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If you have a genealogical or historical interest in the Indian tribes indigenous to Alabama -- Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Nations, visit the Ethnic Groups - Native American page of ALGenWeb, part of the USGenWeb Project. Webmaster David W. Morgan has done an excellent job of compiling links to information about these tribes as well as to some general resources for Native American research:

Have you located ancestors living in the state of Franklin in the 1784-1788 time period? This territory, belonging to North Carolina, was known as the State of Franklin for four years. Approval for statehood was denied by Congress in 1788, and in 1789, the colony ceded the territory to USA. From these lands the state of Tennessee was formed.

The Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL 62756 will respond to requests for genealogy help. Write to them for their brochure on details. They do not require a SASE and charge only $1.00 per record if they find your record. Two requests will be researched at a time in a specific record, i.e. census, military records, etc.

Request their brochure on Illinois Regional Archives Repository System (IRAD). Many Illinois records have been deposited in 6 IRAD depositories throughout Illinois and they accept requests for help by mail. Holdings vary from depository to depository but you may find Assessor's Books, Circuit Court Records, Collector's Books, Deed Records, Election Records, Land Sale Records, Occupational Registers, Probate Records, School Records, Occupational Registers, Probate Records, School Records and Wills. You may request from the Illinois State Archives a list of the holdings of five counties at a time.

The Illinois State Archives has acquired 102 rolls of film index to War of 1812 pension application files found in the National Archives. Each frame of the film shows the face of an envelope which gives the name of the veteran, name of his widow if any, service data, pension application and certificate numbers and/or a bounty land warrant application number if any. Copies of the relevant documents in the envelope may be obtained by writing to the National Archives. The Illinois State Archives will search the index and send a photocopy of the envelope if found. Send requests to Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL 62756.

Illinois State Archives has indexed names of men who served in the Illinois units during Indian Wars, Civil War and Spanish American War.

During and after the Revolution thousands of settlers poured over the Appalachians filling the region which was to become Tennessee and Kentucky, the firs states to be added to the original thirteen. Kentucky, created in 1792, was taken from land claimed by Virginia and is therefore a state-land state. East of the Tennessee River land was surveyed using the metes and bounds system. Entry into Blue Grass Kentucky was via the Ohio River on the north and by Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road from the Cumberland Gap on the east. Following the 1774 defeat of the Shawnees in Lord Dunsmore’s War only the Cherokees presented an obstacle. Many early settlers were revolutionary veterans following the enticements of land speculators such as Richard Henderson and his Transylvania Company. Many Kentuckians were veterans of the War of 1812. Kentucky grants are normally categorized as: Virginia Grants (1782-1892 which include some for French and Indian War service; Old Kentucky Grants (1793-1856); Governor’s Grants (1816-1873) for land east of the Tennessee River; Grants south of the Green River (1797-1866 for Virginia Revolutionary veterans and squatters; Grants West of the Tennessee River (1822-1858) which were given after Indian cessions; Tellico Grants (1805-1853) of Cherokee land in the eastern regions; Grants South of Walker’s Line (1825-1923) which were located in Tennessee, and; County Court orders (1836-1948) which sold unowned land within county boundaries. Original records are in the Kentucky Land Office and the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. The standard reference is Willard R. Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants, two volumes, which contain abstracts of over 150,000 grants. Land records should be used in conjunction with the Kentucky Tax Rolls created at county-level between 1780-1870. They have surprisingly few gaps and make excellent census substitutes. They are available on microfilm.

All records regarding the Kentucky State Militia from the Civil War era are with the Kentucky Military History Museum. Kentucky created a militia in 1860 (the former one being disbanded in 1840). In 1861, the entire state militia was supposed to muster at Camp Boone for drilling, however, the outbreak of the Civil War put an end to that, and muster rolls were, therefore, not turned in that year. Muster rolls do exist for 1862, 1863 and 1865; those from 1864 were lost or burned. Later, the county clerks only had to turn in numbers and not names. As far as these muster rolls are concerned, they are "merely" alphabetical listings of names by county and such. No other details accept generalizations about the men being of good character, etc. In only a few instances were any of these state militia groups actually "called out" by the governor; for these more detailed records may exist (they were "in the field" from 30 to 60 days.) None of these are on microfilm. Although many of these men weren't activated, the commanders still corresponded with the state leadership etc. If you want to look at these records, call (502) 564-5823 and make your request. There were some pictures at the museum that were taken at Camp Boone from the Civil War era of some units, commanders, etc.

