Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Sticking With the Gang
There is one positive aspect of researching those early-arrival immigrants to North America's eastern shores: those early travelers often moved en masse—whether with one's extended family, or sometimes with several other families from the same village. To find the details about one member of the party is to find out the past of many of the others, as well.
Seeking the roots of my Aaron Broyles—while insuring that I have the right Aaron Broyles—is made easier by one delightful discovery. Aaron's Broyles ancestors likely arrived here by 1717 as part of the second Germanna Colony.
Interest in the first and second Germanna colonies has generated enough written material and website collections to gladden the information-seeking heart of any genealogical researcher. Even though some of these resources may seem horribly out of date—the Rootsweb-hosted "Germanna Colonies" site has not been updated in ten years, something to keep in mind when perusing their list of suggested links—they connect us with material found by those researchers who have gone before us.
What caught my eye, years ago when I first stumbled upon this site in those early share-and-share-alike years of Rootsweb, is that there was a separate section devoted to the Broyles progenitor. Much of the detail shared in that section is repeated in the Keith manuscript which I've been accessing at FamilySearch.org.
From the very first appearance of the Broyles family in Virginia, they were identified as part of a group of people. First, as part of the Germanna colonies, and then when several Germanna families moved to Madison County, Virginia and founded the Hebron Lutheran Church, we can find mentions of the Broyles—or "Breil"—family members. Tracing one member of that family means following the path of the other members of that same family. From generation to generation, that sometimes also meant the intertwining of families, even to the point of cousins marrying cousins.
With all those facets of inter-relatedness, you can see why keeping tabs on all branches of the family could be important. It would, if nothing else, help me see how the other Aaron Broyles in Tennessee likely would be related to my direct ancestor, Aaron Broyles of Anderson County, South Carolina. And, following the trail of their wills and land records, it would also explain why so many of my Virginia and South Carolina Broyles family members seemed to have such a connection with those northeastern Tennessee locations. When a family's F.A.N. Club turns out to comprise their own relatives, it is far easier to keep track of all of them.