Posts tagged ‘Rabun County Georgia’

March 22, 2012

To My Hopper Kin, re: Samuel and Sarah (McKinney) Hopper

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.

March 5, 2012

Are Published Transcriptions Still Necessary?

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.

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March 2, 2012

Hello, Jemima! Now Wait Your Turn…

A recent trip through the Superior Court records of Rabun County netted an interesting connection: an 1838 petition naming Jemima Kell as the sister of James Kell.1

Years ago, another researcher gave me information on Rabun County’s Kells. Not a Jemima amongst them. Ok, no problem, I thought. I’ll just contact that researcher and see if she’s uncovered anything new. Unfortunately, delivery to the e-mail address I had for her failed, and her web site is no longer up. In desperation, I posted to a message board. The researcher I was looking for hasn’t answered yet, but another one has. I’ve queried back for more information. Not knowing this particular other researcher, my imagination is going into overdrive about our anticipated exchange.

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February 27, 2012

Tidbits and Updates

It’s been a busy few months here in the Watson household.

We just ended basketball season. My sister is the head coach of the local high school varsity ladies basketball team. In the past four years, the Lady Cats have won 88% of their games, gone to State tournies all four years, and reached the Elite 8 three of those years. A phenomenal program. We try to get to every game, or as many as is possible. Those Lady Cats put on a heck of a show and we sure are proud of each and every one, coaches and players alike.

On the book end, Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899 is at the printers. I hope to have proofs in my hand within three to four weeks, and the finished product for sale another three or four weeks after that. For those who are interested, I’ve already put up an index of death notices and obituaries published in the three newspapers covered by this book.

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February 26, 2012

A Sunday Walk Around the Blogs

This week instead of featuring posts or articles from various places around the Internet, I wanted to highlight several blogs I try to keep track of.

Planting the Seeds is written by Michael Hait, a certified genealogist whose specialties include the Mid-Atlantic states and African-American genealogy. Michael generally uses his blog to discuss professional issues, but anyone who would like to grow as a researcher will find much useful information, including a series of discussions on methodologies.

Judy G. Russell is the Legal Genealogist, and she usually blogs about just that: the legal aspects of genealogy. For instance, Fi. fa. Fo Fum! helps genealogists decipher the abbreviations used in historical court records. While you’re visiting Judy, be sure to congratulate her on becoming a certified genealogist.

The Clue Wagon is the product of Kerry Scott, a Midwestern genealogist with a wicked sense of humor. Her front page reads, “My name is Kerry. I like dead people.” My favorite two posts are 7 Reasons Why the Zombie Apocalypse Would Be Good for Genealogists and In Which I Piss Off Pretty Much the Entire Genealogist Establishment. The latter describes a genealogy drinking game. Sprite recommended.

Finally, I wanted to highlight a very new blog by a genealogist who literally cut her teeth on historical records. Rachal Mills Lennon is a Southern genealogist whose blog is linked to her professional web site, Finding Southern Ancestors. Rachal’s blog has only three posts (so far!), but all three are excellent examples of how to solve difficult Southern research problems. Two of those three place Nancy (Justice) Wade with her correct husband using records from the old Pendleton and Spartanburg Districts in South Carolina, localities from which many Rabun County families came.

I hope y’all take the time to poke around on these blogs. They are all well worth the reading time.

February 26, 2012

Cemetery Sunday: Bradshaw Cemetery (aka Old Smyrna Church Cemetery), Towns Co., GA

The weather here has been relatively warm and sunny, so on a recent Sunday, we took the Jeep out to a cemetery described by our local Probate Judge, Lil Garrett, as the Bradshaw Cemetery.

There are two ways to get to this cemetery: the hard way and the harder way. When taken together, these two entrances form a loop from our home in Clayton (Rabun County) out Hwy. 76 toward Hiawassee, across Upper Hightower Road through Forest Service land (with the road name changing at least once), making a bridgeless crossing of the Tallulah River back into Rabun County, and then connecting with Hwy. 76 to get back home.

You can go in from either side and come back out the same way, but we opted to take the whole loop, beginning with the more difficult way in: Out Hwy. 76 to Upper Hightower Road, which gradually goes from a paved two-lane road into a one lane road before it hits dirt. The road tilts steeply upward just after the pavement ends, with gullies in the road at least three feet deep and sharp rock jutting up from the road bed. It continues in this manner for three or four miles, with narrow curves, sharp drop offs, and grades steep enough to have me holding my breath. We didn’t measure the mileage, but I do know that we were going at idle pace for at least thirty minutes before we found the road to the cemetery.

