Who We Are
The Austin Families Association of America (AFAOA) is a private, non-commercial genealogy organization whose mission is to research and preserve genealogical data relating to all Austin family lines who came to America, and to make that information freely available to interested researchers.
The archival holdings of the AFAOA began with the research efforts of Edith Austin Moore as she searched for her Austin ancestors. From 1922 until her death in 1979 Edith compiled a collection of Austin genealogies and research data and eventually produced books or manuscripts on eight Austin lines. To further her Austin research, in 1942 Edith and her brother, Henry Warner Austin, founded the Austin Family Association, which later became the Austin Families Association of America. Janet Austin Curtis continued her work, followed by Bonnie Austin Bigolin from 1990 to 2001, and Liz Austin Carlin and Carol R. Austin since then.
Edith Austin Moore, AFAOA Founder
Edith May Austin was born 19 Apr 1882 to Daniel Henry and Minnie Amelia (Chesebro) Austin. She passed away quietly 21 Nov 1979 in Rockville, Maryland, having moved there from St. Petersburg, Florida the previous year.
After her father's death in 1912, Edith became interested in searching for her ancestors who had served their country during the Revolutionary War. She later extended her research back to her first ancestor in this country, Edward Austin of Rhode Island. Finding little published on the Austin family, and not being able to trace her own line, Edith began gathering Austin Family records in 1922, hoping in that way to find her line, either through her own research or through correspondence with others. In order to help further her family research, in 1942 together with her brother Henry Warner Austin, Edith founded the Austin Family Association, later renamed Austin Families Association of America. The organization has grown through the years with memberships from individuals and families all over the United States.
Edith Austin Moore devoted 67 of her 97 years to researching Austin family lines. Although she did not drive a car, Edith traveled extensively, visiting libraries in Westerly and Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Montpelier, Vermont; New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Utica, and Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, DC. She wrote many letters and sent out several thousand blank forms. Her first book, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, Rhode Island, was published in 1951. While gathering data for this impressive 738 page book, Edith copied down every Austin record that she could find. This gave her data on eight different Austin families who settled in the New England States during the 17th century.
As correspondents kept writing to her for help in solving their own genealogical problems, she gradually accumulated and assembled her own records into two books and seven manuscripts:
- ROBERT AUSTIN of Kingstown, R.I.
- RICHARD AUSTIN of Charlestown, MA
- THOMAS AUSTIN of Andover, MA.
- JOSEPH AUSTIN of Dover, N.H.
- MATTHEW AUSTIN of York, ME.
- JOHN AUSTIN of East Haven, CT.
- JOHN AUSTIN of Stamford, CT.
- JONAH AUSTIN of Taunton, MA
- UNPLACED AUSTIN RECORDS
Edith compiled and indexed amazing quantities of Austin information, and she left future generations with a rich legacy of Austin genealogical data in her two books and seven manuscripts, which she placed in several major genealogical libraries. Those interested in pursuing Austin family lines owe a great debt to Edith Austin Moore for her lifetime of labors and fruitful research, for gathering and organizing volumes of records, many of which might otherwise have been lost forever. Edith will never be forgotten, for she has left us all with a monumental legacy of genealogical research for which she will be remembered with admiration and gratitude.
Edith was buried in the Village of Mexico Cemetery in Mexico, Oswego Co., New York.
Janet Austin Curtis
Genealogist Janet Austin Curtis devoted over 50 years to researching Austin lines, and to helping others discover their Austin roots. She considered herself "a rather unorthodox genealogist, a rebel at heart." Accuracy and completeness were always her goals.
Janet was first introduced to genealogy when she was only about age 18, travelling with an aunt who was an avid member of the D.A.R. They visited "cemeteries and Court Houses and libraries galore." That got Janet off to a good start, and genealogy became a lifetime interest.
When Janet first started researching her Austin line, she worked with New England Austins trying to find her David Austin, a soldier in the Revolution, which she finally did through the process of elimination. It was while searching for her David in New England that Janet first met genealogist Edith Austin Moore, and they collaborated ever after.
She wrote several articles and manuscripts:
- Southside Virginia Austins
- Austins of the Outer Banks of North Carolina
- Austins of Wake and Anson Counties, North Carolina
- Austins from Maryland to Burke County, North Carolina
- John and Ann Beeden Austin Family of Maryland
- Austin Family of Montgomery County, Maryland
- Albemarle County, Virginia, and Kentucky
- William Austin Family of New Kent & Bedford, Virginia
- Revisions on Nathaniel Austin Family of South Carolina
Janet served as AFAOA's Secretary-Treasurer in the 1950's and later as Genealogist. Her many contributions helped make AFAOA the organization it is today.
Led by Bill Minnick and Jim Carlin, AFAOA entered the computer age in the early 1990s by entering its data into computers so that they could be displayed on the internet.
In 2003, AFAOA, led by Michael Austin and Art Sikes, started a Y-DNA project with the hope of verifying our Austin lines and perhaps uniting some of them. This was later expanded to include an autosomal DNA study. This study is ongoing, an we welcome new participants. More information is available on our website.
Now, in order to ensure that our priceless archive is preserved in perpetuity, AFAOA has entered into a partnership with Allen County Public Library of Fort Wayne, Indiana. ACPL's Genealogy Center is making our data available to researchers all around the world. AFAOA will continue its research and will make those updates available through ACPL in the future.
We welcome contributions from anyone who is researching Austins, and we offer our members the assistance of our expert genealogists. If you have any questions about your family line or data to share, please contact our Genealogist at email@example.com. We will help you find your place in our Austin lines.