SpringBoard, an official blogger for the 2016 National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference, is pleased to offer a review of this BCG Skillbuilding lecture, presented Thursday, 5 May 2016.

T241, Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, “An Ancestry for Robert Walker of Rockingham County, NC, and Orange County, IN”

Reviewed by Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG

How can a genealogist not be hooked from the beginning of Pam’s syllabus: “Robert Walker vanished without a trace . . . ”? Then she gives a source list for fourteen children of the subject’s father, and it just gets better!

Pam Stone Eagleson, CG
Courtesy of Michael Ramage

It took Pam two years and a great array of evidence to prove the connection between Robert Walker and his ancestors in 1829 Rockingham County, North Carolina, and beyond. It took research in thirteen counties in five states.  And, of course, she had to contend with a very common surname.

Pam aptly took us through a proof argument using such records as 1700s and 1800s marriage bonds, an unsigned deed, land grants, a reference in an early 1700s court order to the family, recorded deeds, obituaries, guardianship papers, early census schedules, and derivative records.  Ample screen shots of these old records as well as tables analyzing the various information points help us visualize the proofs involved.  She masterfully distinguishes ancestors falling within the “same name, different persons” category.

Five male Walkers had to be painstakingly researched as potential fathers of Robert Walker.  It gets better.  A Walker Y-DNA Surname Project with hundreds of members provides genetic evidence leading from Virginia (part of today’s Kentucky) to North Carolina.  Kentucky land records become important, and the Kentucky Secretary of State provides a ready source for these records.  The Virginia Land Law of May 1779 resulted in Certificates of Settlement and Preemption Warrants that add to the mix of evidence supporting Pam’s proof argument.  Rockingham County estate proceedings in the late 1790s supply numerous family affidavits found on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website.  A “Kentucky Doomsday Book” adds an unusual record to the numerous proofs.

It takes several intestate heir proceedings and deeds stretching to Missouri to provide the evidence needed to tie Robert to his father and thirteen siblings.  Anyone interested in proof arguments, deeds, estates, and solved puzzles will love this presentation.  The evidence seamlessly ties this family together through a number of sound methods including the FAN Club (family, associates, and neighbors), migrations traced by land deeds, naming patterns, and genetic genealogy.  Well done, and thank you, Pam, for a great story well presented.

A recording of this lecture may be previewed and ordered from PlaybackNow.

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.