Thursday, March 7, 2024

Finding more about Eliel Melton and Family using new tools at

 Dear Grandparents,

Yesterday was the 188th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo. Our son-in-law Chris' 4th great uncle Eliel Melton was serving as Quartermaster for the troops defending the Alamo and died there 6 Mar 1836. Today was my first opportunity to try some of the new tools that debuted at Roots Tech last week. So what did I search for?.... additional information on Eliel Melton!

My search brought up a deed that mentioned Eliel and his heirs-at-law including Chris' direct ancestor, his 4th great grandmother Mary "Polly" (Melton) Echols.  Mary was the sibling closest in age to Eliel.

One of the best features of this new tool from Family Search is the AI generated full transcription of the document. For genealogists, transcription of old and sometimes difficult to read documents is a painstaking process involving line by line examination and recording. Often, one must examine all examples of a particular letter in the document to determine which letter and word is written. 

75 The State of Texas men by County of Willam me Stroud Metton Ethen Milton Mary Elchil Harper Stephen Felken by them agent and Attorney in fact Thomas of the State of Georgia heirs at Law of Eliel Melton late of the State of Texas decd for our selves have this day Jonathan Melton of the State of Texas his heirs assigns all and right title interest and claim in and to Five hundred two and one half Nineteen hundred and Twenty my Soldrins Claims lying being and soutered in the County of Ellis deceased the said Jonathan Meton for himself his heirs and assigns to have and to hold the forgoing tract of land with all the right Moreland and improvements to the same belonging incident or appurtaining by these presents forever and we do for ourselves our heirs Executors and administrators do hereby quit all claim which we had or may have in possession or expectancy in and to the premises hereby conveyed and released relinquish the same unto the to the said Jonathan Melton 

The highlighted area above is the AI transcription of the document's first paragraph. 

Now, I am not implying that the AI transcription is perfect. It is far from that but it does provide a much easier starting point. The County in this document is not William but Milam. The names are Stroud Melton, Ethen Melton, Mary Elchols but it is a great help and timesaver.

The next document in the file is a specific power of attourney given by Mary Elchols 21 February 1853. Texas was giving land to the heirs of those that perished at the Alamo. These documents would help Mary recieve one of these land grants. Very fortunate as she had been left in a dire financial situation when her husband Robert Milner Echols died intestate and in debt 3 Dec 1847 in Mexico during the Mexican American War.

Many thanks to Family Search for making these tools available to us for free. I am looking forward to using them in every one of my genealogy projects.