If you receive a reply from a Kentucky county courthouse saying that the records you are seeking are "missing" try writing to the Kentucky Archives in Frankfort. While some records are missing, many have been moved to the Archives because the local courthouses do not have the space or the facilities for the records. Many records have been microfilmed.

With changes in County Clerks, the present clerk may not be aware that those records have been moved to Frankfort. Write: Kentucky Dept. of Library and Archives, 300 Coffee Tree Rd., PO Box 537, Frankfort, KY 40602 when courthouses are unable to locate the records you needs. (California Archives have similar situations as probably do other states).

The earliest settlement was along the Missouri river, following Lewis and Clark. Many of the earliest settlers were Southerners, principally from TN and KY, to such an extent that it was called "Little Dixie". The role of rivers as major transportation routes was significant. Later migration into Missouri was a mix of Northerners and Southerners. A population density map of the "colored presence" from the 1850 census is revealing in that it is much higher along the Missouri River than the rest of the state, which of course had profound implications on the pre-war slavery issue and the Civil War itself, and reflected the migration routes over time.

Another interesting factor with respect to the Ozarks is that people tended to seek out places like "back home" . Hence, the Ozarks attracted people who originated from the Appalachians - VA, NC, TN, KY. But it also attracted folks from the upper eastern Midwest - OH, IN, IL, who themselves had earlier come from Appalachia. In this migration route, the National Road played a big part. This was in a sense the first federal "Interstate". After winding its way through the mountains of PA, it ran a virtually arrow-straight course through OH, IN and IL, almost, but not quite to St. Louis.

January 11, 1873 Rockport Indiana Journal Weekly "The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company offers 1,200,000 acres of land in central and southwest Missouri at from $3. to $12. per acre on 7 years time with free transportation from St. Louis to all purchasers. Climate, soil, timber, mineral wealth, schools, churches and law abiding society invite emigrants from all points to this land of fruits and flowers".

STATE ARCHIVES will perform record searches free of charge and you can send your request by e-mail. It must be a specific request, only one at a time, and takes 2-4 weeks for a reply. Go here for instructions and the e-mail address:

These url's describe the archives holdings:


State law provides for a local historian in each town, city, village and county in the state. For the address of one in your area of interest, send SASE to State Historian, State Education Bldg., Albany, NY 12207.

The first permanent English settlement in North America was established on the shores of Virginia. Twelve years later, in 1619, Jamestown was the meeting place of the first representative assembly in the New World. At about the same time, the colony's destiny as a settlement for the families, rather than a military outpost, was shaped when the Virginia Company of London sent several shipments of mail-order brides in return for payment in tobacco for the women's passage.

This settlement was not the first in America though. An early British colony was established at Roanoke Island, presently part of North Carolina, in 1584 by Sir Walter Raleigh. This colony of over 100 people mysteriously disappeared by 1591, leaving behind only the word "Croatoan" (the name of a nearby island) carved on a tree.

Of the 17th century colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America, England founded all but two, the first being Jamestown and the second settlement was at Plymouth in 1620 and that colony was absorbed by Massachusetts in 1691.

In May 1607, during the reign of James I of England, three ships arrived along a marshy peninsula 30 miles inland from Chesapeake Bay. The men who went ashore the next day founded the first permanent English settlement in America, named Jamestown, for the English king. The tiny colony established by the Virginia Co. of London, almost failed during its first years. The new governor, Lord De la Warr (Delaware) arrived with supplies in 1610, just as the colony was being deserted. The pioneers fared better after 1612 when tobacco cultivation was introduced. At the time of founding of Jamestown in 1607, the largest group of Native Americans in the area were the Powhaten Confederacy. These were the Woodland Indians, led by Chief Powhaten, and the European colonists learned about tobacco cultivation from them.

Virginia was named for the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I of England. As the first of the 13 original colonies, Virginia played a dominant role in the leadership of the country. For centuries, the issue of equal rights presented a major challenge to the state. Virginia, after all, had been the primary site for the development of black slavery in the Americas. In 1672, the king of England chartered the Royal African Co. to bring the shiploads of slaves into trading centers like Jamestown, Hampton and Yorktown.

