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My biography of Thomas Pettus II was well-received by the Family History Writing Group, though I did get some good advice on how to improve the paper. I have since made all the suggested revisions. Also, I received an abstract in English of the Dutch will I mentioned last month. I used this will to construct the testator's family tree; however, I have since learned that this was not actually the testator's last will that motivated Thomas's trip to Holland in 1686. I have requested a copy of the later will and should receive it this week. Although the document is in Dutch, I think I will be able to read the names of the beneficiaries and the amounts of their legacies, using the abstract of the earlier will as a guide.
In the meantime, I have learned how to insert two-generation descendant charts into each person's biography in my book. I have been making charts with Family Historian, which has good charting capabilities. I am presently working on this task, as I think that having the charts enhances the book.
I have received a number of queries about Pettuses who lived in Mississippi before the Civil War. While I have included biographies of Pettuses who migrated to other states or territories from Virginia and their children, my book is devoted mainly to Pettuses in England and Virginia. Even within these limits, the book has been a massive undertaking. For me to go further would enlarge its scope beyond what I could reasonably expect to accomplish in my lifetime. This project has already spanned nearly four decades! Please bear in mind, however, that virtually all members of the Pettus family covered in my book are descended from emigrants from England to Virginia. The early generations in Virginia were the most problematic for early family historians who did not have all the facts now available.