Genealogy is a popular pastime for many. There are several programs on TV like Who do you think you are?on the TLC cable channel that are fun to watch. We are traveling down the eastern states on our way to Florida and Jeff has ancestors that emigrated to the US in the early 1700’s. Here’s how we did our genealogy on the road.
Map showing westward migration of the early Engles 1740-1861
Preparing for a Family History Road Trip
Jeff has worked on our family history since the mid 1990’s. Fortunately an uncle on his dad’s side had done some genealogy research and we already had a book on his mom’s side to get us started. We purchased other family history books, published our research on Rootsweb.com and used Family Tree Maker software and Ancestry.com to share and exchange genealogy research information. By 1999 we had several roots of our tree going back 7 generations.
Since then we have filled in lots of blanks – researching other family lines and more importantly learning what professions they had, where they lived and anything else we could find to learn who they were. The most interesting facts were found by looking at:
We are focusing on the east coast. After landing in Philadelphia in 1740, Jeff’s 5th great-grandfather Melchor Engle and his mother traveled to Lancaster Pennsylvania. After marrying Mary Magdalena Beyerle and having 6 sons in Lancaster they moved to Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia. His son George (Jeff’s 4th Great Grandfather) married in Shenandoah Junction, then moved to eastern Tennessee where Jacob (Jeff’s 3rd Great Grandfather) was born. They moved to eastern Kentucky where Jacob farmed and lived his days. Jacob’s son Levi was born in Kentucky and moved to Missouri which takes us beyond our trip to Florida. This gives us the path for our trip. In addition we mapped out other ancestors that lived in the colonies & states between 1730 and 1850 along the route.
Genealogy On The Road
On the road, we reviewed existing documentation and used the internet to get more specific locations for the farms and cemeteries to visit. One of the gems we used were documents for districts, homes and buildings in the national historic registry. These documents contain a lot of information on the chain of purchases, use of the land/buildings and historical context. We found some of these documents at county history websites, others at the national registry database.
The most time-consuming task is to match the land record information with maps. A typical description includes waterways for boundaries. That is where we started in Google Maps. Of course you can not search by the names of rivers, brooks, branches and especially locations such as: ‘beginning at a beech tree by Conestoga creek’ etc. See the example below that shows the challenge of interpreting old land purchase records where Melchor purchased land from his father-in-low.
Example Deed from 1746
FOLLOWING IS THE FIRST DEED OF LAND GRANTED
Michael Beyerle to Melchor Engle
This indenture made the 10th day of April in the year of our Lord 1746 between Michael Beyerle of the Borough of Lancaster in the Province of Pennsylvania, Yeoman, and Catherine his wife of the one part and Melchor Engle of the County of Lancaster and Province aforesaid, Saddler, son of the said Catherine by a former husband, of the other part, witnesseth that the said Michael Beyerle and Catherine his wife for and in consideration of the natural love and affection they bear unto the said Melchor Engle and for his advancement in the world, as of the sum of 100 pounds lawful money of the said Province to them in hand paid by the said Melchor Engle the receipt thereof they do hereby acknowledge have given granted and aliened enfeoffed and confirmed and by these presents to give grant, and aliened, enfeoffed, and confirmed unto the said Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns all of that certain tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being on the east side of Conestoga creek in Larnpeter Twp. in the county of Lancaster afores, beginning at a beech tree by Conestoga creek at a corner of land formerly of Edmund Carthedge and extending thence by the same south, south east 264 perches to a black oak, thence by lands late of Jacob Harress and Christian Jonce, west by south 155 perches to a post, thence by vacant land west by north 400 perches to a Hickory tree by the aforesaid creek, thence down the same by the several courses thereof, 220 perches to the place of beginning, containing 225 and an allowance of six acres on a hundred for roads and highways, which said tract or parcel of land was granted to the said Michael Beyerle, his heirs and assigns by patent from the Hon. John Penn, Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn, Esquires, true and absolute proprietors and Governors in chief of the said Province, under the land of the said Thomas Penn and the great seal of the said Province bearing date of the 2nd day of May in the year of our Lord’ 1740, as by the said patent recorded in the office for recording of deeds for the city and county of Philadelphia in Patent book A. Vol. 10 page 229 the 10th day of March in the year of our Lord 1740, (relation being there unto had may more fully and at large appear) together with all and singular the improvements, rights, and members and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the reversions and remainders, rents, issues & profits thereof and all the estate, right title, interest, property claim and demand of them the said Michael Beyerle and Catherine his wife, of in and to the premises hereby granted and true copies of all deeds, evidences & witnesses concerning the same to be had and made at the proper costs and charges of the said Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns, to have and to hold the said tract of 225 acres of land hereditiments and promises hereby granted with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said Melchor Engle and his heirs, to the only proper use in behoof of the said Melchor Engle his heirs and assigns forever, under the yearly quit rent henceforth accruing and growing due and payable to the chief lord or lords of the fee thereof, and the said Michael Beyerle and his heirs, the said tract of land hereditaments and promises hereby granted with the appurtenances unto the said Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns, against them the said Michael Beyerle and Catherine his wife, and their heirs and against all persons claiming or to claim by, from, or under them, shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents, and the said Michael Beyerle, for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators and for the said Catherine his wife, doth covenant, promise and grant to and with the said Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns by these presents, that he, the said Michael Beyerle and Catherine his wife, and their heirs and all and every other person and persons, whatsoever having or lawfully claiming or to claim any estate right title or interest of, in or the said premises r any part thereof, by, from or any of them, shall or will at any time or times hereafter at the reasonable request cost and charges in the law of the said Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns, make, execute and acknowledge or cause so to be all and every such further and other lawfull and reasonable act and acts, deed and deeds, devices and devices in the law, whatsoever for the further and better assurance and confirmation of the said tract of 225 acres of land, hereditaments and promises hereby granted or mentioned so to be with the appurtances under the same Melchor Engle, his heirs and assigns, as by him the said Melchor Engle or by his or their council learned in the law shall be reasonably devised, advised and required, in witness whereof the said parties to these presents their hands and seals interchangeably have set here unto.
Dated the year and day first above written, sealed and delivered in the presents of us.
German name (in script) Michael Beyerle (in German) German name (in script) her
Tho. Cookson Catherine X Beyerle
Received of the above named Melchor Engle on the day of the date of these presents the full sum of 100 pounds lawful money of Penn., being the consideration money above mentioned.
100 0 0 Lb Sh P Test. Tho. Cookson,
By me Michael Beyerle, (written in German)
Hope you enjoyed our hints about doing Genealogy On The Road!