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I was just going to send this to Rosanne MILLER of Cleveland but thought it
might be of interest to some others on this list. I found this list this
past spring and was very
impressed with it and the info the lady has to give. She does not post a lot
but what she does post online is very infomitive.
Rosanne you mentioned Pennington as a surname you are researching. The lady
that has started this site is also researching them as a main name. I
thought I would send one of her notices and maybe you might find something
Her URL is at the bottom of the post.
Beej -- Fireflower
Billie Jean (Ballenger/Burton) Reese
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Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 10:00:03 -0600
Subject: AMXROADS-D Digest V01 #57
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AMXROADS-D Digest Volume 01 : Issue 57
#1 [AMXROADS] Census transcriptions ["Carolyn McDaniel"
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Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 17:06:34 -0700
From: "Carolyn McDaniel" <cmacdee(a)teleport.com>
Subject: [AMXROADS] Census transcriptions
In addition to many others, the USGENWEB has transcribed the
ASHE county, NC census from 1800 to 1850. One of the notes to these
census transcriptions mentions the difficulty the transcriber had in
determining correct names. Please remember, a transcription or an
index is just one more person's opinion of a letter or a name, and in
turn, also is trying to identity the census taker's opinion! This
makes it most difficult. I believe that a John Ferinton I saw is
actually a Pennington. This is what frustrates us so when we find a
person on one census year and can't find him in the next cycle, then
there he is in the following decade!
The transcriber also mentioned that determining a Jos. from a
Jas. is almost impossible. Keep this in mind, and read the full
census text to decide for sure. Of course, when the censustaker only
used initials this magnifies the problem. J's and I's and T's become
indistinguishable. Benningtons crop up where Penningtons used to
Remember too, it doesn't do a great deal of good to examine
lists for a single surname. The Kith and Kin are enormously helpful
in determining identity. Another good identity clue to remember is
that in the colonial era and well into the 19th century, families
determinedly held onto family names. As families migrated onward, and
some remained behind, it was very often one of the few remnants they
had to tie them to maternal families or others who held great meaning
for them, but were physically far away. Almost all the Backcountry
families practiced this, and often forenames were given to children to
indicate connection to another family's surname. We find this again
and again in these families. Even with names that we might now
consider forenames, such as Douglas and Gordon and Allen, stop and
take a look at other families in the proximity of yours. You may well
find Douglas and Gorden and Allen (or similar ones) families who are
not just Kith, but Kin as well.
Our cousin Jim is burrowing around in this NC area, and we are
depending on him to straighten things out! Ashe was formed 1799, just
before the 1800 census. Ancestry has the 1800 and 1810 images, so
it is possible to check out the actual census online.
Love, Your Cousin, Carolyn
Carolyn McDaniel cmacdee(a)teleport.com
-- Visit American Crossroads ---