list, by number and subject title, so that I can look something up if needed.

The notebook's # and subject are given in the blog. A general content is given.   I hope to be able to list the content of all my notebooks, and give the genealogy world the record of my research now some 52 years.  The notebooks are physically stored at the Joseph Wheeler Jones Memorial Library, Danville, KY.   They are available to the researcher if any subject or topic would seem of assistance.  Please let me know ahead if you would plan a visit.  Keeping things straight...what a deal.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Digging Roots

Placing your surname into its language origins will often provide additional insight into your family tree.  Language has a way of explaining the roots of words, and the derivation of their meanings.   Many surnames take their meaning from trades, crafts, or activities that were first the way of life for the family.  The surname "Smith" for instance derives from the labor of the hammer and anvil.  The Saxon word "smytt"(1) means "strikes" which would certainly be the main activity of those pounding the iron.

The figure to the right shows the language derivation for my surname Jones.  It took a number of years to put all this language stuff together, but it has a history all to itself.  From Hebrew to modern English.  Who would have thought.

Digging roots can be fun.

(1) Corson, H., Hand-Book of Anglo-Saxon, Henry Holt & Co., 1873, p.447.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This makes the fifth post of the copyright for the blogs written by The Jones Genealogist.

You may not use the contents of this site (blog and post) for commercial purposes without explicit written permission from the author and blog owner.  Commercial purposes includes blogs with ads and income generation features, and/or blogs or sites using feed content as a replacement for original content.  Full content usage is not permitted.

Jerry E. Jones, MD, MS, The Jones Genealogist, Library of Congress No. 6192-01064476. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Skeletons Not In The Closet

A skeleton carries the concept of something buried or hidden a long time ago that was intended to remain buried. As genealogists, we often discuss "skeletons in the closet" as a family secret uncovered during our own family tree climbing.  It may or may not be something that we are glad we uncovered.

A skeleton is also the bony, rigid support that serves as a framework to help hold us together. [At least that is while we are alive.]  More or less it is the support to soft tissues and the protection to certain parts of the essential part of the motion's of life.

Over the years, I have found that defining a "skeleton" of our ancestor's land gives a foundation to the family tree climbing.  It may be a county, stream, land mass, or even country.  Sketching the outline without any landmarks or names, will define a "skeleton" of the family's origin that may help us understand our ancestor's own motion through time. [And generations!]

The drawing above is an outline of my ancestor's land...a skeleton if you will.  It is not labeled at first, but will provide a support for all the names and areas yet to be discovered.  Drawn to scale, it can be used to estimate distance, which can be used to understand time between settlements or towns.  Names may change, and certain identities, but the skeleton will generally remain the same.  Make multiple copies of this skeleton so that you can add new names and identities as they are discovered.  Theses skeletons need not be put in the closet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That "thing-a-ma-jig"

We all have one.  Those "what you ma-call its" that help us get through our days.  Those things that you never really got around to get the "official" name or title, but it comes in handy when you need them.  For me doing genealogy, the picture shown is one.  I have used it for years when those "squares and circles" need to be drawn, or those maps need to be drawn, or those straight lines need a little help, or when... on and on it goes.  You can use it for all kinds of stuff.

I still don't know what it is officially called.  It has "professional SKETCH MASTER template" in small print on the surface.  "STAEDTLER" is written in caps surrounded by black highlight.  A variety of scales and sizes are given.  A inch ruler and a metric ruler are in place.  I believe I got this in my college days at our university book store, but I don't really remember.  Does anyone know if you can still find them?  Please post.

Anyway, this is an example of one tool that I have used over the years...that thing-a-ma-jig!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Color Coding: Brighten Up Your Day

Tree limbs and branches on the old family tree can get complicated fairly quickly.  After a few generations "bunches" of them start to appear.  Keeping them kind of organized, and grouped appropriately, can be a real challenge.  Over the years I have found that a color coding system can be helpful.

