You sent me a query to my emailaddress and my reply bounced with a mail demon, so having tracked you down, here is what I sent that you didn't get
Subj: Re: Wm. Dervis (Devers) Cozby family
Date: 3/15/2002 4:26:37 AM Pacific Standard Time
I myself have no William Devers/Dervis Cozby/Cosby, though I have a William Rae Cozby, b 1949 TX, William B Cozby, b 1809/14 TN, William Arthur Cozby, b bfr 1892 TX, and William Trimble Cozby, b 1908 TX and one William Cosby b. 1745 VA
When was your William D. Cozby born, where, and when did he die, where?
Who did he marry, when, where?
Who are his children, and when and where were they born?
Was he farmer, doctor, hobo, or thief? A farmer and doctor paid taxes, thus there are tax rolls; and farmers and doctors tended to vote, thus there are voters registrar's books.
Such aid as I can give you is in general research ideas:
Timeframe and locale, even if guesstimates, do aid a researcher -- it is from, when one has a mystery, such clues provided by children's timeframe/locale that you can begin to backtrack and locate the parent(s), and from those of parent(s) track forward and locate children. I have used these techniques a number of times. Obits are another clue, and burial records of the funeral home or the county clerk can sometimes tell you who paid for the plot and/or the funeral. Probate records are also useful, where they exist, and they will exist when there is land titles to consider or minor children.
Timeframes include droughts, wars, bank failures, by the way, for these can be causes of migration to other locales. I have upon occasion used these, for some wars also had land grants or warrants as part of the vet's benefits. And droughts and bank failures, and those tended to be successive in farming areas, can indicate a relocation when the family doesn't appear on the next census.
Occasionally the political entity will change, such as a county formed, or unformed, a state line drawn, and then it is not the person who relocated, but the name of the legal entity has changed -- I know one case where the man never relocated, but being born in one county, which was divided into two, and then three, it APPEARED he had relocated successively to two counties after his birth, as shown on various documents -- and had I not thought to check and see when these counties were formed ....
Cemetery transcriptions are often very useful. Some transcribers give only surnames, and these are the least useful, others will annotate with some points such as w/o, h/o, s/o, d/o, and so forth, and the annotated transcriptions are the best. In general most give the year of birth and death, when available.
Census starting with the 1850 give such details as the members of the household, and where born, and their age and gender -- although not 100% reliable, successive census, cemetery records, land deeds, marriage records, et cetera, can help substantiate such data.
I hope you find your William D. Cozby,
---------original message ---------
Subj: Wm. Dervis (Devers) Cozby family
Date: 3/14/2002 9:04:44 PM Pacific Standard Time
(Dr. Jesse )
I am looking for the lineage of above who is my grandfather. Please email
me with any information that might help and I would be glad to help you if I
Jesse Wm. Cozby,M.D.