Friday, January 25, 2013

Do I Have Enough Proof? Reading to the end of the line.

I have been stuck on one of my Collier lines for years.  I guess my parents were, too.
This is a photo of Anna Walker and John Beauregard Collier, my father's grandparents.  He knew them well.  John was named for his father, John B. Collier.  After that, we've always been a bit unsure.
I use this particular slide in the classes I teach, for it shows that not all handwriting was atrocious.  This is actually pretty good!  Once you get into the mode of reading it, the lettering begins to flow.

The record on the left shows that John B. Collier and Rebecca Roberts asking for permission to be joined together in the holy state of matrimony.  It is dated the 20th day of February 1852 in Lee County, Virginia.

The record on the right is the minister's return, stating that he joined them together in the holy state of matrimony on 22nd day of Feb 1852.  It is dated 3 Mar 1852.

I have not ever been able to find the parents of John.  I have scoured the records and the cemeteries and the courthouses of southwest Virginia trying to find something to prove who is parents were.  I did keep running across a man by the name of Aaron J. Collier, a physician.  He is quite prominent.

I ordered microfilm records of Lee County, Virginia and searched them carefully, only to send them back to Salt Lake City.  On a whim, I reordered a birth register for the area to once again see if there was anything I had overlooked.

As a young genealogist, I didn't always look all the way across the page.  In the above slide, you be able to see LeGrand Collier's record of birth.  His father, John, is in the right column.  It is about one-third of the way down.
Now you can see the second page of the ledger where Rebecca Collier is listed as his mother.  This is where I always stopped.

If you continue on to the last two columns, you can see where the informant is listed as A.J. Colier.  His relationship?  "G.F."

I'm pretty sure this is the Aaron J. Collier, physician, that I have seen in so many records.  But, the relationship has me hopefully optimistic.

Could "G.F." be "grandfather"?  Could it?  Please, could it?

Could it be little LeGrand's grandfather and John's father?

I know it will take more work to prove this relationship, but it's more than I've had in the past.  And, I might have had it earlier if I had just read to the end of the line!


  1. Excellent lesson, Peggy! Thanks! Ann McDonough

  2. Peggy,

    A quick research project on the Horton Family {3 lines above your Collier} shows a Henderson Horton who is the son of Harvey N. Horton. I checked and
    Harvey N. Horton is shown in the family tree [Armstrong-Bekel Family Tree} on as the son of John M. Horton. This would mean that Henderson Horton,
    son of Harvey N. Horton is the son of John Horton... making John Horton the G.F. of
    Henderson Horton.

    If that logic follows then your Little LeGrand quite possibly IS the grandson of Aaron J. Collier.

    You might try this with other G.F. entries on the same document and see if ALL apply
    ... thereby lending more substance for proof.

    Hugs to you my dear! Cindy Thredgold