The figure to the right shows my own system, developed after a few generations had passed.  Three sons of one grandfather started things off.  Each son was given a color (magic markers were used) and from that point onward in the family tree, this color was applied to this branch of the tree.  Pink to the oldest
[his line descended through a daughter ], yellow to the second son [the color I had at the time], and blue to the youngest which was my direct branch [ Go Big Blue ! cause we grew up in Kentucky under Adolph Rupp!]

You can see the branches bloom before your very eyes.  The second son seemed to get the advantage with more children around the tree. It became evident that the baby of the family must have remained in contact the oldest branch since one grandfather married into this group.  Each page can then be used to show the relationship between the branches. [For us visual learners, this can be very helpful.]

The "square and circle" method has been presented in my blog entitled: Ge-ne-al-o-gy 101.  My complete family tree using this method is given in my blog entitled: Jones Surname DNA.  Have a go at it if you like to will brighten up your day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Name That Topic

The Brick Wall Protocol has been written to try and help those genealogist who are stuck before one of those road blocks.  Sooner or later it will happen if you climb trees long enough.  I thought it might be helpful to give those who have been reading these post a place to share a topic that is important to them.  This may be a question, a document, a resource, an archive, etc. that has been helpful or useful in their own tree climbing.  There may be a method or technique that has been helpful.  It just may be a question about the brick wall you are now facing.

If any reader has a topic or question that has been important to them, please place in the comment section of this post.  Perhaps this may then begin a conversation among us, we might call the demolition derby. Any drivers out there?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting the Poynt

Landmarks are important aspects in examining the history of an area. Especially if you are trying to establish the location of ancestors. Getting around certain brick walls may depend upon identifying and placing certain landmarks in the correct location recorded in deeds and surveys.

History often gives the stories behind these landmarks. Sting Ray point (poynt) is such a case. John Smith in his own writings give the following account:

"...vpon the riuer of Rapahanock, by many called Tappahanock, but our bote by reafon of the ebbe, chanfing to grownd vpon a many fhoules lying in the entrances, we ipyed many fifhes lurking in the reedes;..." [spelling as written 18 June 1608, f = s]. Thus, on low tide, the boat was grounded near the shore.

"...our Captaine fporting himself by nayling them to the ground with his sword..." [Interesting way to fish!]

"But it chanfed our Captaine taking a fifh from his sword (not knowing her condition) being much of the fafhion of a Thornback, but a long tayle like a ryding rodde, whereon the middft is a moft poysoned fting, of tow or three inches long, bearded like a faw on each side, which the ftrucke into the wreft of his arme neere an inch and halfe:..." [Take that Captain John Smith for sticking your sword into me...!]

"no bloud nor wound was feens, but a little blew fpot, but the torment was inftantly fo extreame..."

The tracing above is the mouth of Rappahannock River. The south landmark is Sting Ray point. The north landmark is Musketo Point. It was from these landmarks that the survey crews would begin their survey. The drawing shows 1 mile makers as they would be counted from these landmarks. Thus, "eight miles up" would be from these geographic points.

Certainly, Captain John Smith got the point!

Taken from: The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and Summer Ifles: with the names of the Adventuresr, Planter, and Governours from their firft beginning. An: 1584 to this present 1624. London, Printed by I.D. and I.H. for Michael Sparkes, 1624. p.58-59.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making Wishes

Wishing upon a star reflects the mental power of the human brain. The Latin language [those Romans] uses the word velle meaning to wish. By the time the Anglo-Saxons arrived[Old English], they used the word wille. This has come down to us in the English as the word will. Interesting that in a genealogical sense, this means a legal declaration of a person's mind as to the manner in which property or estate is dealt with after the death of that person. Litterally, it is like reading a person's mind.

Being of a very personal nature, the will offers a chance for the genealogist to open the window of the mind of an ancestor. In addition, the will offers tremendous information regarding the family. It usually list the name(s) of the deseased's heir(s), often including married names of the surviving females. [Family branches!] A listing of what the deceased possessed in property, real and personal is frequently helpful to establish a life-style. Approximate date of death from the date of the will's probate by the court can help establish or clarify chronology. Signatures which indicate close friends, relatives, or repected members of the deceased's community can be used to break down a few brick walls.

