When we can't find our way back through our family's history—when we encounter those bemoaned "brick walls" of genealogical research—one approach is to see what our mystery ancestor's children recall about their parents. True, some families are prone to create what becomes the myths of the family's story, but sometimes, those memories can be borne out by research. I take them as handy trailblazers to point me in—hopefully—a right direction.
So it is with seeking information on the roots of my fourth great-grandfather, Job Tison. While I know he died in Glynn County, Georgia—I have at least a transcribed copy of his will presented in court there—it is only hearsay which points me to a birthplace in Pitt County, North Carolina. And even that report is nebulous: it says he "came from" North Carolina, not specifically that he was born there.
A while back, reader Kathy of Porch Swings, Fireflies, and Jelly Jars pointed me in a promising direction. She mentioned in a comment that she likes to "look far downstream for information," mostly for printed family histories or newspaper articles featuring residents remembering the early years when the area was first settled—and provided a link to the Georgia Historic Newspapers database, which included an article on Job's son, state senator John Mason Tison, and how his parents first came to Georgia.
Remembrances about an early settler like Job Tison might be a good resource for such an extended search—but how to find such articles in the multiple places they might be hidden can be challenging. True, Job Tison, was active in the public affairs of his county, and was likely well-known by the many travelers hosted at his wayside inn, but there may be as many ways to find such tucked away resources as there are articles to uncover.
Reader Charlie Purvis of Carolina Family Roots put in a vote for taking my research question straight to Google Books, and indeed, that produced several mentions. But there are many other resources I've yet to try which may produce even more useful material. Just taking my research terms to a newspaper collection like GenealogyBank told me that in 1819, Job Tison served as a grand juror for Glynn County, and, later that same year, he ran for office in what became a "contested election" in his home county.
Besides Job's son John—the one featured in the brief biographical report—who else might we follow to see whether they ever put to words their remembrances of the "good ol' days" of their parents' arrival in Glynn County, Georgia? From Job's own will—which, keep in mind, I only have in transcribed and abstracted formats—we know that Job and his wife Sidnah Sheffield Tison had at least eight children. While Job's will does not list his children by order of age—he was careful to first see to the needs of the younger children still at home—with a little additional research, we can come up with a viable list.
Oldest son Aaron, born in Georgia in 1803, was followed by my direct ancestor, his sister Sidney, born in 1806. Her younger sister Melinda, born in 1808, was the first of the Tison sisters to marry after their father's death in 1824, though not the first of the siblings to ever have married, since Job's will referenced an unnamed daughter—the one who predeceased him—who turns out to have been named Naomi, who married Matthew Carter in 1811. Naomi surely was born at about the time of these older children.
Following those older children of Job and Sidnah were the ones explicitly mentioned in a cluster in Job's will: Susan (born in 1811), William (1812), John (1817), and Theresa (1820) round out the Tison family portrait. This week, we'll follow each of these descendants to see what clues can be gleaned from any possible remembrances they left, and from that, formulate a research plan for picking up this question of Job Tison's origin at a later date. After all, it's now a new month, and time to mount yet another research challenge.