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Where Did My Ancestors Really Live?

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Sometimes, our ancestors moved around a lot and we need to learn things like migration routes to learn how and from where they came to their new residence. Others have ancestors that never physically moved, but the boundaries around them did. This creates confusion on where to look for the records.

Here is an example of a question I get from time to time:

My ancestor, John Doe, was born 1740 in Mecklenburg County, NC and lived in the same house his whole life.

The problem with this is Mecklenburg County did not exist in 1740. Mecklenburg County was created in 1762 from Anson County and in 1740, Anson County did not exist either. In 1750, Anson was created from Bladen County, which was created in 1734. In this scenario, if John Doe was really born and lived his whole life in the same house, he actually lived in 3 different counties starting with Bladen County, so all 3 counties need to be searched to find records on him and his family.

Knowing how counties are formed is necessary in a situation like this. You can use this web page from Genealogical Services website to help you understand county formation in North Carolina.

6 Comments

  1. Barb "Nesbitt"Miller says:

    I am clumsily trying to fill in the blanks of our family tree. The further back, the less information is found. I am stuck at this point with my ggggrandfather Thomas Neshbett b.1792- d.1863). He was Married to Rachel Meeker( b.1795-d 1857). I would greatly appreciate any help in finding his parents etc. My family says they remember it beong said that we(Nesbitts) came into the US early to mid 1700s. I would love to trace back even further. The further back the better.
    Thank you in advance,
    Barb

    1. Genealogical Services says:

      Hi Barb,

      If you want assistance from Genealogical Services, please fill out this form and submit it. We can only do look ups for 1 person in a specific county during a specific time frame. We can’t search for parents of an ancestor, but often while doing a lookup of an ancestor we will run across possibilities of other family members.

      Good luck!

  2. Barb "Nesbitt"Miller says:

    I truly hope that you can help me get past the roadblock i have run into. Also are there other helpful sites.

    1. Genealogical Services says:

      Feel free to send us a lookup request at

      1. Barb "Nesbitt"Miller says:

        how do i ” send a lookup request” ? in the above reply from you it asks to send this request at…but doesn’t finish…to where

        1. Genealogical Services says:

          Hi Barb, there is a link, but here is the URL to copy and paste into the browser since the link is not showing: http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ghl/resources/genealogy-contact.html

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