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.