My goal is to reconnect the Genealogy of all the Gilmores that migrated South to when they first came to America through the New England States. In their thirst for new land during the colonial period of America many of the genealogies of these Gilmores have a disconnect between the New England states and the southern states due to the lack of historical data in some areas. A minor goal of mine is to reconnect the broken links between where Gilmores left Ireland/Scotland/England to their arrival into America. Destroyed records, the commonality of given names and the lack or loss of personal family records make these goals very difficult.
I’m hoping with the publication of all I have that other Gilmore cousins from different strands of the family will be moved to contribute to the data pile. Because of the many disconnects I’ve taken to labeling each strand of Gilmore by a different letter. As my family of Gilmores is Family B—John Gilmore b c1725 married in Albemarle Co., VA c1745 to Jane Heard b c1725—this is where I’m starting. The Gilmore Family Index on this site will give you an explanation of each Gilmore family I have so far. The most researched by me after Family B is Family A Gilmores James Gilmore m Ann from Monroe Co., MS and John Gilmore from Marengo Co., AL who fought in the Rev. War in Cumberland Co., NC. I also have Patrick and Frances Gilmore from Mecklenburg Co., NC and York Co., SC who are Family C. Family E is the big group put together by Joanne Kartak which she has already published so I’ll link Family E to her website. There are other families but I just need time to move my ancient self from paper to computer which takes more time than you would think as I tend to revert back into research mode as I go back over my previous works.
I’ve noticed there seems to be a common mantra amongst serious genealogists that I definitely share: “Promise nothing”. Records that list who belongs in what family like wills, bibles, etc. are very rare and treasured nuggets in an otherwise broad field. Unfortunately speculation and opinions derived from supporting evidence make up the majority of most genealogists work when studying farther back in time. (I plead guilty to this:) ) When genealogists are left with interpreting the facts available errors occur. I’ve seen several interpretations from the same facts that don’t agree with each other but all make sense. Usually the best we can hope for is to collect several pieces of supporting evidence, and try not to disregard all evidence that doesn’t support our point of view. Thus, given the capricious nature of this field, it’s very important that I have feedback from others to help me iron out any errors in my “interpretations”. I invite your opinions, more proof of relationships that are already established, possible new relationships, and very importantly “when” you find errors in this genealogy—corrections please. Yeehaw! Let the blood bath begin!
Note: This website is under serious construction. I have a lot of data to convert to computer and then publish. I just felt the need to get what I have so far in the computer out there. I’ll be updating it periodically maybe even daily if I can avoid being sidetracked by other Gilmore lines and time permitting from my job. I promised a database of info (NC Gilmore Chronologies) already in what follows but haven’t learned how to do that yet. I’ll also add a search engine when I learn how to do it. Baby steps people, baby steps!
Here is a list of recommendations for either getting your Gilmore research started or continuing where you’ve left off. If you need more information or detail in doing any of these items, email me at
- Join the “Gilmore Family Research” Group on Facebook. It’s run by Sandy Gilmore. This group is a great way to make contact with fellow Gilmore researchers. I actually recommend joining a group on facebook for whatever surname you’re researching if its available. I’ve had great luck doing this.
- Get your autosomal DNA taken or a relative’s DNA tested on one of the genealogy websites. I recommend Ancestry as it has the best interface for DNA matches (in my opinion), but do your research and find the website that best fits what you want. Ancestry is pricey in regards to their membership fee. Whatever website you use, make sure it’s a well established one and has a good interface for checking your DNA matches. You need one that has a large DNA pool to compare yours or a relative’s with. With this test, it’s very important to test the DNA of the earliest generation that you can find…ie grandparents, great aunts/uncles, etc.
- Once you do #2, download your DNA results to your computer and put them onto GEDmatch. This website gives you the ability to compare your DNA results with others that aren’t on the same website you initially had your DNA taken. There is a steep learning curve on this website but that’s ok. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing at first, you’re getting your DNA out their for others to see and hopefully attracting more Gilmores or other related surname contacts.
- Join the Ancestor Project on GEDmatch called “Gilmore Family GEDmatch Project” also run by Sandy Gilmore.
- Find a direct male Gilmore descendant to have his y-DNA test taken. I and other Gilmore researchers are at the point of using y-DNA to figure out which Gilmore lines are related to which. The downside of this test is it doesn’t tell how you might be related just who you might be related to. It’s very strong in that it tests back about 34 generations which is much better than the autosomal test mentioned in #1 above which only tests up to 6 generations (3rd cousins) reliably then you start getting “misses” with your cousins meaning, you may be related but the test won’t show it sometimes after 6 generations. For example, 4th cousins tend to have a 50% chance of not matching on the autosomal test. The y-DNA test is not cheap, but if you’re interested in getting this done and have a candidate, contact me. I may be in the market to sponsor this test for your Gilmore line.
- If you get a y-DNA test taken on FamilyTreeDNA.com for your line, join projects on this site. If you get to this point, I can email you specific projects that might be of interest to you.
As you can see, the above is all about DNA testing which is but a tool in DNA research. The meat of research comes in citing historical documentation, ie census records, bible records, cemetery records, deeds, court records, marriage/divorce records, military records, etc. Secondary research comes in the form of oral history or family lore and makes a good start in your research. Don’t delay on this. Your elders don’t get younger!!! There are many websites that help with researching available historical documents. A couple of my top go to cites are FamilySearch.com (the Morman website which is free) and Ancestry.com (though you have to have a membership with them to use this cite). The good thing about Ancestry is you have access to other sites that are free with Ancestry but would cost money otherwise. The one I can think of off the top of my head is Fold3 which is all things military. Not every existing historical document is on the internet. Sometimes you have to go directly to the county to find out what’s available. Start with the website for the county seat of whatever county you’re researching and go to the information for the county clerk. Some of these sites have downloaded their archives or give you options to have archives emailed or snail-mailed to you; but if you can travel, there’s nothing like actually going to the areas where your ancestors lived. Visit the library, courthouse, church, cemetery, mortuary,…anywhere your ancestor might have been that keeps records. The locals can be a GREAT source of information and you have a high likelihood of running into new cousins with more information on the family you’re researching. Of course you might have to wait until this Covid Scaredemic is past us for the travel option of research. Speaking of cemeteries, add findagrave.com to your list of go to cites. I recommend that you join (no fee) and help add memorials to the cite. Make sure to take pictures of the tombstones you’re interested in to add to the memorials. Also, since I mentioned land and deeds, try out the GLO (general land office) website. Texas has it’s own on a different cite and has a GREAT database for pioneers that first came to Texas before it joined the union.
It’s important to study the history of the area you’re researching in the time period you’re researching. State and county lines change throughout time and it’s important to know how and when they change. The best website for this in the US is mapofus.org. Click on “US Maps” in the black strip at the top. Scroll down and pick the state you’re interested in on the left of the page. Scroll down again to the interactive map and play with it. You’ll love it! It shows you the county boundries in various years. Sometimes it appears an ancestor lives in different counties in the same state at different times when in actuality they live on the same piece of land whose county boundries have changed around them.
I could go on and on citing great research sites but this is a good start for general research. There are many specialty cites for specific things that you’ll find in your research journey.