That road was thankfully short and relatively smooth. We parked at the end of it and walked the rest of the way in. You can see why from the picture below.

The recommended parking area for the cemetery.

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December 23, 2011

Feature Friday: Serenading, December 1897

Christmas customs vary from place to place. One custom practiced in Rabun County up through at least my father’s generation was serenading. No singing here. Instead, groups of young people would go around to their neighbors on Christmas Eve and play practical jokes.

In the 16 December 1897 issue (Vol. 2, No. 20) of The Tallulah Falls Spray, the Wolf Creek correspondent cautions his fellow readers.

Christmas is coming. You may look[?] out—the serenaders will be around till you can’t rest; the Christmas bells will ring. Look careful; they will be here before you know it.

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Quotation excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.

December 16, 2011

Feature Friday: Christmas Novelties, 1897

One hundred and fourteen years ago today, Taylor & Sweet, merchants whose store was then located in Tallulah Falls, published the following advertisement in The Tallulah Falls Spray (16 December 1897 issue, Vol. 2, No. 20).

Notice.

We have bought a complete stock of Christmas novelties, comprising a nice line of Chinese and Japanese dolls, toys, Christmas cards, etc., which we will sell at a sacrifice. We have a few dozen taffeta and serge silk umbrellas for 50 cents each worth two dollars. Also a line of overcoats for $2.25 and $2.50 worth three times that amount. Buy before they are gone. Taylor & Sweet.

I wonder how many boys and girls found Taylor & Sweet goodies in their stocking that Christmas?

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Quotation excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.

November 25, 2011

Feature Friday: Cincinatus Taylor’s Estate, April 1, 1897

The following item offers a wealth of information and suggests both other records to include in one’s research for this family and possible relationships amongst those mentioned. It was published in the 18 April 1897 issue (Vol. 1, Number 38) of The Tallulah Falls Spray, which served as Rabun County’s legal organ (or paper of record) probably from just after its inception in 1896 to January of 1898, when The Clayton Tribune assumed that function.

Georgia, Rabun County: At Chambers, April 1st, 1897—Samuel Taylor as executor of Cincinatus Taylor, having filed his petition for probate of Cincinatus Taylor’s will in solemn form, and it appearing that citation should issue to be served personally on Jane Taylor, Mary Wellborn, Catharine Page, Jesse Taylor, Sarah J. Stancell, William Jiles, Nat Jiles, Andy Jiles, Rachel Lawin, Nancy Eller, Susan Littleton and Mary Burrell, ordered that the usual citation issue, to be served on them ten days before the May term of this court, and as John Taylor, Mary J. Brinkley, Martha Gaines, Gus Ledbetter and Susan Ledbetter not being residents of this state and their residence unknown, and can only be served by publication, that they be cited and made a party by publication once a week for four weeks in The Tallulah Falls Spray, a newspaper published at Tallulah Falls, State of Georgia, before the May term, 1897, of said Court of Ordinary, and that this order so published constitute such citation.

W. S. Long, Ordinary.

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Quotation excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.

November 18, 2011

Feature Friday: “The scene of battle seems to be changed from Chicago to Pine Mountain”

The following items follow a story about a dispute that happened in the Pine Mountain area of Rabun County during August, 1894. The first item is from the 3 August 1894 issue (Volume 1, Number 7) of The Clayton Argus.

The scene of battle seems to be changed from Chicago to Pine Mountain. We hear that one day last week a number of boys met at or near the post office at Pine Mountain and by some means a dispute arose which precipitated a fight the result of which was knives. It is also stated that the boys had been taking on some tangle foot. We are sorry that so many of our young men participated in this useless habit of drinking. Boys, quit it, and you will certainly be glad of it.

In the subsequent issue, published 10 August 1894 (Vol. 1, Number 8), the editor names two of the subjects.

We hear that Guss Billingsley and Wood Bryson, the chief sufferers in the riot at Pine Mountain in our last week’s issue are getting considerably better. It was thought that Bryson was fatally wounded, but we are glad to hear that he was not.

I guess those two thought better the next time they were offered “tangle foot.”

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Quotations excerpted from my upcoming volume Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899, expected to be released in 2012.

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