Going to Town

Going to Town

How one researcher used place-based research strategies to uncover details about his family.

In 1786, my ancestor Philip Crume and his wife Sarah moved from Shenandoah County, Va. Here’s how I followed my own place-based research advice to uncover more details about the family.

Check place-based source guides.

The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists shows Dunmore County was formed in 1772 from Frederick County and renamed Shenandoah County in 1778. Frederick County came from Orange and Augusta counties in 1738. I checked them all and found Philip’s deed records in Augusta (1749), Frederick (1762), Dunmore (1778) and Shenandoah (1781) counties.

Consult town and county networks.

The Augusta County GenWeb Project <rootsweb.com/~vaaugust> says to start with court records in Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800 <rootsweb.com/~chalkley>. There, I found a record placing “Philip Crine” in Augusta County in 1747 and a John Crum there in 1752. Were they related?

Scour the Web.

Linkpendium’s Virginia links include digitized land grants at the Library of Virginia. One reveals Philip Crume received land on the Flint Run river in Frederick County in 1767. Daniel Croom got land in Henrico County in 1722. Could he be Philip’s father?

Pinpoint places on maps.

Philip Crume lived on Flint Run river from 1749 to 1773. John Crum’s father, Henry, was granted land on Hawksbill creek in 1755. MapQuest shows the two waterways are only 16 miles apart.

Study area history.

According to land records, Philip Crume was in Beckford Parish, Dunmore/Shenandoah County, from 1767 to 1778. Henry Crum’s widow, Ann, lived there when she wrote her will in 1775. I searched Google Books <books.google.com> for Beckford Parish. Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants says the parish “embraced all of the country known as Shenandoah County,” so Philip and Ann weren’t necessarily neighbors.

Check local records.

Peggy Shomo Joyner’s Abstracts of Virginia’s Northern Neck Warrants of Surveys (self-published) includes an abstract of a 1749 deed mentioning Philip Crume living on Flint Run, and John Crume, a chain carrier (surveyor’s assistant). The same-spelled names in the same record suggests the two men were related.

Find other researchers.

Several of Philip Crume’s Virginia neighbors were Quakers from Chester County, Penn. Since people often migrated in groups, I posted to a Chester County mailing list asking if anyone had seen Crumes in records there.
From the May 2008 Family Tree Magazine

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