Making wishes, a window to the mind of our sure and open some windows to your own family tree.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Using An Index For Genealogical Analysis

One of the most time consuming activities for the genealogist is library work. At least that's the way it use to be. [Still an important aspect for those of us who like to smell a good book every now and then!]

In many cases, large volumes of texts exist with pages and pages of information. However, most texts contain an index which directs the researcher to a specific page number with information about that individual and/or subject title. For the surname JONES [my surname], the list is extensive with all those Johns, Williams, Richards, Thomases, Marys, Elizabeths, and the like. Likewise, the researcher may only have "clues" as to which John or Mary is important. Taking the time to "look up" each Jones listed [or any other surname], is sometimes necessary. Often, it will be more helpful to analyze the index before looking at each individual reference.

The figure to the right gives such an example. It uses a reference text entitled, Jefferson Co., VA-KY Early Marriages. Book I: 1781 - July 1826. This reference lists early marriages recorded in Jefferson Co., now KY in chronological sequence.

The first step is find a bland page such as notebook paper, copy paper, or graph paper. [By now you should have tons of graph paper!] The next step is to to find the length of the book or reference that contains the information. [This book is 200 pages.] Next, you select a scale between 1 and 200 that would represent the page numbers in the text. You place this scale along the top of the page and leave room for the alphabetical listing of the first names on the left hand side of the paper. You then turn to the index and begin listing the first names of all the JONES [or what ever surname you have chosen]. You place the page number of each along the scale at the point of each name. Thus you end up with a chart or table which list all names along a grid which fills up the paper. [Shown above] At one glance, each individual can be crossed reference for the same page number and approximate time period. Thus each person can be examined for relationship to all others listed.

This method allows the researcher to locate names which appear together (on the same page) without having to look up each name individually.

Table taken from an article written Jerry E. Jones, MD, MS, The Jones Genealogist, Vol. X , No. 6, March/April 1999 , pp. 5-7.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learning Land Laws

The migration and settlement of one's ancestors is dependent upon the land laws that were "on the books" when they arrived to make their way. These laws would often change based upon the needs and political environment that produced them. It is helpful to be sure and try to understand the laws that were "in effect" at the time of settlement. I have written an example in a series of posts on Virginia Land Laws. These can be found at my blog, in the following order:

Virginia Land Laws: A Chronology (Part I) - Sunday, December 19, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part II) Importation Rights - Monday, December 20, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part III) Treasury Rights - Tuesday, December 21, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part IV) Escheated Lands - Wednesday, December 22, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part V) The Processioning - Thursday, December 23, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part VI) The Surveyors - Tuesday, December 28, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws (Part VII) Surveyor's fees - Wednesday, December 29, 2010.
Virginia Land Laws after 1713 (Part I) - Wednesday, January 5, 2011.
Virginia Land Laws after 1713 (Part II) - Friday, January 7, 2011.
Land Laws Virginia - Meritorious Service - Thursday, January 13, 2011.
Land By Rank - Virginia Land Laws 1763 - Friday, January 14, 2011.
Virginia Land Laws : Cabin Rights - Saturday, January 22, 2011.
Tidewater Virginia - Thursday, March 3, 2011.

This gives an outline of the land laws of Virginia from the earliest days to the Revolutionary War period. Each colony would have their own laws. Identifying these laws could make a difference in a few brick walls!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Land Grant Analysis

Early land grants and patents become an important part of tree climbing. Understanding how to use the acreage involved will often make a difference in getting out the right branch. Also, placing various land grants together by associated surnames will help break down many brick walls.

