Helpful tips and stories from the Genealogists behind From Roots to Legacy

Wanda Langdon

How to Organize Your Records and Documents to use for Lineage Applications

There are many ways to organize your family documents. I developed my own method after applying to a few lineage societies and finding I needed the same documents each time. I created a separate folder called “Lineage Records”. Under that I created separate folders called: “Generation 1”, “Generation 2”, “Generation 3”, “Generation 4”, etc. Then under those folders I created sub-folders for each individual. Generation 1 is yourself and your spouse. Generation 2 is your parents and Generation 3 is your grandparents. So, in Generation 3, you should have 4 subfolders, 1 for each grandparent. In these you should have birth, marriage, and death certificates. All lineage societies applications expect these 3 documents for each person in the 1st 3 generations. Beginning with the 4th generation, primary documents (vital records) can be harder to find and lineage societies will accept other secondary documents. In some cases, when primary documents are non existent, it might be necessary to “build a case” to “prove” the lineage connection.

Organizing your documents this way also helps enforce the mindset that you need to start from the beginning and “prove” each individual before moving on to the next generation. It’s a great discipline for genealogical research. Too many people utilize online trees and inadvertently copy incorrect information into their trees in their zeal and excitement. Start your tree and research the correct way by “proving” and journaling the source for each document and use correct source citations. A research log, or journal, is vital to every researcher    

Wanda and Barbara

Wanda Langdon

Jamestown First Settlers’: Women sent from England to become Wives

Wives for the settlers at Jamestown by William Ludwell Sheppard, 1876.

Jamestown, Virginia has always been an interest to many people, and not just to researchers and historians. We learned about it in schools, read about it in history books, and many articles, journals, newspapers and magazines have at various times written about different aspects of our first settlement town. A few times articles have been written about the first wives of our first settlement 

The brides are not to be mistaken as being the first women to settle in Jamestown. David R. Ransome (1991) [1] wrote that nearly 60 women crossed the ocean from England to potentially marry a settler. The women ranged in ages, yet they also had skills that would be helpful in pioneering the first settlement. However, there were a few women that came to Jamestown to be with their established husbands. 

Prior to the mail-order-brides, or as other authors have labelled with alternative creative wordings, the first women that settled in Jamestown were already married to the settlers that came to Jamestown. However, there were not enough women to keep the men settled in the new land. As an incentive to keep the men settled in Jamestown, instead of returning to England, England devised a plan to encourage women to be shipped to Jamestown to marry a settler [2]. They were given a compensation; however, the compensation would be paid back by the man that would marry her, by means of tobacco as payment. Life was not easy for the first pioneer women. 

The main duty was to marry, then give birth to children [3]. Women were a precious commodity for expanding the population to eventually expand the territories. The idea was to remain in the new territories to build new family homes to build their futures. These women were brave. They endured diseases, starvation, working the land for tobacco farming, and helped the men to fight off attacks from the indigenous Natives.

 Today, in our post-modern era and technology advanced time period, anyone can access the Internet in search for partners or companions. When we find a partner, we are not pressured into marrying, or bearing children, or working tobacco fields. Women of today have risen to a status of being equal, have voting rights, can join the military, and many more entitlements that the females of Jamestown did not have. The next time one searches for a partner or companion—give a hi-five salute to the pioneer women of 1609!!!!! 

From your family historians, 

Barbara and Wanda



 [1] “Wives for Virginia”; (Ransome, David R.; 1991, Jan.; Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 3-18); DOI: 10.2307/2937995; [Database Online](JSTOR .org; Accessed 28 Feb 2019); URL located at ; Published by Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture : [database online]; Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The author, David R. Ransom teaches [at date of journal/article] at the Rhode Island School of Design located in Providence, RI, founded in 1877.  

[2] “The Bride Ships of 1620, Colonial America’s First Transatlantic Party Buses”; (Richkoff, CherylAdams; n.d.); Entry for the Brides for Jamestown; Retrieved from [Database Online] (; Accessed 28 Feb 2019); In (Ranker .com; Collection: Early Days in the USA : Jamestown Brides); [Database Online]; URL located at  

[3] “History of American Women/Colonial women/18th Century Women/19th Century Women”; Entry for first settler women of Jamestown; [database Online] (womenshistoryblog .Com; 2007 : Accessed 28 Feb 2019); Citing  “History of American Women:Thirteen Colonies : Jamestown”; [Database Online]; USA located at  

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Wanda Langdon

Today we Celebrate 241 years ago

What an amazing, incredible day that must have been 241 years ago. I love to study those times and reflect on what it must have been like for my ancestors. They might have stood in a town square as the words were read to the townspeople:

“ We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

These were rights that had drawn thousands and thousands of people to the shores of America. They were willing to face hostile savages, wild and unknown dangers and lands all for the ideals of freedom, liberty, adventure.

We enjoy those rights and liberties today thanks to those who were willing to risk it all to obtain them and protect them for us, their descendants.

Do you know the story of your ancestors? Do you know when, why and where they arrived on our shores? Have you honored them by joining a lineage society?

If not, make today the day! Barbara and I would be honored to help you in that journey.

Wanda and Barbara