Beginning March 2nd, 2020 the Mailing Lists functionality on RootsWeb will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to send outgoing emails or accept incoming emails. Additionally, administration tools will no longer be available to list administrators and mailing lists will be put into an archival state.
Administrators may save the emails in their list prior to March 2nd. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb
While totally baffled by the seemingly simple technology, I have long
been a preacher on the subject of never mentioning a place in a
genealogical reference without giving its coordinates. With the
technology available, we should not leave to succeeding generations the
often impossible task of finding long gone sites. However, absent
actually owning a GPS machine and/or having a website to zero in on
these locations, the matter (for me at any rate) has not been as easy as
it sounds. Looking to the future, we should probably figure that GPS
will likely be standard on wrist watches at some point in the future.
When one looks at Als magic in keying off of a single Virginia
topographic feature (Bayleys Creek) and super-imposing early Poythress
land grants on top of a highway map ..just think what future
genealogists will be able to do if provided with coordinates.
Proceeding on the assumption that hardly anyone would disagree with the
above premise, I first used TerraServer. Since I was revising the
inventory of McBride Methodist Church in Screven County, GA anyway, this
was the first site to baffle me. I was able to work my way to an aerial
784810142&w=1&ref=A%7cRifle+Rd%2c+Sylvania%2c+GA+30467 ..note here
that one can toggle back and forth between an aerial photo and a
topographical 7.5 minute Topo map from the U S Geological Services.
My problem here was that I was not able to compute a precise set of
coordinates even though Im looking right at the church and its
cemetery. The road in front of the church is GA 24, or Newington
Highway. The starting point for getting here had been to locate the
intersection of US 301 and GA 24 (just N of Sylvania) on the site and
then select via arrow my way west to the church which is only a matter
of a couple of miles. The topo for this piece of ground is known as
the Jacksonboro Bridge quadrangle ..each topo has a name like that.
While no doubt each of you will have your own genealogy sites to
reference I figured this one would be fine for the drill since I was
interested in two of its locations anyway and one of our techies
(listening Lyn? Michael?) could zero me in on the dead certain
coordinates with a few helpful words of additional instruction .perhaps
for others on the wire also, a mini tutorial as it were. Thus,
simultaneously, those of us who havent fooled with coordinates before
could get an introduction to the procedure and two helpful websites for
On this same site (and figuring the topo was the best view for this
purpose) I tried to arrow my way to the cemetery Bud and I uncovered
back in aught-8 or whenever it was. One goes back east .8 mile on GA 24
until Rifle Road dead ends into GA 24 from the south. Turn left (south)
on Rifle Road for another .8 miles and turn right (west) on a road that
appears to not even be there but goes .3 miles and dead ends into the
cemetery. I chose the topo view because the topo itself is marked with
the symbol of a little cross on top of a little drawn house and of
course nothing shows on the aerial photo view. Since this site is not
now (nor presumably ever was) a church location and further it is where
the cemetery measures via odometer to be, then thats the site. This
seems to be further supported by an older topo which I have in hard copy
on which the identical spot is marked with an x and the word
cemetery written beside it. I figured all that evidence pretty much
made it a certainty. However, likewise I was unable to zero in on its
exact coordinates .it seems the picture (aerial) and the topo (a
drawn map) wont mesh with the view on the monitor to let one figure out
the exact coordinates (or at least it fooled me which is no great
Stewing over this frustration a week or so, I have now landed on the
USGSs site which is a mile long list of actual places (churches,
rivers, courthouses, etc.) in the US and the exact coordinates are
furnished for each ..although not to my mind with clarity. The site is:
http://geonames.usgs.gov/index.html one clicks on the gazetteer
button for GA (in this instance). Up comes (VERY slowly) what is
seemingly a list of every pigpen in the state). I put McBride Church
into the search page window ..lo and behold, up it pops. In fact, two
of them popped up but only one in Screven County. The listing for this
church and its adjoining cemetery was (and this is a paste so its
Well, I can figure out (I think) that its lon. 32º 4705N x lat. 81º
3356W but that doesnt agree with the coordinates
in the first site. No wonder I flunked map reading in ROTC.
Step up please, one of you technologically inclined guys or gals.
From this week's issue of Ancestry.com's newsletter:
"INTERPRETING TICK MARKS ON THE FEDERAL CENSUSES"
by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG(c)
Tick marks are a too-common cause of errors in the interpretation of
census data. From 1850 forward, unexplained markings are rampant on
the microfilmed and digitized pages that we regularly consult. Worse,
the fact that we are using filmed images or digitized images made
from the film, rather than the original manuscripts, makes it harder
to discern exactly what was written by the enumerator and what
markings might have been added later by some other party.
The problem is not so hard to counter, if we understand two things:
why the tick marks exist and what instructions were given to each
year's census taker.
WHY TICK MARKS?
From 1850 to 1880, the census marshals were required to make three
copies. One copy was to be deposited locally as a public record, one
was filed at the state level, and one was sent to the federal
government's Census Bureau. The federal copy, with few exceptions,
is the one that was filmed and distributed by the National Archives.
