The Trail of the Mountaineers Kentucky and Tennessee seem to run together in genealogical research. The reason is that as the mountains were explored, people pushed further west. Too, counties and State borders were changed. As part of Stewart County, Tennessee was drawn off, those records fell in Robertson County. Too, land in Trigg and Christian Counties, Kentucky may have also been part of Tennessee. The same thing happens along the North Carolina and Virginia borders. The Cumberland trail through Virginia into Tennessee is prime suspect for research for any ancestor who traveled on the Wilderness Trail from Pennsylvania. Also, the state of Franklin in 1786 encompassed Northeast Tennessee, specifically the counties of Blount, Sevier, Greene, Spencer, Washington, Caswell, Sullivan and Wayne. Wayne County today encompasses Johnson and Carter Counties. The thing to remember is the Wilderness Trail, and follow that map. Also, remember that Indian troubles in the Smoky Mountains were driving settlers into other regions. While immigrants gambled on the acquisition of land grants in the West, others went back East. A worthy note is that the county (or State) of the land grant location may not be in Virginia or North Carolina because of boundary changes.
Remembering the Restrictions of the Mother CountryWhen the county records in Kentucky are exhausted, the genealogist directs his eye towards Virginia and Pennsylvania.It is not surprising to learn that this genealogy could easily trace back to the early 1600s. Generally, people in New England seemed to gravitate Westward, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries. The attract was land. It was always land because as fields wore out, there was a greater need for fertile soil. Too, the incentive to move westward was not only land grants and homestead tracts, but the idea of mining gold and silver. There were more interesting reasons for moving West than there was to remain behind and build a homestead in the original thirteen colonies. The first settlers in America were true adventurers, with the spirit of freedom. These are the ones who did not wish to remain in European towns and restricted by class restrictions from individual ambition. Class distinctions were a loud reminder that a yeoman could never be a gentleman or rise in class. Even the gentry was required to dress in the clothes in the clothing of a tradesman, and so on. The American colonies offered broad opportunities. Is it any wonder that there were so many patriots willing to fight the Mother Country for freedom? That is who they were.
McGee of Scotland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri