Finding Southern Ancestors

Rachal Mills Lennon, M.A., CG

Certified Genealogist

Finding Southern Ancestors: A Blog


February 21, 2012

Nancy (Justice) Wade: Identifying Husbands with a Pension Application—But Not the Way You Think!

Nancy Wade lived all her known adult life in the Pumpkin Town area of upper northwestern South Carolina. She has confounded her descendants for decades. but the difficulty her researchers faced in identifying her husband was not a paucity of records. The real problems were...



January 22, 2012

Nancy (Justice) Wade: Documenting a Marriage with a Pension Application—But Not the Way You Think!

Revolutionary War pension applications are a rich mine for hidden gems.

We use pension files for many reasons—especially to identify wives and document marriages. They are critical sources for research in the South, where vital records were rarely kept before the twentieth century. They are critical for states where so many courthouse records have been destroyed. They are especially critical for South Carolina, where recorded marriages were not required before the twentieth century.



January 9, 2012

Research Roadblocks Make Us Better Researchers

Learning never stops.

The most important lesson I’ve learned, in nearly three decades as a working genealogist and historian, is this: Successful research isn’t just a matter of finding records. It depends just as much on our research methodology and on our analysis and interpretation of what we find.