by Steve Broyles (John, Jacob, Michael, Aaron, Aaron, Jeremiah, Walter, Morris)
20 July 1996
Please read this page carefully. It contains important information
about the data you'll be looking at!
About My Database
The database contains records on about 6800 individuals in the
Broyles/Briles family. It was created primarily from information
in John Kenneth "Ken" Broyles's Broyles Family Ties and
Broyles Family Newsletter, which in turn are based on A.L. Keith's
"Broyles Family" typescript and Ken's own correspondence. I augmented
this by A.L. Keith's articles
in the William and Mary Quarterly, Max Briles's work, my own
fairly substantial census and county record research, and my own
I also verified Cerny and Zimmerman's work
in the German records and
corrected and extended their information,
the results of which are included here.
This set of data is about 25 years in the making and there are many times
I think it's about 3% done!
(Technical details: My database is a custom dBase application that links
together individuals, marriages, census records, and notes. I wrote
a converter to dump out much of the information into GEDCOM format, and
then used Gene Stark's GED2HTML converter with a custom INDIV.TPL file.)
See the data now!
Completeness and Consistency (or lack thereof!)
The first four generations are fairly complete, but I've only gotten
about halfway through a cleanup pass that was intended to document how
children were assigned to families and to formalize my sources. As such,
you'll see inconsistencies in the presentation of information.
My notes on each individual are only shown for members of the first four
generations. I have notes for many in the fifth, but they haven't been
moved into the database and consequently can't be converted to HTML.
Known Inaccuracies, Shortcuts, and (shudder!) Errors
I took some shortcuts. This was OK when it was my private database,
but if you're not careful you may misunderstand what you're looking at!
- Birth Dates. They are always given as BIRTHs, even when they are
christenings. The early German data is all christenings, and almost all
of the early Virginia birthdates, if given to the day, are from the
Hebron Church records.
- Birth Years. If I list someone as being born in 1827, it really means
c. 1827. Most of these dates come from census records which give someone's
age to the nearest year, and it's well known they can be off by a year or
two (or more). When I say someone was born "Abt 1827", it means I have
estimated their placement in the family and have assigned a possible birth
year. Such estimates are probably accurate to within a few years. I tend
to list census birth years even if it looks like there's an error in it.
- Birth Places. These are almost entirely made up! If the place in
question is early Germany, they will be assumed to be from the village
their church records come from. If the place is in the U.S., I
estimated the likely state and county of birth based on where the
family was probably living at the time of birth. So what's listed
as a birthplace could be
wrong because people moved or their county changed name, or their estimated
birth date is wrong. (Note that in the
early years the counties were continually subdividing into new counties,
so it might look like a family moved when in fact the county they were living
in changed name.) In certain cases in the later generations there are
out and out mistakes caused by overzealous editing on my part.
Unknown Inaccuracies and (yikes!) Errors
I copied much of this information from a book whose author typed it up from
another book that is a typewritten copy of a typed manuscript of data that was
taken from correspondence relating to records that were hand copied by
someone else from a nearly illegible handwritten county record book or
family Bible of some sort. OK?
References to actual county record books (marriage licenses, deed
books, etc.) with book and page number are likely to be correct.
Since Dr. Keith is the source for much of the early family, I should
note that he was a very talented and careful researcher whose work
has held up impressively well through the years, but even he
made mistakes, so Caveat Emptor!
Explanation of Terms
- Generation - This is the generation for each individual, with
John Broyles the immigrant being generation number 1. His ancestors
use letters that increase the farther back you go. His descendants use
numbers that increase with each generation. Now, there's a problem with
this scheme when related people marry. A boy from generation 5 marries
a girl from 6. Are their children 6 or 7? To tell you the truth, I'm
not sure what I did, but I think I tried to choose the earliest number.
So, take the generation number as a guideline, because that is all such
a calculation can be in any case.
- Keith # - This is the identification number given by Prof. Keith
in his manuscript as reprinted by John Kenneth Broyles.
About the Census Records
I've passed many a fine day scanning microfilms looking for various
members of the family. Census films are great for the soul, so I encourage you
to go down to your local library and take them out on Interlibrary Loan.
You'll find it immensely satisfying to see your ancestor's census entries,
and you'll also probably find more information than I've summarized in the
Coverage of all Broyles/Briles families through 1860 is believed to be
pretty thorough. There are a good number of census records for 1870 and
- Page Numbers. This can be frustrating if you try to get copies
based on the roll and page number I give. The reason is that there are
usually at least two sets of numbers on each page of the census book, one
stamped (the one I use) and the other handwritten. Sometimes there is
yet a third set of handwritten numbers. Now, I was pretty consistent
about using the printed numbers but I know some of the data I took in
my early years may have used the handwritten numbers. Also, the stamped numbers
are printed on every other page, so it's possible you'll find the entry
one page before or after the given page.
- Data not shown. The type of information taken in each census
would vary from census to census. I copied what I thought was most
useful onto my census sheets, and then entered most of that into
my database. (Yes, I did do any accuracy check, but errors are still
possible.) So, you're seeing most, but not all, of the information.
- [Record Not Found]. This means either I have not been successful
in finding a record for that year (prior to 1850), or that I haven't looked
for it (after 1850). One exception is Randolph Co., NC, in which the census of
1820 was destroyed.
- Column Abbreviations
- Agr - Number in household engaged in Agriculture
- BP - Birthplace
- BPM - Birthplace of mother
- BPF - Birthplace of father
- Col - Color (B=black, M=mulatto)
- Dwel - Dwelling number
- ED - Enumeration District
- Fam - Family number
- MY - Married within the past year
- SY - Went to school within the past year
- R/W - Unable to read or write
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