Sunday, February 11, 2007

Adventures in Genealogy: Migration

Adventures in Genealogy: Migration
Rednecks on the Run

Normally I come to yall once a month and discuss one of the strange thangs that happened to me during the month while I was researching my family. This month the Boss suggested (Threatened) it would be nice if my article was actually on topic. (I didn’t even know there was a topic every month) When I told her I didn’t even know what the topic was this month (Migration). She reminded me that we get a schedule every month. Personally I think I messed up when I told her I didn’t ever read that memo. You wouldn’t think a sweet little ole lady from Colorado would even know that kinda language. Anyway to make a long story short I decided to write about migration (Grin).

My immigrant ancestors were a pair of brothers (John and Edward HOWCOTT) who came to America sometime between 1706 and 1711. I know they were here by 1711 because that is when they sold some land in Bertie County North Carolina. I’ve spent the last few years trying to find them on Cindy’s Passenger List or in one of the Passenger books in the Dallas Public Library, but no luck. I think they either swam over or came in a bass boat.

Now my family wandered all over NC for a hundred years. My cousin and part time research partner says they kept moving to the frontier. I suspect they kept moving cause their neighbors objected to all the dogs and wagons up on blocks in their front yards. (Well we are Rednecks)

My direct line disappeared from NC around 1810 and don’t reappear till 1821 in Tuscaloosa County Alabama. I have found lots of circumstantial evidence that my HOCUTT’s and TRAYWICK’s and several other families were a part of a wagon train that left Johnston County North Carolina, traveled through Georgia, and Ultimately ended up in Alabama. The circumstantial evidence is 1) They were in the 1800 census of North Carolina but not the 1810. 2) Several of the wives that show up in the later census list Georgia as their place of birth. 3) Several of the people I am researching show up in Church and land records in 1821.

The next major migration for my family took place in the five years following the Civil War. Some of them moved to Holmes County Mississippi while the others moved on to East Texas.

They are lots of reasons for the migration. I suspect my emigrants (2 of the 8 kids of an English Bartender) came to America for purely economic reasons. I think the move to Alabama was a combination of the desire for cheap land and the “need” to live on the frontier. The post civil war migration was spurred by the devastation visited on the South during the Civil War and the bitterness towards the Reconstruction laws and the carpet baggers.

Whatever the reasons or the direction your ancestors migrated, the very fact that they moved can help in your research. In Many cases their relocation would necessitate the selling and purchasing of Land. Joining new churches and other things that generate “official” paperwork.

Once more we come to the end of an Adventure in Genealogy and find we have learned a little. 1) Ancestor Migration can generate useful paperwork 2) Even if You don’t immediately find your emigrant don’t give up. 3) Never I mean Never tell the boss you don’t read her Memo’s.

NOTE: Again the facts are true, but I did a little stretching. I had actually read the memo but I don’t usually write on subject, my articles tend more to the thought of the week style. The Boss asked me if I could work something up for the “Monthly Theme” because we were a little short on articles. To put it mildly I saw a chance to let my humor run a little wild and share a laugh with he

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