First of all, I owe a great debt to my grandfather Demus C. Kizer who in 1968 sparked my interest in genealogy by sharing his stories about growing up in rural Arkansas during the early 1900s. I was 11 years old at the time, and was fascinated hearing about all of the different families and how they were connected. I immediately started writing to my relatives, sent away for census records and Civil War pension files and have kept going ever since. My dear grandmother Ruth (Shambarger) Kizer (Demus's wife) was a great-granddaughter of Willis R. Head (#15239).
Eventually I reached a roadblock. I knew that Willis R. Head and his wife Elizabeth B. (Harper) Head were married in Butts County, Georgia in 1829, but was unable to find either of their parents. Then in the late 1980s, when I was living near Fort Worth, Texas, I got in touch with Mary (Head) Ground (#15239156) of Fort Worth, a first-cousin of my grandmother. Mary had recently heard from another Head relative who found the family Bible of Willis and Elizabeth Head. It contained the family groups of Willis Head's parents as well as Elizabeth Harper's parents! Both families had migrated from Albemarle-Orange Counties in north-central Virginia to Elbert County in eastern Georgia in the 1790s. After that wonderful find, I met several others who were researching the genealogy of the Head family and provided me with a good deal of the information that has gone into this Head web page.
Most notably, I was rewarded by the significant prior research on the Head families of the southern United States done by John Harris "Jack" Watts and James R. Landrum (#1528B6441). Our discovery of the Willis R. Head Bible helped to clarify and correct some of the family groupings of Capt. Benjamin Head's descendants. Jim Landrum and I corresponded regularly for several years (from about 1987 until 1991) and were able to identify a lot more branches of this family. Jim's tireless research (always meticulous, carefully documented, and well-organized) and innovative use of his personal computer inspired me greatly. Dorothy (Bearden) Heaner (#1528B3232), Thomas Barton Nash (#152884971), Brainard S. Ferrell (#152333A8), Chandler Eavenson (an Adams researcher), Marsha (Head) Goodwin (#15261A2A12), and a number of others also contributed significantly to our knowledge of Benjamin and Martha Head and their descendants.
The advent of the Internet has made a tremendous difference in helping researchers find each other, collaborate, and share information. More recently, the use of Y-chromosome DNA analysis to complement historical documents introduces exciting possibilities for the genealogist.
This Head web page would not have been possible without the contribution
of over a hundred other researchers over many years. During my many
years of research, I have tried to carefully document
the primary sources of each piece of information in my database
in order to validate the extensive research done by myself and many others.
I continue to be amazed and gratified at the sense of teamwork displayed
by other genealogists I have met. Hopefully this compilation will
help others now and in the future to carry on the work that has been done
Mark B. Arslan