Thinking about RootsTech has got me in a genealogy mood, so I’m trying to think of “quick” things I can research and accumulate that might be helpful to me when I have a full day to research. I’ve decided to concentrate on my Smith line. (Doesn’t everyone have a Smith line?)
I have a brick wall at John M. Smith who was part of Russell County from the day it was formed. I have a cousin who hired a professional researcher to try to break the wall down and he shared the results with me, but I have to say that I don’t agree with the analysis. I took this researcher’s hypothesis – which they admitted was speculation because they could find no direct proof – and followed each family member forward in time and didn’t find anyone who could be my family. Lot’s of questions, but no lightbulb moments.
In my own research, I found a biography of a descendant of John M. who is not in my direct line. This biography did not use too many names, but it did list relationships such as “the grand-father of the subject”, etc. I made a simple tree with the information that was given and it indicated that John’s family had been some of the original settlers of the Danville area – the first part of Kentucky ever settled.
So my current plan is to follow all Smith’s in the area forward as much as I can to eliminate all lines that I can and see if I can find a potential link to my family. I’m basically talking about a 50 year time-frame. The first settlers came to Kentucky around 1775 (Kentucky became a state in 1792) and John M. is in Russell County in 1826.
So when I do have a few minutes to research, I usually surf for information about Fort Harrod – the first settlement in Kentucky. And I often find an interesting image or map or list of individuals that I need to do a better job of keeping track of. I think I’m going to use my blog for that purpose. I won’t be stressing over being analytical with the information at this point or giving thoughts on how it might fit in. I know that I just won’t ever post anything if I try to do that. And later, when I do get a full day or week-end to work on my files, I’ll know exactly where to look to find that map or article and I can begin to put things together that way.
I don’t want to put all my eggs into the “Danville Basket”, so I’m also going to try to research Wayne County history because the Smith’s area of Russell County was carved out of Wayne County in 1825 and I might find something helpful that way as well.
Kentucky researchers! If you have helpful links or information, I would LOVE to hear from you!