Born Oct. 26, 1871
Died Nov. 5, 1907
A Genealogical Odyssey
Born Oct. 26, 1871
Died Nov. 5, 1907
Have you ever had that feeling that you’re stagnating, but you’re not sure exactly how to get out of that rut? Well, that’s me with my personal research. I spent some quality time with OneNote a few days ago to organize some of my research, in part looking for possible story ideas for articles, lectures, and blog posts.
I realized, as I do every single time I look through my pedigree, that I’m stuck in the 19th century with many of my lines.
The following grave sites in the Head of Tennessee Baptist Church Cemetery, in Dillard, are grouped together.
Three grave markers for members of the Teague and Hamby families at Hale Ridge Cemetery off Warwoman Road in Rabun Co., GA.
I’m very pleased to announce that my first full-length publication, Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, will be ready for purchase and delivery early next week.
I’m so excited about this publication. Newspapers are an underutilized source of historical and genealogical information, primarily because they’re unindexed and sometimes difficult to locate. There are three newspapers covered by this compilation: The Clayton Argus (1894), The Tallulah Falls Spray (1897 – 1898), and The Clayton Tribune (1899).1 Of the extant issues, only a handful have been microfilmed. The remainder are only available as original issues or as photocopies of news items clipped from the originals, and all of those are held by the Rabun County Historical Society, which is open a limited number of hours each week.
A while back, someone asked me about the estate records of Benjamin Odell. I’ve made partial indexes of many of the early probate books for Rabun County, so I was able to quickly go to the right pages in two of those books to find information recorded on Benjamin’s estate. I’m not going to post the entire estate proceedings here (that would take a lot of room), but I did want to point out a few interesting items that could be used to answer the questions many researchers might have about this family.
Oh, the dreaded brick wall ancestor, the bane of every genealogist’s life! We all have them, those ancestors who refuse to cooperate and instead prefer to lurk just out of reach of our inquisitive minds. Luckily for us (not so much for the lurking ancestors), there are plenty of tricks to help researchers break down those brick walls. Here are four useful techniques:
Me, my brother, and my sister, Easter Sunday, circa 1976. On Duggan Hill, Clayton, Rabun Co., GA.
I woke up this morning and decided it was time to put the call out for a book I would like to write in the next two to five years about Samuel and Sarah (McKinney) Hopper, their parents, and their children. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and decided now’s the time to start getting my ducks in a row.
What I hope to do is to compile enough information on Samuel and Sarah to definitively connect them with their parents and possibly to their grandparents. John M. Dillard has done some research on the McKinneys in connection with his Dillard research, and has linked Sarah to her father Charles McKinney of Buncombe Co., NC. I would like to do much more than that by tracking Charles from his origin points to his death, including determining the true identity of Sarah’s mother, and identifying all of Sarah’s siblings, if possible.
There are several different versions of Samuel’s parents in print and on the Internet, none with good documentation. I believe Samuel may have been connected to the Charles Hopper family of Burke Co., NC, and later Tennessee and other parts west. Proving or disproving that hypothesis will occupy a good deal of time.
So the first part of this hoped-for volume will deal with Samuel, Sarah, and their immediate ancestors. In the next section, I would like to do small biographical sketches of Samuel and Sarah’s children, including the names of their grandchildren. This is the part where I really, really would like help from the descendents of this couple. I would very much like to include pictures of Samuel and Sarah’s children, where they are available. I know a portrait exists for Thomas, my direct ancestor, who died in the Late Troubles. I do not have pictures for any of the other children. Two of the daughters died before the War and I have little hope of finding pictures for them, but for the remainder of the children, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Samuel’s cabin is, I believe, still standing as part of the Hambidge Center property. I would like to include a picture of that, as well as maps and a few select other documents, like estate records and so forth. I would also love to include copies of Bible records, letters, and other important family documents, if such exist. Anyone who is willing to contribute will be gratefully acknowledged.
The scope of the potential volume will be very limited. I do not intend to make this an every-descendant kind of book. Instead, I would like to focus on the individuals named: Samuel, Sarah, their parents (and possibly grandparents), their children and, briefly, their grandchildren. I do not know how long it will take, nor what the final form might be. In this day and age, a printed copy for select libraries and digital copies to interested family members might be the way to go. Who knows?
I would very much like to hear from other family members about this project. Please contact me if you have any information or if you would like to help.
The advent of Internet genealogy and the rapid growth of online databases of original records have facilitated genealogical research in ways that previous generations could never have imagined. For a small monthly fee, researchers can sit at home and access thousands of census records from around the world through online databases, not to mention military records, city directories, and a growing number of other records. With a few keystrokes and the push of a mouse button, they can contact distant cousins and share information, a process that once took days, if not weeks. They can access digitized copies of hard-to-find out of print genealogies with little more than a Google search.
With all of this emphasis on digital research, should traditional methods be ignored? Specifically, do we still need printed publications, like records transcriptions? To answer those questions, we must consider the nature of both digital and traditional genealogical research.