Saturday, November 30, 2019

Browsing FamilySearch records that aren't indexed

I'm blogging about this because I've had people ask me how to find county records available online specifically those that aren't indexed and won't appear in a search. 

  • Visit FamilySearch
  • Log onto your free account(create one if you don't already have one)
  • Select Search
  • Select Catalog from the Search Menu
  • In the Place input box enter a location of interest(see below)
  • Select Online from Availability Section in Left menu
  • Click on Search Button

Search results for your location of choice should look similar to the ones below. Click on the + sign to the left of the Record Types to expand and show contents.  The number in parenthesis and to the right of the Record Type is how many different sets are available under that specific type.

Click on the name of one of the records sets to see any of the film listings that have been digitized.
I'm going to select the Deed books 1814-1896.

When I select the  Deed books 1814-1896. it expands to show me the listing of filmed records available from that category  If there is a camera under the Format column you will be able to view it online from any place you like.  Some digitized records can only be viewed from a Family History Center or have other limits on viewer access.  If there is limited viewer access there will be a key logo directly over the camera.  

I chose the first film on the list and it is shown in the screenshot below in grid layout.  I use the grid layout to help when trying to find an index on the digitized images. This reminds me of when I first started researching in 1990.  I would browse rolls of microfilm.  Technology has really made some advances.  This is a lot easier than that.  No need to rewind the roll of microfilm.  😁  

This film appears to have an index at the first part of the filmed book.  

I browsed to the "R" section of the index and found several Riddles mentioned there.  See highlighted sections in the image below.

I note the page number of each of the entries and "flip thru the book" image by image until I find the pages that were listed in the index.  This can be tricky sometimes but the more you do it the more you will get used to it.  After awhile it almost becomes second nature.  I hope you find this helpful.   FamilySearch is adding records pretty much on a weekly basis so you will want to check back often.  Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Qualified Electors of Madison Co AL 1930-- Acuffs & Lunas in Dallas 20-1 Dist

The April 15th 1930 edition of The Huntsville Times(Huntsville, AL) is included in the Website database and has a listing of qualified electors of Madison Co Alabama.
My Acuffs and Lunas are listed in the Dallas 20-1 District on page 13 in columns 3 & 4. 

Acuff, A.J.
Acuff, J.P.
Acuff, Ernest
Acuff, Albert
Acuff, W.E.

Luna, W.R.
Luna, Lee
Luna, D. E.

There are likely many folks from the counties of Dekalb, Van Buren, Warren & White Counties who came to work in the Cotton Mill in Huntsville during this time period.  I remember from having read the 1930 census for the Dallas Community of Madison Co. Alabama that there were many of the family names that I recognized from having researched in those areas

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Letter from Fruit Valley, TN on Ebay

While searching Ebay for items of interest, I found a listing for a letter sent from Fruit Valley, Tennessee.  The Fruit Valley Post Office existed from June 1877 to August 1905.  Fruit Valley is of particular interest to me because it is the place of birth of my paternal grandfather, Thomas DeWitt Cooke(1888-1971).  The sender, P.G. Lamb,  likely knew my Grandfather and my Great Grandparents(William Green Cook & Jane Bell King Cook).

The letter was addressed to Globe Printing Company in St. Louis Missouri.  A keyword search at found that the company had many ads in papers all over the United States.  Some ads were seeking agents to sell publications while others were advertising subscriptions to the Globe Democrat.  The seller didn't mention the contents other than to imply that it was from 1895 so I'm not really sure what the letter contained.  They did mention that the letter was opened.

With community names like Haunt Hollow, Lamb Bottoms and Fruit Valley, what's not to love. I've visited there several times and hope to again.  It really is beautiful country.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Middle TN Land Grant No 3793--Land Sold

Land Grant of a William C Cook in Bedford County Tennessee. My 2nd Great Grandfather W C Cook would have only been about 16 yrs old at the time of the sale so I do not believe it is him however it may be a relative.

North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931 (Ancestry)
Browse to Middle TN Land Grants:  Roll 100 Book 5  Image 126 of 474
(Original Grant to William C Cook)

Sale of that land to Samuel J Noblin in May 1827 by William C Cook
Deeds v. X-Y Apr 1827-Aug 1828  pg 144 of book (FamilySearch)
Image 90 of 477 (Sale recorded in Bedford Co Books)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

David Cook deed to Gabriel Blackwell--Bedford Co TN 1824

It was interesting to find an entry in the Bedford Co TN deed books between a Cook and a Blackwell given that the Granville Co NC Blackwells and Cooks intermarried.  Not sure of the connection to those if any but have made an attempt at a transcription below.

Bedford County, Tennessee deed books and index, 1808-1966 (Film 008150801)
Image 47 of 477
Deeds v. X-Y Apr 1827-Aug 1828  pg 58 and 59

Heading:  David Cook Deed to Gabriel Blackwell for 166 Acres
This Indenture made this twenty fourth December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four between David Cook of the state of Tennessee and County of Bedford of one part and Gabriel Blackwell of the county and state aforesaid of the other part witnessith that the land David Cook for and in the consideration of the sum of eleven hundred and thirty seven dollars to me in hand paid by the aforementioned Gabriel Blackwell the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged hath bargained sold and conveyed to the said Gabriel Blackwell a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the county of Bedford and the state aforesaid on the waters of the East Fork of Rock Creek beginning at a Hickory on the West bank of Rock Creek running Forty Five Degrees West of North Eleven poles to a (Stake---marked thru) Black oak thence North twenty one poles to a stake thence west one hundred and thirty three poles to an Elm thence South one hundred and seventy pole to a Black Oak in Thomas Davidson's North boundary line thence East with said Davidson's and Coffey's line one hundred and forty two poles to a White Oak Hickory and Hornbeam thence north Ninety one poles to a stake there East with Dawdy's line forty nine poles to an Ironwood thence North with said Dawdy line forty nine pole to a stake thence west forty nine poles to the Beginning Containing one hundred and sixty six Acres be the same more or less to have and to hold the said land and premises to said Gabriel Blackwell his heirs and assigns for ever with all the hereditaments and appurtenance thereunto belongs and the said David Cook doth agree and to and with the said Blackwell that the above recited land once bargained premises will warrant and forever defend against all persons whatsoever lawfully claiming the Same? by Law or otherwise as witness my hand and seal the day and year above written signed sealed and delivered
In presence of us  ------------------------------------------------------------David Cook (Seal)
Test--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Acknowledged
Nathan Blackwell
A.H. Collens

Note:  There is a Nathan Blackwell listed on 1812 Tax List of Bedford Co TN and also in the 1820 Census of Bedford Co TN.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

John Lambert & Jemima Jackson--Order Books of Mecklenburg Co. VA

Records in the Order books of Mecklenburg Co. Virginia concerning my 5th Great Grandparents.  Not a huge revelation as this information had been passed down to those researching over the years.  I'm sure there are more records to be found but these were just the two that I found while researching another line there. They did eventually marry.  I descend thru their son, Mark Lambert Jackson(1765-1825).

Mecklenburg Co. VA Order books, v. 4-5, 1773-1784 Film # 008190598;  Img 161 of 563.
This is from the digital image of Mecklenburg Co Virginia Order Book 4, pg 274.
Available at

Mecklenburg Co. VA Order books, v. 4-5, 1773-1784 Film # 008190598; Img 285 of 563.
This is from the digital image of Mecklenburg Co Virginia Order Book 4 pg 522.