Brick walls in Southern U.S. genealogy are very common. Our genealogists can help you find your ancestors.
Obtaining and Using Records in Southern U.S. Genealogy
Southern U.S. states have a unique set of challenges. Knowing where to obtain records and having them translated when necessary is part of our expertise.
For example, each state in the South has its own culture and record sets, as well as its own unique types of disasters and record loss. Even for those records that each state has in common, the locations they are kept and the strategy to work with them usually varies from state to state and often county to county.
Virginia (including parts of West Virginia), North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland were part of the early U.S. colonies. Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, as well as states and regions that divided from them, had colonial governments from Spain, France, and Mexico, with records being kept in these countries.
Because the South mostly used wooden structures for courthouses, there have been numerous courthouse fires over the course of time that have destroyed countless documents. Several areas were also affected by record destruction during the Civil War. Additionally, with the notoriously humid climate, records may also be affected by molds and mildew.
Understanding Migration Patterns
Migration is a consistent theme in Southern U.S. genealogy. Many people moved south as it became more viable economically, and the South also propelled migration across the U.S. as people went looking for more land to keep crops and agriculture alive.
In early U.S. history there were some larger cities in the South, but most of the government was formed by county, not by city or town, and county boundaries shifted often over the course of time. Understanding migration patterns and historical context is imperative in tracing ancestors in Southern U.S. genealogy.
Overcoming Challenges in Southern U.S. Genealogy
Many southern states problems can be solved using several different approaches, sometimes involving collecting circumstantial evidence that doesn’t always appear to be relevant but when looked at as a whole it becomes helpful.
Various types of DNA research can also be used to potentially open doors to move research forward.
Often it takes more than one or two projects to make progres, and there are times the research can hit an impasse. However, with enough time and effort our genealogists have had great success in extending family lines in the South.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
Legacy Tree Genealogists has specialists who know how to find and piece together the trail of records as people migrated across the South and the U.S., and our experts know a variety of strategies for working around record loss. Many times it takes a combination of traditional research and DNA testing to solve tough southern states problems, and our experts know how to use these tools together to get the best results.
If you have ancestors who lived in the South during any part of their history, and would like help discovering your Southern U.S. genealogy, we would love to help you. Complete the form above to request a free estimate and we will contact you to discuss your research goals.