I have been following a thread on FB about a young woman who wants to join the DAR on a patriot ancestor. From my experience with being a member of our local DAR for just a few months I have found DAR members come in two groups: Those, like me, that have been lifelong genealogist, who found it a great honor to finally be able to join the DAR under a Patriot ancestor and those who have no genealogy background at all, but still find it a great honor to be able to join the DAR under a Patriot ancestor. This young woman was definitely the later and she had NO interest in doing any research to find the links she needed from her to the proven ancestry on Generation 7 for the Patriot she had picked. When I pointed out the records she needed were probably easily available online, she just said, “Oh, we’ll send them some more census and see what they say.” Her registrar is trying to get her a Patriot ancestor as easily as possible and I understand that thinking. And I know once she is verified, she will be just as proud of her ancestor as I am of mine, but I couldn’t help think what she was truly missing by not finding those Marriage, Births, Deaths and Wills along the way from her to Generation 7 of her pedigree chart.
This morning, I found the most wonderful site. I am sure others have known of it’s existence for a long time, but I stumbled upon it yesterday and got to play some this morning, which explains why I won’t have a clean kitchen tonight. 🙂
It is the Manuscript and Records Archives of the North Carolina State Archives. On their search page, I put in Carlton, because I know my Carlton line was from Wilkes County, NC and found that Richard Carlton had a Will in Will Book A, page 284! This is wonderful news because Richard Carlton was my 6th great grandfather. So I copied this information to a note in Evernote.
Next step was to head over to Family Search and see what I could find there. I haven’t yet found his will, since I couldn’t find page numbers in Will Book A, but I did find the following: (images are at bottom of post)
His four page probate listing all his worldly goods. His son petitioning the court for the widow’s allowance. This is what she is missing. Reading through the inventory of an ancestor’s estate and seeing that he had a wonderfully stocked kitchen. That he owned two horses and twelve hedd [sic] of cattle. That at age about 70, he was running a fairly well run farm.
Richard Carlton was born ca 1720. Some sources say in Scotland, some say in PA. He married a woman named Mary and had at least eleven children. His son Blake, was my fifth great grandfather. His son Thomas, was Hubby’s fifth great grandfather. So this probate is very important to my children since Richard is their seventh great grandfather on two lines!
Richard died between 1790 and 1792 in Craven County, NC. His son Richard Jr. apparently administered the estate. Blake and Thomas would move to TN and raise large extended families there. Thomas’ branch would migrate on to KY about 1840 and many of his descendants still live there. Blake’s descendants still live in the Middle TN area.
But you see, I didn’t just get up one day and know that Richard Carlton was my children’s seventh great grandfather. I found that out by ordering Birth, Death and Marriage records. I found that out by talking to family members long passed. I found it out reading wills, and family histories done by distant relatives in the 1920s. I found it out over a period of 25 years, one document at a time.
Somehow I think my sweet new friend is being cheated. Because she isn’t getting to know each branch of her family along the way. She is like the person who goes to the library and wants to know how they are related to Abraham Lincoln, but have little interest in knowing who their 2nd great grandfather was. I share this quote from a fellow genealogist about Gedcom, I think it applies to this situation as well. “I do not provide GEDCOMs either. I expect the recipient to do no less than I do and manually enter the data, and say hello to the person as they enter each one.” -quote from a fellow genealogist, used with permission.
It’s been a long ride. Hello Richard Carlton. Let me tell you a little about your seventh great grandchildren….
Richard Carlton settlement of estate (20 Sep 1792-Jun 1793), North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979. Viewed online on 08 Dec 2014 at http://www.familysearch.org