Dennis Partridge

Dennis N. Partridge has been conducting personal research into his family since 1980. In 1996, in the infancy of the Internet, he morphed into a web developer bringing with him his passion for genealogy. Today, Dennis owns and operates AccessGenealogy (, one of the largest, privately owned genealogical websites online, well-known and frequented by Native American family researchers. Dennis also serves as President and Webmaster for the Amelia Island Genealogical Society. He specializes in breaking down brick walls, Native American ancestry, New England ancestry, and French-Canadian ancestry. However, his knowledge is broad enough to answer (or find the answer) to any geographical area.

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What’s new in Family Tree Maker?

Our January general meeting was attended last night by 35 people, a large portion of them visitors to our society. Mark Olsen did a wonderful job demonstrating the new version of FTM 2019, and we thank him for taking the time to do it!

5 Genealogy Books All Researchers Need

I was tasked this year with coming up with only 5 books that every genealogist needs to read or own. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because each genealogist has different needs based on their family’s ethnicity, location, etc. As a result, these books are intentionally general in nature and often, specific to US research. There are over 1600 books in the Amelia Island Genealogical Society collection available to you, and more than 100 of them feature guides and assistance in your research. If you have a specific location or subject matter, then there is a good chance we have a book to help guide your research.

President’s Message for October 2022

It’s beginning to feel like fall on the Island and that means your Society is starting to prepare for 2023. Beginner Class preparation have begun by the Education Committee and those on last years waiting list have already been notified so they can signup before the announcement is made to the general public. The 2022 board has approved a budget for 2023 that we will bring forth in November’s Annual Meeting for vote by the membership; in our last board meeting we revised and adopted a new set of responsibilities for Board Members, Officers, and Other Positions (Webmaster, Geneline, etc.) which should give future board members a better idea of expectations for each position. Patti talks about the new financial budget in her Treasurer post… I call it our “Great Expectations” budget. Membership has continued to bounce back from the Covid collapse, but we are still in need of more new members (or donations) to meet our growing expenses! It’s time to vote! Our board officers are hitting the 2 year term limit and it’s time for a new board and budget to be voted in. We do this in person at our Annual Meeting in November, but for those 2022 members who cannot attend, we provide a proxy form which delegates one of our board members to vote on your behalf. Because we require a quorum of membership in order for a vote to be successful, please vote by proxy if you cannot attend!

2023 Slate of Candidates

Pursuant to Article XI of the Amelia Island Genealogical Society ByLaws the nominating committee submits the following slate of candidates for 2023. Position Candidate President James L. (“Jim”) Shroads Vice-President Judy Frey Secretary Patti Millage Treasurer Bob Frey At Large Director #1 Jean Mann At Large Director #2 Janet Loveless At Large Director #3 Robert (“Bob”) Keane At Large Director #4 Rob Portegies-Zwart Past President Dennis N. Partridge

Free Genealogy Forms

The following forms will enable our membership to create and document their family history in a more organized manner. The number and types of these forms will increase over time as they are created. Starting out we have a basic set of forms that should encourage better record keeping. Each of these forms are fillable by you using your computer, or you can simply print them out and fill them in by hand. If you intend to fill them out on the computer, then you should first save a clean form each time before using it. In this manner you can simply pull up the form on your computer and continue working on it without losing all of your previous work. To fill out a form you must first save the form to your computer and then open it. Each of these forms uses a series of IDs to be created by you, the preparer. How you wish to number your forms is entirely your decision, but stay consistent with all forms. Individual Form An individual form should be filled out for each person you plan to research. It contains the needed information for you to record, analyze and source the evidence you find on an individual. It’s ID is called the PersonID. Each person should have their own unique PersonID. Family Group Sheet A family group sheet should be filled out for each family you plan to research. It contains the needed information for you to record, analyze and...

