Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee


Project Goals

The overall goals of my research and this Web project relate to the branch of the Walkers fathered by Edward B. Walker, an early settler of East Tennessee and ancestor of most of the Walkers to have ever lived in the area of Claiborne, Hancock, and Union Counties, Tennessee, not far from the famed Cumberland Gap. In particular, the goals are to:

  1. Encourage the search for Edward's ancestors and descendants.
  2. Trace every line at least through the last public Census.
  3. Share information widely and update as often as research progresses.
  4. Scan and make available all source material.
  5. Document heavily the sources of evidence for future researchers.
  6. Provide a place where all serious researchers can provide information.

Encourage the Search for Ancestors and Descendants

Although a great amount of work has been done, much more remains, with many questions remaining and a major brick wall in the search for Edward's parents. Hopefully, after learning more about the family, more people will be encouraged to get involved, not only in the ancestor search but to identify and collect more information about their own branches.

Trace Every Line Through the Last Public Census

Like many researchers, I never intended to track every single descendant of Edward B. Walker, nor is that the goal now, although I am always happy to receive information on any line of the family and to incorporate it into the database. But, early in my research, I discovered the need to uncover the extended family relationships in order to differentiate among all the people named John, Jacob, Isaac, and other common names

That expansion of the research had many benefits, not the least of which was the discovery along distant family lines of old photos and letters applying to my own direct line. And, with the wider knowledge, even more relationships could be discovered. For instance, after identifying nearly every Walker marriage in Claiborne County before 1891, I could focus on the few that I had not identified and discovered new lines and document some, such as extinct lines, that are often missing from most genealogies.

At this moment, the 1930 Census is the last one to made public, with the 1940 Census to be made public in 2012. The 1930 Census provides a good ending point; birth and death certificates became common usually starting in the early 1900s, and most family members born after that time should have an easy time connecting their lines to families in the 1930 Census. The era before birth certificates is much more complicated, with research usually depending upon the particular county and the kinds of documents that survive in each county.

A number of lines have been traced to the present day, although privacy concerns prevent me from posting detailed information about known living people to the Internet. Much of it came from immediate family members, although a growing amount has come from the increasing release by some states of indexes of birth, death, and marriage certificates to the Internet – not usually the actual certificates but indexes to them.

Share Information Widely and Update Often

At one time, I intended to publish a book on the family, a keepsake that many people would like to have. Fat chance. With just the information researched to date, any book would be thousands of pages long and take years to produce. And because I still actively research this family, it would be out of date even before it is printed.

This Web site is provided as an alternative, where I, and anyone else who is researching this family, can publish on various branches and topics as the material is written– and update it easily when new sources are found. The information is then available as widely as possible without having to charge for expenses.

I choose RootsWeb as a host because the site should exist indefinitely, even if I fail in my plan to live forever. However, the information is also being maintained in a way that it can be permanently archived and at some time in the future be distributed to researchers, libraries, and other major repositories just as a book could be.

Scan and Make Available Everything Possible

In the course of my research, I have often found family members with old photographs, letters, family Bibles, and other information with wide interest who have no idea how many people might be searching for such things. With the advent of cheap computer scanning, we finally have a method to copy and widely distribute such material in a high-quality format.

In a family as large as the descendants of Edward B. Walker, a huge number of things thought to be lost are not lost at all but have simply been passed down through other family lines. Someone may have several photographs of your 2nd great grandfather, for instance, while your own family line may have never even seen a picture of your great grandfather.

Tim Walker and I have focused on scanning everything important we can find, although I still have a large number of documents that have not been scanned. As much as I would like to post all such scans on this site, the realities of current technology require that I be judicious in the use of graphics on the site. No free Web site provider has the capacity to allow the free posting of the many large files involved, and Web hosts that would allow that much data would charge a fortune.

I do expect the situation to change in a very few years as disk space gets even cheaper, but, in the meantime, I have tried to document either on this site or in my Family Fileoffsite link to WorldConnect the scans that I do have, and I can often email them or at least send them on CD. In any case, the collection is growing and will be made available to libraries and such in the future so that future researchers can discover them all over again without doing even more legwork and so that they will not once again be "lost".

Document Heavily the Sources of Information

Far too many genealogies have been published that are useless to researchers. While non-researchers probably prefer the more concise information about their ancestors, later researchers usually have little idea of the research that a writer has done or the accuracy of their work. As a result, every new researcher has to spend a great deal of time repeating the research.

In my Family Fileoffsite link to WorldConnect, I have tried to document every data element separately with every source of information about it. As a longtime researcher, much of my source material predates the program that I use to document the family, and much more sourcing needs to be done. But by documenting to the obscene level of detail that I have, I hope that future researchers will be able to focus on aspects that have not been thoroughly researched and not just repeat the research that I and others have done.

Provide a Place for All Serious Researchers to Publish

Much of what is found on this site is my own research as are large portions of my Family Fileoffsite link to WorldConnect; when the research is primarily that of others, I do my best to document those facts fully.

However, I certainly would welcome submissions by others, or, if you have your own Web site, I would be happy to link to it.

All original material © 2007-9 by Phillip A. Walker or by cited authors. Submissions are welcome. Reuse allowed under limited conditions. Page last modified Sunday, 09-Sep-2018 13:19:36 MDT .