Thus, as a rule, it is the one we consult at research libraries and
the one that Ancestry.com and others have used for digitization.
Unfortunately, the federal copy, from a researcher's standpoint, has
been adulterated. Beginning in 1850, the purpose of the population
schedule was greatly expanded. Rather than being just a document that
counted heads for the apportionment of congressional seats, it was
designed to collect statistics by which America could define the
social and economic characteristics of its population. That change
gave birth to the tick marks.
Using the federal copies, Bureau statisticians tallied every type of
data. These analyses were then published by Congress, for each census
year, in statistical compendiums that examine age patterns,
migration, occupations, marriage trends, crop production, etc. In
the process of making these analyses, the statisticians added many
marks to the original pages to prevent tallying errors. In most
cases, they made their marks in places and ways that are clearly
extraneous. In other cases, however, they added their marks in
columns also used by the enumerators.
The Marshall County, Mississippi, return for 1860 illustrates the
kind of mischief those tick marks cause. (Readers may wish to call up
this census at Ancestry.com or another website to follow the case
described here.) Until recently, one Internet site, which the creator
commendably removed when he became aware of his misinterpretation,
carried a paper entitled "The Marshall Mulattoes: An Index to Free
Individuals with Non-Standard Racial Designations on the Federal
Census for Marshall County, Mississippi, 1860." This paper presented
roughly one thousand individuals who were, supposedly, "listed as
'free white mulattoes'--a non-standard racial designation." To
support that conclusion, the author commendably described his
analysis of the census data. Below is a summary of that analysis and
1. The three racial options from which enumerators could choose in
1860 were white, mulatto, and black.
2. No free blacks lived in that enumeration district.
3. The enumerator made no marks in the racial column if an individual
4. For "free white mulattoes," he made tick marks in the racial
5. Some of these "free white mulattoes," surprisingly, had
6. In tallying racial classes at the bottom of the page, the
enumerator occasionally crossed out figures for whites and moved
those individuals into the totals column for "colored males" and
He also listed the following conclusion:
"In listing these one thousand or so individuals as "free white
mulattoes," the enumerator "was attempting to account for people of
mixed red and white ancestry on a form that presumed everyone was
black or white."
Points 1, 2, and 3 are correct. All other points err--including the
crucial conclusion that one thousand or so specific individuals had
READ MORE: You can read how this confusion was sorted out and how to
avoid the potential pitfalls in interpreting tick marks in the free
Ancestry.com Library at:
My friend Vivian was searching for her ancestors in washington state. Unsuccessfully for years..in an old postcard photo was a note mentioning in which neighbor's garden a photo of her grandmother was made. She was able to find the unusual name of the neighbor in the 1930 census and it led her right to the grandmother! Another fact she knew from a letter that this neighbor had so many children. That number made it very easy to pinpoint the street they lived on. Patti
Great find, BPW, that these items are at Chapel Hill. Hope someone can
check them out soon.
Re one of the manuscript holdings you listed:
The "William Bonnell Hall" is better known to us as "William B. Hall"
who wrote those articles in the 1930s, which I believe were titled
- "Study of Francis Poythress 1, Francis Poythress 2, Francis
Poythress3, and Francis Poythress 4"
- "A Study of the John Poythresses"
- "A Study of Thomas Poythress"
Some years ago, we on this List had tried to find out where Hall's
papers ended up, figuring he might have had further Poythress info that
he had not published. Glad to know that UNC Chapel Hill is the place.
3/5/2004 Beetle72(a)aol.com wrote:
> Does anyone have access to research at the library of the University
of NC at
> Chapel Hill?
> In the Manuscripts Dept. at the library there is an index in the
> History Collection to the papers of Edmonia Cabell Wilkins #2364,
> with a reference to the families of Wilkins, Douglas, Jone, Flood,
> And also a reference to Poythress in the papers of William Bonnell Hall.
> This index can be found at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/index.html
> Thank you,
> Barbara (BPW)
Does anyone have access to research at the library of the University of NC at
In the Manuscripts Dept. at the library there is an index in the Southern
History Collection to the papers of Edmonia Cabell Wilkins #2364, folder #61,
with a reference to the families of Wilkins, Douglas, Jone, Flood, Wyche and
And also a reference to Poythress in the papers of William Bonnell Hall.
This index can be found at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/index.html
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2004 9:08 PM
Subject: Lyn Poythress Baird
Hi - I am trying to find Lynn Poythress Baird - we are both descendents of Jesse Morris Sr & his wife Jane via their son, Henry Morris & wife Lucy Drumright from Mecklenburg Co, VA.
My husband & I have traveled to Mecklenburg Co, Brunswick Co, Lunenburg, Sussex, Surry, et cetera, tracing our family - and we have collected much on the descendents. I believe Lyn may be descended from Henry & Lucy's son, Thomas Morris & I am descended from their son Harrison Ruffin Morris. I would love to exchange information.
I look forward to chatting with her - Thanks so much - Ginie Morris
Due to Rootsweb's decision to close all mailing lists the Poythress group has moved to Groups.io/g/Poythress for continuation of the discussion list. The message archive (1997 - March, 2020) will remain accessible via Rootsweb.