frustrated with genealogy search can you help?

I'm really frustrated at a dead end I am finding. I know from records and census info that Mary Wood was born around 1750 in either Maryland or Virginia. Info on her first husband is sketchy but she moved back to Virginia with her second husband who was born in Maryland. Her father is Henry Wood Jr (1717-1812) but her mother is listed as Sarah Wood, Mrs Wood and even Margaret Mary Wood born around 1722. Dates and children are listed the same for all, Furthermore, it lists both Mrs Wood and Henry as being born in ORANGE COUNTY Virginia. Orange County was indian territory and wasn't even considered a county til 1734. My greatest wish is to Identify Mary's mother with maiden name but I am starting to think this is a dream that will never come true. I've checked ancestry (even got 1 month membership ), rootsweb, genealogy, and family search. I know the details about Mary are true. She lived at one time with her daughter and granddaughter and the granddaughter is a very famous person in our family and has been talked about since my great grandma's day but there is this dead end. All I want to do is trace the matriarch out of the US. I imagine Mary's grandmother would complete that goal, it is just so frustrating. See, I read a book series years ago about a family that kept journals and the mother's passed them on to their oldest daughter and from king henry the 8th to ww I they could trace the matriarch by these Journals and I was so captivated by this that I started doing my research and I admit I am very fortunate to have gotten this far, I just thought in the absence of being able to continue further I could at least find a true record of where Henry and his wife were born lived and died. I know where Mary and Asa are burried but they migrated to North Carolina and there is no evidence of Henry or his wife accompanying them, all sites say they died in Virginia.


also mary's second husband whom we descend from is asa hyatt, son of meshach hyatt

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some brief comments..

    Colonial VA research is a challenge (nightmare) into itself. For starting.. Orange co was created FROM SPOTSYLVANIA. Not indian territory (although they lived there).

    Spotsylvania County was established in 1721 from Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. The county was named in Latin for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood.

    Between VA settlement to the Revolution, you will have many, many counties involved from your original counties. It will not always mean that they moved. But your comment is inaccurate.

    Your major source for VA in that time are your land grants and/or wills. All of those will normally involve the men.. unless her father specified her in a will (OR HER HUSBAND..who legally owned anything on her behalf). Prior to census includes any place of birth, so I am not clear how any census is applicable to Henry's wife.

    Many early VA records have been transcribed, so it isn't impossible to find some online, or leads. Others are not. The only "true" record for either Henry and/or his wife, would be to link either to a parent, then prove the parent was in VA at that time. Certain VA counties are "burnt" counties, which is not to say all records are gone..some are based in alternate places ie land grants.

    Your regular online sites ie familysearch or ancestry are good.. but they are NOT LIKELY to have valid original sources for this time frame. Many early VA families have been worked..but are disputed. A posted family tree may have clues, if it includes LEGITIMATE ORIGINAL SOURCES.

    In short... it isn't impossible, but takes real in depth work, sometimes years of it. And some VA lines are dead ends. The material is long gone, if it ever existed to start with.

    I am short on time.. but I simply wanted to give you a heads up on the county name issue while I could. You are welcome to email me, and I may be of help in the next few days when I can set aside a bit of time.

  • 7 years ago

    I was able to locate records once I learned that Virginia was a very large territory and that the counties changed a lot over the years. It might help to know what the original county was because IF there are birth records about this lady they would be in the county of her birth not in the counties that were created out of the same area after her birth. I would make the request to the original county as if actual documents exist they would be maintained in that county. The State indicates that they do not have records before 1853. The other thing you might try is parish records. Many of them have survived where civil records were destroyed during wars. You also might try the state archives.

    I have found that knowing local history as well as history of the state being researched has been very helpful and eliminated a lot of wasted research - looking for records that are not there.

    Source(s): Genealogical researcher 40+ years, anthropologist & retired Instructor
  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    What official records have you looked at..... official primary records, those written at the time or close to the time of the event............

    You will find you hit a brick wall when you have made a mistake or taken information from secondary information or hearsay...or I have to say from published/un-published 'books'......... they are lovely to have BUT just like family bibles people write what they think, what fits/suits and family stories are lovely ( well I love them) BUT you can't rust any information at all.

    Having read my family great grandfather married once and that is what I 'knew' and trusted, it was all written down, even his eldest daughters birth date was written in, but something just didn't seem right to me, I had the privilege to know her along with all of my great aunts and great uncles except one........ it was years later when I had written up the 'tree' it bugged me that the only information about her I had was from that bible and stories, but even stories she told me didn't fit ( in my head) when I researched correctly I found she was born 10 years earlier than the bible said.... and it was to her fathers first marriage who's wife had died giving birth to her and with 5 siblings before her all who died within 2 weeks of birth, two of then within an hour of their birth..... no one ever mentioned those or her or her mother only real records prove them.... it all made so much sense then...and the bible is wrong written to cover the truth for whatever reason

    On my other side I hit a brickwall and spent years searching for a maternal surname and couldn't get any further, someone born around 1770, was in the census, said born in county so I searched ever county PR for a baptism but found nothing, it was only when I was looking at another county for someone different that I came across a baptism which for some reason stood out to me, the same first name ( wrong surname) but it remained with me and I needed to research it, only finding it was her, I later found their marriage, the 'family' said it was wrong but records prove otherwise and I have found additional record proof since then and got back another 4 generations.......... so it pays to view real records, cross reference..........

    You need to get off line and stop believing 'what sites say' and into records offices and see real records, online has not got what you need to prove ancestry and that is the ONLY thing that is important you prove YOUR ancestors and also accept that there does come a time for a natural end and reality is you have possibly hit that natural end, as even with countries that have good quality records back to say 1538... reality is those records are not suitable as they do not connect parents/children so it becomes name hunting and maybe ancestors........... the only exception is the land holders and they are normally males, passing land from father to eldest son or sons, it then depends on if you are a descendant of the eldest son of the eldest son of the eldest so etc etc .... which generally is not so...............

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    HI, please sit back and relax. You are lucky to get back as far as you dd. If you have any other research to do, do it. When you go back to your brick wall, re-read from yourself back to brick wall

    carefully. You might see something you missed.

    Also check the date of creation of a county, along with the names of counties it was created from. This way you may find out they were living in the part of the county taken for new county.

    Example: Smith County was created in 1740 from part of Orange County, Porter County and Greene County. You should check the records of each former county. You could learn more than you wanted.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): 34 years in Genealogy Research and 35 years in title insurance research.
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