A Landmark Site Helps Locate the Old Family Homeplace By Jeannette Holland Austin
Octonia Mill was located .4 of a mile NW of Route 637 and 1.7 miles NW of the intersection of Route 1001 in Greene County, Virginia. There is a real issue trying to zero in on those ancestors who migrated into the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains of Virginia. For one thing, the boundaries frequently changed, especially as part of the region went into Kentucky and West Virginia. People lived far apart and curvy mountain trails and runs were prevalent. Here is how I found the elusive Edward Franklyn of Augusta/Orange/Botetourt/Greene Counties. That same region where he resided fell into four different counties, Greene being the last county. An excellent vehicle to research are deed records, including land grants, because land was so important to early settlers that documents were recorded at the court house. Another source are Minute Records and Orders of the Court. In this example, I found an order to clear a road from Piney Mountain Run, " Edward Franklyn being also surveyor of the lower part of the said road from Octonia Mill to the said Piney Mountain. (1736)" Octonia stone was gathered in the region and milled. The work order stated that "your petitioner (John Cleveland) lives four miles above the Piney Mountain Run and Laurence Franklyn and William Franklyn lived higher." Using this information as well as the exact location of the site of Octonia Mill, one can just about locate the old Franklyn home site. What does this information do for you? It provide the names of four counties where to search records. The very large Augusta County was populated in those days by Germans and Scotch-Irish. The Germans came primarily from Berks and Burk Counties while other immigrants were from Philadelphia County. But people were steadily moving westward, therefore, the task is tedious. A later deed from Orange County, dated in 1789, was where Edward Franklin and Sarah, his wife, sold to Zachariah Burnley 500 acres of land "devised to me by my father Edward Franklin on the land on which he lived and died and is now bounded by the lands of Zachariah Burnley, William Tomberlin and Alexander Marr." Another, deed from Pheby Franklin, agreed to deed 100 acres devised to her by her father to Zachariah Burnley.
Marriage Contracts and Deeds of Gift
Most States did not require the marriage license to be filed at the court house until after 1900. This is unfortunate, as so many ministers were lax in this respect anyhow. Occasionally one sees where a minister published his ceremonies, but this is rare. This means that the genealogist must dig deeper. One source is neighboring church records who maintained church rolls, viz., baptisms, marriages, deaths and other church affairs. How about the church the membership minutes? Are they duplicated on rolls on microfilm somewhere? The State Library or Archives is a good beginning because they receive donated materials. If it is not on microfilm, it may be in a folder-type collection.
Then, a visit to the site of the old homeplace is indicated to snoop around and determine who is buried in community graveyards. If some family members are buried there and the church building still stands, there is a good chance that a local person has possession of the old church records. The quest is to interview locals. Should it be found, please photocopy it and donate the work to the State Library or Archives. Also, marriages are discovered in old newspapers. This task is monumental, because marriages and deaths are published throughout the pages. Finally, Marriage Contracts are generally published in county deed books. Such documents were prepared to protect the properties and estates of the widow when she remarried. Therefore, should you discover one, continue to read the deeds for further information about her property when the second husband died. The old wills, estates, inventories, receipts, sales, etc. are also resources because husbands inherited in behalf of their wives and gave receipts and vouchers. Annual Returns must be following until the estate is closed, because these returns are pay outs of debts and inheritances. Look for unfamiliar names receiving equal or near equal amounts of the division.
Home of 8 Genealogy Websites! 700M pages of genealogy! Includes Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia!
Do the Magic Centipede
So Easy to Read/Print/Download old Virginia Wills online
Greene County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Bonds, Deeds
Greene County was established in 1838 from Orange County. The mountainous region which encompassed it became known as Stanardsville and included Piney Mountain. The county is named for American Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene.
Wills, Estates, Deeds, Bonds in Circuit Court 1842 to 1902
Images of Wills, Estates, Deeds, Bonds
1838 to 1860
1860 to 1925
Images of Wills, Estates, Deeds, Bonds in the Circuit Court 1842 to 1891
Beazley, James | Beazley, John S. | Blakely, Angus | Blakey, Virginia | Bonds | Bradford, Patrick | Carpenter, P. M. | Cox, Joab | Davis, Darby | Dulaney, John | Dulaney, William |
Finks, Oliver | Garth, Jesse | Gibson, James | Gilbert, Joseph | Jarrell, John | Lee, John C. | McMullan, James | McMullan, John |
McMullan, William | Rawls, Ann | Rumble, William | Shotwell, Jeremiah | Sims, Hiram | Smith, Gasper | Walker, James |
Walker, Josey | Walker, Joyce |