The following pages show how this can be done using graph paper. [By now you should have bunches of this stuff!] Making a scale that can be used to give a general outline of a land amounts can be useful. The upper page is taken from an article written 1997 outlining the use of maps. It ends with the outline shown giving one square mile to every 640 acres of land. A line is then drawn showing that at 2 square mile = 1280 acres, 3 square mile = 1920 acres, 4 square mile = 2560 acres, etc., etc... If you have an ancestor who takes up a land patent of 4,000 acres, he would have a land area of six miles long and one mile deep, or any short of other combinations. If his initial grant was along one of the water courses marked by "mile markers", this would directly apply. [This was true of the first land grants in Virginia along the water highways!]

The figure to the right tries to show an enlargement of the graph which can be scaled to plot the grants as recorded. A beginning way to think about land grants!

Taken from: The Jones Genealogist, Vol. IX, No. 2, July/August, 1997, p. 4.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Lay of The Land

Brick walls can come at you from all directions. They often sit there and smile while you get more and more discouraged wondering if you will ever get around them. Over the years, I have found that getting a "lay of the land" will often help one understand many of the dimensions of these brick walls. Knowing the historical and geographical factors that interplay with your tree climbing will frequently assist to "wipe that smile off their face"!

The drawing to the right is an example of such an attempt. My brick wall was in the geographic area of North Wales. A bunch of JONES were hidden in these mountains. How was I to sort them? I decided to try and understand the lay of the land. [called topography]

Since the earliest days, water [after oxygen] was the most important resource for survival. Streams, creeks, and rivers were the lifeline and highway to much of the human settlements. How these creeks and streams flowed determined much in the way of survival. Today, it is difficult to find maps that will show just the rivers. [especially in genealogy] Draw your own, I thought!

The most important item is a good starting map. Finding one that has the origin of your family tree is necessary. For me this was Touring Guide To Britain, published by The Reader's Digest Association, NY, 1992. Tracing paper was the next most important item. Removing all names, cites, locations, etc., etc., by just tracing the rivers, streams, and those items which might be of importance. [For me it was the iron age hill forts!] You then make a hard copy of the finished product so that you can write upon the finished product.

The tracing above shows the two main "head waters" of my family tree. The Dee and the Severn are shown, the Dee in blue. It is here that they almost touch giving a geographic location where one can reach both within 5 miles! Here, my JONES family had its roots many generations back. A strategic starting point it is. Dip in the Dee and you come out at Chester. (North) Dip in the Severn and you come out Gloucester. (South) It certainly would be a good location to start your day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Blog - O - Rama"

Several folks have written thanking me for "The Brick Wall Protocol". Genealogy for generations has been a personal motto. For those who have written, you are welcome.

I wanted to pass on to fellow time travelers other blogs and sites that I have been writing. You may or may not find them helpful, but they are centered around my 50 plus years of genealogy. My name is Jerry Jones, and the following sites have been written since July 2010: - intended to give my genealogy travels from age 9 years old. - intended to give comments and titles to daily posts. - intended to concentrate on the history and origin of the surname JONES. - intended to help those think outside the box. - intended to help the genealogist understand DNA. - intended to help those with Welsh background. - an example of genealogy on My Heart's Blood.

On facebook:

It is my hope that these blogs and sites will help the next generation of tree climbers. Remember, we are the chosen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Using This Blog

This makes the 48th post for The Brickwall Protocol since August 6, 2011. I thought it might be helpful to try and outline the blog for those who are just beginning to use the content. It is designed to help those serious genealogists who face the "Brick Wall". It is not for the faint hearted, and requires a great deal of work to complete the methods described within.

The first section is the actual protocol as written in 1989. It represents ideas produced from more than 50 years of tree climbing and brick wall destruction. [Having the surname JONES will produce a large number of brick walls!] Each post is identified by the label BWP(#). This tag shows that the post has content that was published in the original form. It guides the genealogist "step by step" in the concepts, methods, and tools, which I have found to be helpful during my own JONES tree climbing. These are numbered BWP(1) through BWP (14). This will also help find a post in sequence, and follow the posts in order of concepts.

