27 June 2013

Petitions – do you make use of them in your genealogy research?

The source for this petition is the NC General Assembly Records (GASR), Apr-May 1783, Box 1, Folder: Misc Petitions at the NC archives (Raleigh, NC)
Image taken & copyrighted by Diane L Richard, www.mosaicrpm.com
People often think of petitions as just “a list of names.”  They are so much more!  They are very interesting lists of names. 
  • Did your ancestor sign a petition to request a new county be formed?  If so, you know where he was living when. 
  • Did your ancestor protest the building of a mill near him?  If so, you know something about where he lived. 
  • Was your ancestor a Quaker and petitioned that slaves be freed?  If so, you know his religious affiliation and something of his beliefs.
  • Did your ancestor sign any kind of petition?  Then you probably have his original signature!

The source for this petition is the NC General Assembly Records (GASR), Apr-May 1783, Box 1, Folder: Misc Petitions at the NC archives (RaleighNC)
Image taken & copyrighted by Diane L Richard, www.mosaicrpm.com
Petitions tell us so much about our ancestors and what was important to them.  They also provide us context on neighbors and neighborhoods.  They also provide us with an original signature for our ancestor!  When doing 18th and earlier research – it can be very challenging to find anything “original” to do with our ancestors and so such a signature can be quite special.

Some posts/resources about petitions and their use in genealogy research:



What is the neatest petition that you have come across?

Did finding your ancestor on a petition result in a major break through in your research?




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