Throughout our years of research, volumes of records related to the Reid (Read) (Reed) (Reede) surname in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama have been collected and electronically compiled in files organized by location and surname. Those files are available to view in the sub-pages that follow.
A few research facts relevant to Virginia and Georgia and surrounding areas.
- A man who receives property or money by will cannot be witness to it.
- A nuncupative will can dispose only of personal property, not land.
- A married woman could not make out a will without her husband’s consent and even so could dispose of personal property.
- Title to land could be conveyed either by inheritance or deed or marriage.
- There are marriage bonds for only about 20% of the early marriages although many of the early colonies asked for them; many people were married in the church by banns; many bonds have been lost to natural disasters. The absence of a marriage bond does not mean that the marriage did not take place.
- A man did not have to be 21 to buy land, but he did have to be 21 to sell it.
- A woman was never a taxable. If her name appears on a list, it is because she had a male of taxable age in her household, or a slave of taxable age, or was the owner of the land.
- “Junior” did not necessarily mean “son of”, but was a designation for a younger man of the same name in the same area. A man could be a “junior” at one period and “senior” at a later period.
- “Infant” means someone under legal age.
- “Orphan” was someone under 21 who lost his or her FATHER; the mother might well be living.
- An illegitimate child almost invariable took the surname of the mother.
- If a man died in one county, and devised his land in another county to his son, there may not be a record in that other county to show transmittal of the property.
- If an estate was debt-ridden, the personal property was disposed of first. The widow’s third was protected and usually a third for the children against any claims for debt.
- Taxable age for white during the colonial period was 16; during the Revolutionary War it varied from county to county and state to state; after 1784 it was 21.
- Many times there are no commas separating a list of names of children in a will, making it hard to determine children’s names.
- In most southern states, the law forbade “the abominable Mixture” between white men and women and Indians, Negroes, or any person of mixed blood.
- When a wife signs a dower relinquishment when her husband is selling property and her name appears on the deed and she is examined privately, this indicates that the land came to her in her own right by inherit or marriage, or the grantors and grantees were from a state of country where common-law dower was in effect. Check each state.
- Words denoting relationship, such as “in-law” and “step”, often had different meanings from what they have today. Nephew sometimes meant grandson or grandchild, such as “to my nephew Rebecca Hayes”.
This page has the following sub pages.