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I’d like to share with you my research travels on the Searcy family:

I began research in the early 1980’s, focusing first on Mississippi and Alabama, then finding myself studying the Searcy family group in all of the traditional deep South states. I researched all censuses from about 1810 (not many survived in those areas before then) to 1900. I visited several state archives, the National Archives and many county court vaults for about 12 years collecting every fact I could find on our family – then like most genealogists, got burnt out.

I renewed my research in 1995 after reading several biographies on Daniel Boone and a book titled “The Frontiersman” by Allan W Eckert. Mr. Eckert writes historical fiction, choosing real historical characters and pairing the white man and the Indian of a time/geographic period and telling their story. Not only is he a terrific writer, but his footnotes and source material gave me inspiration that there was much material yet to be scoured for the Early Searcy Family. The Frontiersman is the story of Simon Kenton and Tecumseh. Kenton was the second most popular backwoodsman – next to Boone.

Knowing that the Searcy’s were early settlers in Kentucky, I decided to take my appreciation of history and good research skills and take a fresh approach to Searcy genealogy research. My primary sources were the Dallas Research Library (one of the top 20 genealogy collections in the US) and a local Family History Center (to tap into hundreds of thousands of microfilm rolls of government and private records). I also made several week-long visits to the state archives in Kentucky.

I took to the web pages on www.GenForum.com Forum; posting as Terry Searcy from 2001 to 2004; I took a brief enough hiatus to lose my passwords, so have posted since as William Searcy - searcy817@aol (but don’t use that address). You can view my early posts at http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-genforum/messagehistory.cgi?137739533

My research approach is a little complicated and certainly time consuming. I choose to:

  • Establish a time period and geographic boundary for any given study
  • Read and understand the history, military actions and government evolution of a given area
  • Survey a wide selection of materials before, during and after the time period of interest to establish all the likely counties where Searcy’s may have lived in
  • Take each county, one at a time, to review all record types, going through all practical records one page at a time. I use indexes as a guide, not an authority for where to find info. I then expanded beyond county records to all other forms of records – public and private
  • Document each record with a concise but thorough abstract, cite the source and the location of the source. This allows ANYONE to duplicate my findings to satisfy themselves for accuracy
  • Compile the abstracts into a study, then ultimately a book form

Long term:

  • Survey early American history and divide future studies into time/geographic areas that make sense
  • Look to become publically visible to others via a website, and finally
  • Begin publishing

I’ve told many of you I am close to publishing my first work “Searcy Family in Early America: Volume 1 Kentucky and Southern Indiana (1775-1830)”, but the truth is that the last 2% of getting published is enormously time consuming. I hope to be there by the end of this year.

In 2009, I got sidetracked setting up this website and collaborating on a preliminary study of the Searcy’s in VA. Virginia will be my next focus, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

Happy hunting and please let me know if you are interested in a pre-publication price for the Kentucky book.


I'm not real big on modern genelogies or genealogy programs; that is, your and my aunts and uncles and endless pages of who begat who (or whom?). I am certainly not against such pursuits - afterall, that's why most people get involved in genealogy. My lot in life, from a genealogy standpoint, is to play sleuth, and find the old ancestors and figure out how they relate to each other. Your job is to tie your family into them.

William Terry Searcy