Most of the original white population of Virginia stems from two immigrant groups. In the Tidewater section, nearly all the early settlers were English colonists. The other group consisted of Germans and Scots-Irish.

The British colonies on the western shores of the Atlantic were founded and developed in a variety of circumstances during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: as a result their legal status and administrative arrangements followed no common pattern. Control by the authorities in London was seldom close and in some colonies, at some periods, almost nonexistent. Local government was generally conducted by officials of the colonies themselves, and the records thereof are preserved, if they survive, in the appropriate state archive, where any inquiry should first be pursued.

The responsible authorities in London were the Secretaries of State and the Board of Trade. Of the two Secretaries, it was the Secretary of State for the Southern Department who was primarily, if not exclusively, charged with the oversight of colonial administrations, except for the period between 1768 and 1782, when a third Secretary of State, the Colonial or American Secretary, was appointed. For much executive action, advice and routine administration, however, the Secretaries were dependent on the Lords of Trade and Plantations, commonly known as the Board of Trade. The Board was founded in 1696 to succeed a variety of bodies with similar titles and overlapping jurisdictions which had existed at various periods since 1660. Its functions were originally purely advisory, but came in time to include much of the administration of the colonies, and to its offices at Plantations House were addressed many of the papers now in the Public Record Office.

ALABAMA - was named in 1817, from its principal river. The origin of the word is doubtful. One authority states that De Soto's last battle was in 1541 at Alibamo, on the Yazoo river, where there was a strong fortress of a tribe called sometimes the Alibamos, and sometimes the Alabamas. Le Clerc, who resided with the Creek Indians for 20 years, says that the Alibamos came to Yazoo from the north part of Mexico, and that after the battle with De Soto, they removed to the river which now bears their name.

ALASKA - is from the Indian word Alakshak, meaning large country.

ARIZONA - is supposed to be from the Aztec word, "Arizuma," meaning rocky country.

ARKANSAS - took its name in 1819 from its principal river and the river from the tribe of Indians once living near its mouth. Schoolcraft thinks the names come from a species of acacia growing there and of which the Indians made bows, which led to the apellation of "arc or bow Indians."

CALIFORNIA - takes its name from a Spanish romance, in which was described "the great island of California, where a great abundance of gold and precious stones are found." The officers of Cortez, fancying the word, gave it to the Pacific Coast state in 1535.

CAROLINA (North and South) - was so called in 1654 by the French, in honor of Charles IX. of France, some say Charles I. of England. There is good reason for questioning the accuracy of this derivation.

COLORADO - is another state named for its chief river. Colorado is a Spanish word, meaning "ruddy" or "colored."

CONNECTICUT - was so called from the Indian name of its principal river, spelled Quinneh-tukyut meaning "land on a long tidal river."

DELAWARE - was so called in l703, from Delaware Bay, on which it lies, and which received its name from Lord de la Warr, who died in this bay.

FLORIDA - was so called by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1512, because it was discovered on Easter Sunday, in Spanish Pascua Florida.

GEORGIA - was so called in 1732, in honor of George lI.

HAWAII - was named originally by Capt. James Cook in 1778, the Sandwich Islands. It became The Republic of Hawaii Jul 4, 1894.

IDAHO - is the Indian word for "gem of the mountains."

ILLINOIS - was so called in 1809, from its principal river. The word is said by Gallatin to signify "superior men."

INDIANA - was so called in 1802 from the American Indians.

IOWA - took its name in 1838 from the tribe of Indians who lived within its borders. The word is said to be a contraction of>the word Ah-hee-oo-ba, meaning "seepers."

KANSAS - takes its name from its great river, which in turn received its appellation from the tribe of Indians along its banks. The name is said to come from "Cayas," which was given the region by De Soto.

KENTUCKY - was so called in 1782, from the principal river. Several meanings are given to the word, the correct one probably being "at the head of a river."

LOUISIANA - was so called by La Salle in 1682, in honor of King Louis XIV of France.

MAINE - was so called as early as 1622, from the description in the charter calling it the "Mayne land" meaning the main or chief portion of the territory.

