Month: April 2018

A Little More About the Superior Court of Chancery for Lynchburg, Virginia

I’m still not certain what was meant by “not of this country” in an 1830 legal notice from a Lynchburg, Virginia, newspaper. But I know more than I did and have an additional idea on the “not of this country” phrase. Knowing more about the court that heard this case is necessary to locate the […]


An 1830 Legal Notice in Lynchburg, Virginia

Legal notices that appear in newspapers can be a great genealogical source. They can make researchers aware of cases they were not aware of–particularly if the newspapers are available online and full-text searchable. While legal notices do not name everyone who is mentioned in the actual court record (only the actual parties to the suit […]

A Correspondent During the Santiago Campaign

In 1902 Philip Troutfetter was arrested in Boston, Massachusetts, after having been on the run for several years.  His travels were not over when he was arrested. He had one last trip: back to Colorado for trial.  The Denver Daily News referenced Troutfetter’s travels throughout the United States, Cuba, and Columbia. Some of his travels have […]

Playing Grammar Cop in a 1763 Will

Part of the 1763 will of Joseph Daby from Middlesex County, Massachusetts, reads “…was my Sons Viz Daniel Daby Deceased…” A superficial reading may interpret the word “Sons” to mean that Joseph had more than one son. The intent in this rendering is to indicate that Joseph is bequeathing something in his will that used […]

Offhand Comments in Tax Lists

One never knows what will be in “free text” records until one actual reads them. The county tax records for Bedford County, Pennsylvania, are written in apparent blank notebooks for the 18th and early 19th century. That might have been frustrating for the tax collector and assessor, but it’s potentially good for the genealogist using […]

Bedford County, Pennsylvania Tax Lists on FamilySearch

The Bedford County, Pennsylvania tax lists on FamilySearch are wonderfully extant. This lists includes original records that are available digitally. There are a few published books of some of these records, but those books are not available online. Assessment books, 1776-1788, 1814-1867 Author: Bedford County (Pennsylvania). Board of County Commissioners Tax and exoneration lists, 1773-1789, for […]

Dead Men Pay No Taxes

Personal and property tax records are one of those documents that usually have to be analyzed carefully to get more than the very basic information from them. Property taxes document land ownership and tax payment (usually)–they don’t guarantee residence on the property. Personal tax records usually document financial value over a given threshold and usually […]

Knowing that We Don’t Know

“You don’t know what you don’t know until you know you don’t know it.” I’ve been using tax records for Bedford County, Pennsylvania, in the 1780-1820 time frame in an attempt to sort out various members of the Chaney family. The records are wonderful, occasionally contain occupational information, and once in a blue moon include […]