Starting with BWP(15), there are post which give additional information and helps designed to supplement the first section. Additional helps are given which were not part of the original publication. BWP(16) gives an example of my own work.

BWP(17) discusses a family coding system method and BWP(34).

BWP(19) shows a method using "squares and circles" for research design.

Other topics which have been helpful:

BWP(20)- Genealogy and Geography
BWP(21)- Making Maps and BWP(22) Maps from History and BWP(23) Name That Creek.

Social roles in the context of history: BWP(24)

Understanding history: BWP(25), BWP(28), BWP(30), BWP(31) and BWP(33).

Your own research: BWP(34), BWP(35), BWP(36), and BWP(37).

The BWP labeling stops after BWP(37). After this post of October 31, 2011, the titles introduce themselves. Some are intended to be helps, such as "Clarify Dates"[Nov. 9, 2001] to a little bit of humor, such as "For The Serious Genealogist"[Nov. 16, 2011].

Some topics presented:

Clarify Dates- Nov. 9, 2011.
"Letters Patent" A 12 Step Process- November 23, 2011.
Conceptualize Content - December 5, 2011.
Poor to Peerage: Becoming an Adult 1650 England- December 16, 2011.
Yearly Income per Head 1688 England, Part(1) and Part (2)- Dec. 31, 2011 and Jan. 7, 2012.
Spelling Words- Jan. 12, 2012.

I hope this outline will help the reader use this blog successfully in your own tree climbing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spelling Words

Sounds to symbols has been a task since the first scribe dotted those symbols in the hardened clay of the Tigris River. Now how do you spell ...? This must be a question asked repeatedly throughout generations. For the genealogist, it is often a source of trouble, finding the spelling of the same name (words) occurring in various forms, even in the same document. "Be prepared!" The old scout motto would say. Sounds to symbols, what trouble it can be.

The following is an example of such a phenomena found in English records. "Peuman's End" it was called at first. It would seem that when Governor Bennett, in January 1653, ordered all Dutch ships seized, one fellow failed to get away. Both Wingfield [History of Caroline County, Virginia, p. 36] and Campbell [Colonial Caroline, A History of Caroline County, Virginia, p.16] relate the story. According to legend, a Dutch pirate was raiding the waters of the Rappahannock River. He was chased into a creek and met his death. The creek was named after the place where Peuman met his end! The two words thereafter were combined to become "Penmansind Creek", or "Powmansend", or "Powmansend", or ... . The following is an outline of the various spellings which were recorded in Cavaliers and Pioneers, by Nugent. The spelling is given first, followed by the reference (volume) and page number. You can begin to see the spellings, and why it is important to view a broad range of words when checking an index for your name.

The first listing of this name appears in Cavaliers and Pioneers (CP), Vol. I, p. 440:

Puamunaremo (?) CP I, p. 440
Puamunvien CP I, p. 442
Powmansend CP I, p. 526, 528
Pewamamcsee CP II, p. 138
Pewmansend CP II, p. 371, 380, 397
Puesmonseen CP II, p. 73
Pwomansend CP II, p. 8, 18, 20, 382
Pewamanesee CP III, p. 87
Pewmondsend CP III, p. 12, 136, 148, 182, 217
Powomasend CP III, p. 12
Peumansend CP III, p. 350, 355 (swamp).

Wow, how would you spell Peuman's end?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Yearly Income per Head 1688 England (Part 2)

The last post of December 31 presented the yearly income for the "head of household" for those socially defined in 1688 England. It starts with "Beggars" at 2 pounds sterling. This post continues with the listing "Lesser Clergy-men":

Lesser Clergy-men 10
Eminent Clergy-men 12
Persons in Law 22
Lesser Merchants and Traders by Sea 33
Eminent Merchants and Traders by Sea 50
Persons in lesser Offices 20
Persons in greater Offices 30
Gentlemen 35
Esquires 45
Knights 50
Baronets 55
Spiritual Lords 65
Temporal Lords 80

Which would you choose? A social class it is.