Genealogy 101

An ancestry guide for
George Henry Cotton
(1947 - and still kickin')

This Cotton/McGaughey Family Tree has been created from data gathered since 2002, and it comes from many sources such as the Internet, county records from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Tennessee.  Birth and Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses and Wills were obtained from many sources.  A very large part of the original tree came from my mother, Maxine Clarice McGaughey Cotton (1917-1998), several years before her passing.  She gave me her 20-some odd page of type-written family history that was the basis for this project. 

A most interesting off-shoot of the project has been the finding of unclaimed property from that "rich uncle" everyone always wishes they had as I actually found one.  So far, it's been mostly in the form of mineral royalties, stock dividends and dormant bank accounts, thus far in 3 states and from several individuals. I have also been able to claim a few producing oil/gas wells.

No "numbered Swiss" bank accounts have turned up yet.  But hey, who knows where the next big find will come from.  I was able to legally claim over $10,000 in just a few months.  OK, I've had to split it 50/50 with my sister, but it looks pretty good deposited in my account instead of sitting in some state bank account.  Of course, your mileage may vary. 

I hope this site will become a focal point for those looking for information on our common ancestors and in turn, I would like to be updated on errors or omissions as to what is displayed here. 

Many of the genealogy sites on the Internet have been scoured with data extracted and compared.  When this information conflicts, and believe me it does a lot, a "weighing factor" has been invoked to arrive at the most logical dates for some events.  This is typically reflected as a year only - no month or day is shown.  When more substantial data is found, these dates are always changed to reflect the most reliable information currently available.  Sometimes date information is so vague that I do not enter anything.  After hundreds of hours cross-referencing the data, some confusion in names was cleared up as well as maiden names being discovered.  Spelling is always a problem, that too has a "best guess" applied when enough information points to a common spelling. 

The data is available in several forms which you can view on-line, download for printing or a GED file that can be downloaded, converted and imported into your own family tree type program.  To the best of my knowledge, the data is as close to the facts as I can determine.  At the bottom of many pages, is the date the overall GED file was last modified.  My tree is constantly being updated as I find additional bits of data to fill in the multitude of blanks. 

If you have any tidbit of information that you think might help clarify or update these records, please send it to me

Many of my ancestors final resting places can be found on the Find-A-Grave website.  I continually add pictures of their tombstones and photos as I locate them. 

As you will see, this history on the Cotton side only goes back to the 1800's, while on Mothers', Mothers' side it goes solidly back to the 1600's.  This, even after a name spelling change for their American-born children after their parental immigration from the "old country" in the 1700's.  You will have to read the book to find out from which countries I descended. 

You may freely use my GED file and modify it for your own branch of our family.  I use Legacy Deluxe software to view, print and create the web, pdf and rtf files also found below.   

Currently the only decent, sync-able App in the iPhone App Store is called "Families" at $14.99.  There is the PC companion for it called "Families Sync" which is free.  This is not a true sync, but a complete file transfer from one device to the other.  So changes can be made on the iPhone and transferred to the PC.  Just remember which one has the latest data before transferring.  I now use my netbook computer as an input device when traveling, which is actually easier than the Palm ever was.  Once back home, I upload my new data to the main home computer and sync to my iPhone.   

My current tree contains mainly the 4 branches as outlined below.
Other, more distant relationships, are contained in the master GED file.
Currently:  2097+ individuals, 799+ families and 549
+ surnames.

Cotton - 6 generations (1808)
Coker - 6 generations (1802)
McGaughey - 9 generations (1695)
Troutman - 12 generations (1633)

Here are the links
Files were checked and/or updated on 01/30/2011

The master GED file:


The files below are less frequently updated, but are basically accurate.

Ancestors Book (long story):

Pedigree Chart (tree view):

Ancestry Chart (short story):

Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Documents and Tombstone pictures can be found on the Documents Page.

The letters B, D & M in parenthesis after a name, indicate that I have a copy of the Birth/Death Certificate and/or Marriage License of that individual on file.  Wills and other supporting documents are referenced in the GED file only.  I am just starting to build this part of the library.  If you have any of these types of documents for individuals in this tree and can scan them in or send them to me for scanning, it would be greatly appreciated.  Scanner settings are 300dpi and 100% image size.  Please do not reduce the image size.  As for pictures, I'm looking for middle-aged individual, wedding/married couples or immediate family as these are the ones that are most likely remembered. 

What documents I have are available in higher resolution by e-mail request.  Pictures will gradually be added to the file download section as well. 

This page was originally created on Christmas Day, 2004.