Some lines on my pedigree are a mess.
I've tried to straighten them out, and so have hundreds of other researchers. I'm not sure that they're any better than they were a few years ago.
They're all in a wad.
The family lines I am particularly thinking about are the Mullins, who lived in southwest Virginia and southeast Kentucky. The main problem occurs because of family names that appear in every generation and are spread out among all of the cousins in that generation. Evidently, some family names were greatly favored.
One thing I love about research is looking at maps. They can give such a wonderful bird's eye view of a vicinity.
But, most maps don't show the hills and the hollers and the creeks and the valleys and the cliffs...you know what I mean. It takes a different map for that.
Recently, I was trying to figure out why I wasn't having much luck finding some of my family in the records of Floyd County, Kentucky. They lived in the southeast part of that county, and should have gone to the county seat of Prestonsburg.
However, I did find several records next door in neighboring Pike County, where the county seat is Pikeville.
This may be the answer. Let's look at it closely.
The bottom star is the area where my family lived.
Prestonsburg is the county seat, just to the northwest of them.
Pikeville is just across the county line into Pike County.
A flat map wouldn't tell us much. But, look at the detail of a topographical map from GoogleEarth. When the map is enlarged, greater details emerge showing much more of the lay of the land.
It just may have been easier to go next door and pay taxes in Pikeville...which you could do...as opposed to the distance and the terrain to go clear to Prestonsburg.
Just some food for thought.