MARYLAND - was so called in honor of Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I, in his patent to Lord Baltimore, June 30, 1632.

MASSACHUSETTS - derived its name from a tribe of Indians in the neighborhood of Boston. The word is a compound of "massa" meaning great, and wadchuash," meaning hills or mountains.

MICHIGAN - was so called in 1865, from the lake on its borders. The meaning of the word is undecided. It is believed to be derived from the Chippewa word "Mitcha" and the Algonquin word "gan," the two meaning "great lake."

MINNESOTA - takes the name of its chief stream, which is from the Indian word Mini-sotah, meaning "slightly turbid water."

MISSISSIPPI - was named in 1790, from the great stream on its eastern border. Mr. Gallatin says the word is from two Indian words, "missi," meaning all, and "sippi," meaning river - the two meaning "all." or "the whole river." because many streams unite in making it.

MISSOURI - was so called in 1821, from its principal river, from the Sioux word meaning "muddy water." MONTANA - took its name from the Rocky Mountains which traverse the state.

NEBRASKA - is also named after its principal river. The meaning of the word is in doubt, one authority saying it is composed from the Indian words "nee," meaning river, and "braska," meaning shallow. Another authority says the Platte river in the Kaw dialect is Ne-blas-ka, signifying overspreading flats with shallow water.

NEVADA - is named for its mountain chain, which resembles the Sierra Nevadas of Granada, and was named after them.

NEW HAMPSHIRE - was the name given to the territory conveyed by the Plymouth company to Capt. John Mason by patent Nov. 7, 1739, with reference to the patentee, who was governor of Portsmouth, in Hampshire, England.

NEW JERSEY - (originally called New Sweden) was so named in 1644, in compliment to Sir George Carteret one of its original proprietors, who had defended the island of Jersey against the long parliament during the civil war of England.

NEW MEXICO - takes its name from the Aztec word, "Mexitll," the name of the war god of the people.

NEW YORK - (originally called New Netherlands) was so called in reference to the duke of York and Albany, to whom this territory was granted in 1664.

OHIO - was so called in 1802, from its southern boundary. The word is 0-he-zuh, meaning "something great."

OKLAHOMA - is from the Indian word meaning a beautiful land.

OREGON - was the name first applied to the Columbia River, and then to the territory. It is supposed to be a Sioux word, meaning a "great flowing river."

PENNSYLVANIA - was so called in 1681, after William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia "Penn Sylva," "Penn's wood."

RHODE ISLAND - was so called in 1644, from the Dutch Roode Eylandt, signifying "red island," a name given it by the early Dutch explorers.

TENNESSEE - was so called in l796, from its principal river. The word Tennessee is said to signify a curved spoon or a bend in the river.

TEXAS - so called by the Spaniards in 1690, who in that year drove out a colony of French who had established themselves at Matagorda and made their first permanent settlement. The word is of doubtful origin. It is said to be derived from the Spanish word "tigas," signifying covered houses, and also to be derived from the Indian word "tachies," meaning friends. Texas was also called Teyas in early days.

The DAKOTAS - took their name from the tribe of Indians which had its former habitat in the vast region embracing Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota. The word was originally spelled Dahkotah, meaning "leagued."

UTAH - also adopted the name of the tribe of Indians formerly living in the region. The name was variously spelled Uta, Utah, Ute or Youta.

VERMONT - was so called by the inhabitants in their declaration of independence Jan. 16, 1777, from the French vert, green, and mont, mountain.

VIRGINIA - was so called in 1584, after Elizabeth, the virgin queen of England.

WASHINGTON - was named in honor of the first president of the U.S.

WEST VIRGINIA - When Virginia ceded from the Union in 1861, western counties objected and 50 united to form "The Restored Government of Virginia" and petitioned Congress for re-admittance to the Union. It was admitted into the Union in 1863 after Union victories in the area cleared out the Confederates.

WISCONSIN - was so named in 1836, from the river of the same name, when a territorial government was formed. The word is said to mean "westward flowing."

WYOMING - bears an Indian name the word being a corruption of Maughwauwame, meaning "large plains."

To find the location of any city and/or county within any state, go to the following and choose the state you want. From there you can select Cities and Towns or Counties to find out where the location is -

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