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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 32
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

John M. Poythress, 2903 Glen Hill Ct., Louisville, KY 40222 writes, "James M. Poythress of Screven Co., GA immigrated to Gadsden Co., FL and patents land in 1827 in Tallahassee Land Office. His son, John Price Poythress married and produced long and traceable descendents from Gadsden Co., FL. Who were the parents of James P. Poythress of Screven County, Georgia?
If you have any information on this family, please contact Mr. Poythress.
Some of the questions that come up when genealogists gather are pretty basic. Perhaps the most common is, "We don't spell our name that way."
We've talked about this before, but we can never emphasize enough that there are three to thirty ways to spell most any surname. Phonetic spelling produces some odd variations and "anglicizing" of names made even more changes. Simply put, investigate every spelling possible.
Sometimes folks will say, "I don't have time to study and I'm not interested in history and geography. I only want to do genealogy."
Oops. Historians do not have to be genealogists, but genealogists must be historians. The good news is that most of the time you learn history without even trying...sort of by osmosis as you read and research your own family.
County histories have wonderful clues as to your family. County boundary line changes may create problems with records unless you understand when and how they changed. For example, if a county was formed in 1842, it will not have the 1840 census.
Sometimes we hear, "I only want my direct lines. I don't want to know about anybody but my own folks."
You need collateral and allied family lines to furnish the knowledge about families that your direct line ancestral research just can't provide.
What are "collateral lines?"
These are the brothers and sisters of your grandparents, great grandparents, etc. Make a family group sheet with the surname, and then add all of the brothers and sisters of that family (including your own grandparent). Keep this with your research materials and add information about the people on it as you discover bits of information about them. Do this for every one of the four grandparents and eight great-grandparents on any given line.
What are "allied families?"
Allied families are the names of families your collaterals married. Every once in awhile, you'll find a prominent person that generated many articles and maybe even a book containing family information. You can check biographical sources as well as general records for these people.
Finding information on allied and collateral lines is very similar to your direct line research, except you will cover a broader base of information.
You can look in death certificates and obituaries. You'll find brothers and sisters listed and who they married. Sometimes, these sources will give addresses (for that time period) and are wonderful clues as to where your family was then - and might be today.
Check county histories for those other places. Find out who settled the area and who started the churches. Who were the early office holders in the community? You might even find early marriage lists or the names of judges and juries of the early courts. Look for biographies. Look for estate distributors (probate packages) on the ancestor in question. At the very least, you should get a list of names of those receiving legacies.
We'll continue this just a little bit next time.
Remember, your family history is the most precious legacy you can leave to your family.
Remember, it is very likely that The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie has information about YOUR family! The Odom Library is open 8:30 til 5:30 Monday through Saturday and you are welcome to come and begin your own search for your own roots. Ann Glass, Irene Godwin and Catherine Bryant are always glad to help you begin this exciting adventure.

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