Mark's genealogy index


(The roots of my tree)

Welcome to my genealogy page.  Here are some of the families that I’m researching:


Most people assume that the surname James is English or Welsh.  Not always...  Here is a page devoted to the exceptions to that rule.


The Ott family that immigrated from Oberhasli, canton Bern, Switzerland to Orangeburgh, South Carolina, gave rise to dozens of modern-day Ott families throughout the southern states.  Tracing this family can be a mess, because everyone seems to be descended from Melchior Ott and Jacob Ott.  The trouble is, there were at least four Melchior Otts in Orangeburgh in the eighteenth century, and nine Jacob Otts.  Which one are you descended from?  Click here to find out.


Did the Tynes family come from Scotland?  Are we all descended from some Scottish thane who got exiled to the colonies by Oliver Cromwell?  Or can we trace our ancestry to beautiful Bermuda?  Or early Virginia?  There are lots of family stories about the origins of the Tyneses, and most of them conflict.  This page tries to sort them out.


Richard Davis, of Caroline County, Virginia, died in 1761 in Granville County, North Carolina, leaving numerous descendants and an almost illegible will.  Even the court clerk at the time had great trouble figuring out what was in the will.  Here is my transcription of the Richard Davis will, along with some comments on Richard’s family.

And now, for some software:


Would you like a quickie Windows program to navigate Gedcom files?  I’ve written one, called GedView, which you can download here, for free.  It’s kind of a quick-and-dirty program, and it might have bugs; if you find any, please tell me.

And a couple of fun projects:

1866 Census, Butler County, Alabama

The state of Alabama conducted its own census in 1866. As far as I know, this census has never been indexed; so I’ve indexed Butler County. Check out the index and images here. When viewed in conjunction with the 1860 U.S. census, the 1866 census provides a picture of a confederate state just before and just after the Civil War.

Great Genealogical Frauds

You are the one true heir to a massive fortune that has been held in trust since 1799, awaiting its proper claimant!  Yeah, right...  Here are the stories of a few of the more spectacular examples of “estate inheritance fraud”, along with an article on genealogical fraud by Myra Vanderpool Gormley.

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This page was last updated on 8 September 2003.