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Sarah Braddock Claim File 13525 Page 1

President’s Message for August 2022

The webmaster has been busy this past month adding additional volumes of the Nassau Genealogist to our online collection. Recent additions include biographies, obituaries, newspaper excerpts, several articles on the Goodbread family. These all came from volume V of TNG which were published back in 1998. Please take a look at them when you get the chance if you have Nassau County ancestors. The Nassau County Genealogist: Online Table of Contents Too often genealogists think military records are only there to provide information on your ancestors military service. They are there for that, but as we like to emphasize, they often can provide the genealogical record you need but just cannot find elsewhere. Pension files are often what we like to point researchers to. I discovered a Bible record (or a non existent town record) in my 5th Great-Grandfather Zebulon Crane’s Revolutionary Pension record. It wasn’t even for his family, it was for his wife’s family, but that record helped verify the relationships which I thought were correct but could never positively prove. This month I accidently discovered another source of military records, the Southern Claims Commission Files. If you know me and my family you realize that I would never have need of these for my own family records, My ancestor’s are just a bunch of Yankees that go back to the Mayflower and French-Canadian back to the founding of Quebec. But I was working on updating my Tennessee Genealogy website where I have had an index of these …

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Standing Interrogation for Sarah (Higginbotham) Braddock

In the process of filing a Southern Commission claim, each witness on behalf of the claimant is questioned by an official on behalf of the Claims Commission using a standard set of questions, which by Sarah’s replies to some of these questions, must have changed somewhat during the early 1870s. “The changes from the original form as presented in the first General Report and as amended in the second were not designed to affect the policy of the commission.” So the date the interrogation occurred on is important, as the questions asked and the order of them differ from the 1874 “final version” published online. When a claimant provides an answer it is listed to the left which specific question they answered, but not the question, and it’s very clear by Sarah’s ancestors the questions were ordered differently then the 1874 version. Sarah’s hearing was on 2 August 1872 at Fernandina, and was done by C. L. Robinson, Special Commissioner of the Commissioners of Claims. The packet starts with Sarah’s sworn testimony. Question 1 is a standard form that is filled out for each witness and signed by the special commissioner. This page appears out of order in the packet, stuck between pages 9 and 10. I present it first, however, since the packets contents was scanned in no particular order. Standing Interrogation The following questions will be put to every person who gives testimony: Question 1: What is your name, your age, your residence and how long has it...

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Will of John S Braddock, 1857 Page 1

Will of John S. Braddock, 1857

Found within Southern Claims Commission File #13525 is a copy of the will of John S. Braddock, written in 1857. In order for Sarah Braddock to file for the claim in 1872, she needed to prove she had legal authority over her husband, John S. Braddock’s property, since he was deceased. The commissioner labeled the will Exhibit B. This will is important for it’s identity of the 15 children of John and Sarah, their birth order, and for the identity of the 23 slaves by name and their approximate ages and sex. I found a copy of John’s will in Nassau County’s Land records too. There were noticeable differences in names of some members of the family. Exhibit B State of FloridaNassau County In the name of God amen — I John S. Braddock of the State and County aforesaid, planter, being of sound mind and in reasonal [sic] body health, do make, constitute and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made. ~ And first I direct that my body be decently interred in some fit and proper place, and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my situation in life ~ and as to such worldly goods and estate as it has pleased God to entrust me with, I dispose of the same as follows ~ First, I direct that all my just debts be paid — — I give and...

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The Nassau County Genealogist cover

Notes on Fernandina and Nassau County

From Our Place in Time – A Chronology of Putnam County, by Nancy Cooley Alvers and Janice Smith Mahaffey 1736-1742 – James Oglethorpe stationed Highlanders at Plaza San Carlos in present-day Fernandina (Old Town). August 9, 1807 – Don Domingo Fernandez awarded grant which included present-day Fernandina Beach. August 6, 1815 – Elizabeth Esabele Wiggins, free mulatto, resident of Fernandina, and her son, Carlos Clark, free negro, each received a grant of 300 acres on Lake George. 1816 – Fort San Carlos near Fernandina built by Spanish of wood and earthworks and armed with 8 to 10 guns. February 10, 1822 – John E. LeConte and ten men left Fernandina on a project to survey Florida’s interior. December 29, 1824 – Nassau, Florida’s tenth county, was named for the Nassau River and Nassau Sound which help to separate Nassau and Duval counties. The name of the county comes from a German state linked to William the Silent and William III of England who died in 1702, was brought from England during the English occupation. January 1, 1825 – The City of Fernandina was incorporated. February 9, 1842 – Fort Clinch was established on Amelia Island, north of Fernandina. 1855 – Florida’s first senator, David Levy Yulee, was granted a charter to build a railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key where steamships waited for transport up and down the Atlantic or across the Gulf. One link in New York-New Orleans route, the Florida Railroad would run through a small settlement, Deer...

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